HakonePublished on January 10th, 2012.
I came home from Japan a little less than a week ago, and one of the things I did was going on a trip to Hakone with my girlfriend. The goal was, unsurprisingly, an onsen, but we arrived early so we could go to Owakudani (大涌谷), Hakone Shrine (箱根神社) and lake Ashinoko (芦ノ湖).
At Owakudani, which is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents (that make the place smell like poop) and hot springs, I tried my first Kuro-tamago (黒玉子, black egg). For ¥500 we got a bag of 5 black eggs with salt that we peeled and ate while enjoying the beautiful view. The black eggs taste just like normal eggs, but supposedly you’ll live 7 more years if you eat one!
There are many onsens in Hakone and I believe that’s the reason why most people like to go there. I’ve only been inside one but most of them seem to be very traditional and many of them offer quiet private baths, both inside and outside. At the onsen we stayed at, we got a traditional Japanese dinner served in our room while breakfast was served in a dining hall on the first floor. The (very important) beer could be bought in bottles by calling the staff, or in the vending machines!
I definitely recommend Hakone to everyone who’s visiting Japan, spend the night at an onsen and visit the famous tourist spots they have to offer and you’re bound to have a good time. I’d love to go again next time I’m in Japan, preferably in another season since the place isn’t very colorful around this time of the year.
Have you ever been to Hakone? What do you think of it?