Highlights and access methods of Owakudani Valley (Kanagawa Prefecture)
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Owakudani is an active volcanic zone located in Hakone Town, Kanagawa Prefecture, and is very popular as a tourist destination. Here, you can see steam rising from the ground and feel the activity of the earth up close, along with a strong smell of sulfur. Also, the black eggs of Owakudani, which are boiled in underground hot springs and stained black by sulfur, are said to extend one's life by seven years when eaten. Owakudani can be easily accessed by the Hakone Ropeway, and you can visit while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
In this article, we will explain the attractions of Owakudani Valley in Kanagawa Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.
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Owakudani, situated in Kanagawa Prefecture, is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone, presenting a unique and enthralling sight for tourists visiting from overseas.
The primary attraction of Owakudani is the stunning lunar-like landscape sculpted by volcanic activity, with its steaming vents and bubbling pools. The entire valley is a testament to the power of the Earth, and the view of the rugged terrain contrasted against the beautiful backdrop of the surrounding mountains and Lake Ashi is simply breathtaking.
A visit to Owakudani offers a unique culinary experience too. One of the most famous local specialties is "Kuro-Tamago" or black egg, which is a regular egg boiled in the hot springs. The sulphur in the water turns the egg shells black and eating one is said to extend your life by seven years.
For those who appreciate a good view, taking the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani is a must. This aerial lift provides panoramic views of the Hakone mountains, the sparkling Lake Ashi, and, on clear days, the majestic Mount Fuji.
Owakudani is worth visiting all year round, but it's particularly stunning during autumn when the surrounding mountains are ablaze with fall colors, creating a dramatic contrast with the stark volcanic landscape.
The address of Owakudani Station is 1251-1 Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture. To get to Owakudani, take the Hakone Tozan Line from JR Odawara Station to Gora Station via Hakone Yumoto Station. Transfer from Gora Station to Hakone Cable Car to Sounzan Station. From Sounzan Station, change to the Hakone Ropeway and go to Owakudani Station.
Several notable attractions are located near Owakudani Valley:
Just a short distance from Owakudani, Lake Ashi is renowned for its hot springs, historical sites, and scenic views, especially the spectacular vista of Mount Fuji from Moto-Hakone.
Nestled in the woods near Lake Ashi, Hakone Shrine is a peaceful sanctuary that's famous for its iconic torii gate standing in the lake. Visitors come here for its serene atmosphere and to make wishes for good luck.
Hakone Open-Air Museum
This museum offers a unique art experience with over a thousand sculptures displayed in a sprawling outdoor setting, against the beautiful backdrop of Hakone's natural landscape. The museum also houses indoor exhibits featuring works from masters like Picasso.
Pola Museum of Art
The Pola Museum of Art combines nature and art, displaying a vast collection of Western art in a stunning glass building nestled amidst a lush forest. The museum is particularly admired for its impressionist paintings and Japanese ceramics.
Official site about Owakudani Valley :
Thank you for reading to the end.
( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )