The crater at Owakudani was created roughly 3000 years ago when the Hakone Volcano erupted. Even now the crater spews out jets of steam at a temperature of nearly 100℃. The dynamic feeling you get when witnessing it is like seeing the earth itself breathe.
About Hakone Owakudani
Owakudani is located inside Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture. As you approach Owakudani, you can smell the smell of sulfur in the area, with the reddish brown mountain sides and puffs of white smoke that appear before your eyes. The particular scene is famous as the one spot in Hakone where you can really sense volcanic activity happening up close.
Do keep in mind, that during eruptions and some times of volcanic activity sightseeing may not be allowed. It's best to check on the official website run by Kanagawa prefecture "Hakone Owakudai News" to see the the volcanic status and confirm that it is ok before visiting.
Things to Do in Hakone Owakudani
If you think that the powerful scenes of volcanic smoke is all Owakudani has to offer, think again! Owakudani has a lot of other charming experiences to be seen.
The View from Hakone Ropeway
Owakudani is one of the stops on the Hakone Ropeway, the station is Owakudani Station. This is a great station to transfer when heading towards Sounzan Station or Togendai Station.
Owakudani Station is the station at the highest elevation of the ropeway, and because of that height, the view you get from riding the ropeway is something to marvel at. When traveling from Sounzan station you get to see beneath you the giant valley with a whole 130 meters of height difference. When heading to Togendai Station, you can see and enjoy the sight of Mount Fuji and Ashi Lake along the way.
Owakudani's Famous Kuro Tamago - Black Eggs
Owakudani has a specialty food, the "Kuro Tamago" or black egg. Kuro Tamago is a boiled egg where the shell has a black color. Compared to normal boiled eggs, the egg is unique with the yolk being very rich and the egg having a faint aroma of sulfur. These eggs are cooked by taking raw eggs and first boiling them in 80℃ hot spring waters, then they are cooked with steam at 100℃. The reason the shell turns the black color is because the hydrogen sulfide and iron in the hot spring waters combine to create iron sulfide which sticks to the egg shells.
The Enmei Jizo Statue by the Hot Springs
The Enmei Jizo (Jizo statue of long life) sits in front of Owakudani's smoky grounds. It is said that over 1000 years ago, many would come to worship the statue to have their suffering relieved. Because of that, now it is also known as the "Jizo of Long Life for Raising Children." Also near by is the Shinsen-no-yu (hot springs of God), a hot spring that bubbles forth near by. It is believed that if you take the spring water and pour it over the Enmei Jizo statue, it'll give you its grace.
- Spot name：Enmei Jizo Statue
- Street address：1251 Sengokuhara Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0631
- Access：From Sounzan Station to Owakudani Station by rope way approx. 10 min.
Going from Hakone Yumoto Station to Owakudani
The closest station to Owakudani is the Owakudani Station on Hakone Ropeway. To get to Owakudani Station it is convenient to travel from Hakone Yumoto Station. From Hakone Yumoto Station take the Hakone Tozan Line to Goura Station. From there take the cable car to Sounzan Station, transfer to the Hakone Ropeway and ride to Owakudani Station. Travel time is about 1 hour.
- Spot name：Owakudani (Owakudani Station)
- Street address：1251 SengokuharaHakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0631
- Access：Hakone Cable Car Sounzan Station by ropeway about 10 min.
- Wi-Fi：Available（odakyu Free Wi-Fi）
- Credit cards：No credit cards accepted（at station：VISA, MasterCard, JCB）