Black Eggs of Owakudani
Ōwakudani, a place also known as “Great Boiling Valley”, is a valley of volcanic origin, the area around the crater formed during an eruption of the volcano Hakone 3000 years ago, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Most of the region is an active volcanic area with seething “hellish” sulfur springs, hot rivers and puddles, spewing steam and volcanic vapors of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide. The remarkable fact – persistent smell of rotten eggs! You may ask why eggs? Exactly they attract crowds of tourists!
Such a product as “Black eggs” or “Kuro-tamago” is a local delicacy! In fact, they are ordinary chicken eggs, hard-boiled in the natural puddles of hot water. Unaccustomed black color and peculiar smell of eggs are explained due to the sulfur in the water. Locals say that these eggs are very useful for health and can extend the life for seven years.
Such a magical action takes place on a hilltop. You can get there during an excursion (a kilometer long), or by Cableway of Hakone. You can enjoy this strange dish directly near the spring, where they are cooked and sold. There are small wooden tables, where visitors will be able to clean the blackened shell of eggs and try the delicacy with a specific taste of sulfur. But this is not the only place where they are sold. You can find them in many shops in the city. One small package contains six eggs, and costs 500 yen.
They say the eggs are delicious and it is very topical to have such a strange but interesting dish as a snack especially in cold weather. Warm eggs with salt in the open air! It’s a picnic! Japan will always find how to attract and, more importantly, to surprise tourists.
Sometimes the name Ōwakudani is translated as “great hell.” No wonder! Clouds of smoke and heat from the water… However, life here is quite humdrum. The eggs are ceaselessly cooked, cable car transports numerous tourists without a break into the valley, the water is boiling, the smoke is circling. On the hillside, there is a plant for the extraction and processing of sulfur, and no doubt it is expediently.
Many people come here for the miraculous eggs cooked in a geyser, but in fact, they are no different from the ordinary eggs boiled in a pan at home, but besides it you will surely love the surrounding scenery. On top of the hill you will delight magnificent views of the legendary Mount Fuji, located in the neighborhood, you will be able to visit local temples and just enjoy nature of Japan.