On Wednesday, Katie and I decided to take a trip to Hakone. We left our houses at 7:00am and met at Zushi Station at 7:30am. From Zushi we took two more trains to finally arrive at Odawara Station. Here was the first part of our route.
Once we arrived in Odawara Station, we purchased a two day pass called the “Hakone Freepass”. For ¥4000 ($40.00), the Hakone Freepass would allow us to ride the Hakone Tozan Train, the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, the Hakone Ropeway, the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, and the Hakone Tozan Bus. Basically, we made a HUGE loop around Hakone. Here is the map we used.
We started on the far right and worked our way counterclockwise around Hakone until arriving back at Odawara.
Our main objective was to use this trip as a reconnaissance trip to see what we would like to do with our families and future visitors. Also, we really wanted to see fall foliage. We accomplished both!
Here is our first Hakone train, the Hakone Tozan Train. It was crowded! I mean it’s Wednesday!! This train had several switchbacks as it went up the mountain! It was weird to go in one direction and then all the sudden go in reverse!
We made a brief stop in Gora before getting on the Hakone Tozan Cable Car. Already, we were leaf crazy!
We continued up the mountain from Gora on the Cable Car. It was not quite as crowded.
The Cable Car took us to Souzan. At Souzan, we took a moment to savor the view.
After a brief stop, we took the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani. The views of foliage from the Ropeway were spectacular! Can you see the shadow of our Ropeway Car?
As we boarded the Ropeway, we were given damp towels to use in case the Sulfur smell was too strong.
As we came over the mountain on the Ropeway, the Sulfur mines were visible. The steam is being released from the Earth because of the thermal vents associated with the volcanic valley. Wow!!
After we exited the Ropeway, we had an opportunity to walk around and look at the Sulfur mines from above. The steam rising was so cool. The science teacher in me was completely geeking out. Poor, Katie. She was a sport to put up with my giddiness!
Here was a fun surprise that I wasn’t expecting. I had heard about the “famous black eggs” of Hakone, but I didn’t understand exactly what they were.
The eggs were sold for ¥500 for 5 eggs. I bought a sack of eggs for us to share.
From my research I learned, the eggs are boiled in hot sulfur springs. The Sulfur causes the egg shells to turn black. The black eggs are called Owakudani “Kuro-Tamago” by locals. Legend goes that eating the eggs will add 5-7 years to your life.
The eggs appear to be from out of this world, but they tasted like a normal hard boiled egg or tamago. I took a picture of my half eaten Kuro-tamago with the cute egg seat! Kawaii!
As we finished our egg snack, we couldn’t believe our eyes! For a brief moment, Mt. Fuji was visible!!
Our next leg of the journey was the second part of the Hakone Ropeway. We took the Ropeway down to Togendai-Lo where we would board the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise. The ride down the Ropeway was beautiful.
I hate to leave you hanging on the Ropeway… but, this post has potential to gone on and on. I’ll tell you the rest of the story tomorrow. Stay tuned for Hakone Fall Foliage Part Two tomorrow!