Ōwakudani (meaning ‘Great Boiling Valley’), is a volcanic valley located Hakone. It’s a popular attraction where visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty and unique views. Well, provided the weather is clear and they don’t mind the smell anyway.

In addition to views of bubbling and steaming geothermal activity, there are several hiking and nature trails. They lead to viewpoints offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Ashinoko. If you’d like to learn about the geography of the area, visit the Hakone GeoMuseum. Entry is only ¥100, and there are English translations for a lot of the displays.

Also, while you’re here don’t forget to try a kuro tamago or black egg. Kuro tamago are regular chicken eggs boiled in Ōwakudani’s hot springs. The sulfurous water turns the egg shell black, and eating one is said to add 7 years to your life.

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Looks delicious, right? | Photo by Alex Ziminski

Ōwakudani is best accessed via the Hakone Ropeway Ōwakudani Station. We recommend buying the Hakone Free Pass (prices start at ¥6,100 for a 2-day pass). The Hakone Free Pass covers travel on the Hakone Rope Way, as well as other forms of transport and entry to various transport. It’s excellent value-for-money and is sure to make you trip to Hakone much smoother.