I haven't summarized my post about Hakone yet but next time, I will. For now, you can refer to my post about Hakone Shrine.
And well, if you are in Hakone, you should not miss this one place and have a taste of their black eggs!
About Black Eggs
Yes, there are black eggs in Japan!
And don't worry - they're the regular type of eggs!
These black eggs are called kuro-tamago (in kanji: 黒玉子 which means black eggs LOL it's the same). They are boiled eggs, but they are cooked differently.
Quick trivia about the kanji of たまご (read as tamago, in english: egg). There are 2 kanjis for writing tamago.
卵 - refers to eggs that hatches like offspring, be it chickens, fishes, humans, etc 玉子 - refers to eggs that are edible and cooked Few exceptions though, 卵 can be used for eggs not yet cooked like: - 生卵 [nama tamago] which means raw egg (we eat them here!) - 卵かけご飯 [tamago kake gohan] which is egg on top of rice with a little soy sauce Little complicated but you get the gist of it.
The eggs are boiled for 60 minutes at about 80 degrees celsius in hot spring water which contains sulfur and iron. Then, it is steamed at 100 degrees celsius for 15 minutes. After that, it's ready to be sold!
The process in cooking the egg produces its black egg shell. No artificial coloring or artists involved. Purely science.
I tried smelling it and well, it smells awful. Must be the sulfur. The taste isn't any different from normal boiled eggs we cook at home - still delicious. Unless you don't cook boiled egg well. 😏
One pack which contains 5 eggs is sold for 500 yen. That's alright, you can share it with your peers or you can take it home. Make sure to consume it within 2 days. The eggs sold on that day are actually made that day so it's really fresh.
Tip: There's a long line outside the shop where you can buy it, but inside the shop there's not a lot of people and you're buying the same eggs. Follow my advice and go buy it from inside the shop, including your souvenirs.
They said eating these black eggs will add 7 years to your life span. I don't know though if it's per egg but let's assume it is. Since I ate 4 eggs, does that mean 28 years have been added to my life span?! Viva, long life! Do note that there aren't studies to back up this claim but imagine if it's true. That's what the locals believe so let's leave it that way.
Don't worry, the egg beside me is not edible. 😂
Where To Find Them: Owakudani
Black eggs are found in Owakudani (大涌谷). Owakudani is an active volcanic zone. This area is the result of the eruption of Mount Hakone 3,000 years ago.
Owakudani is known as Jigokudani (地獄谷 translated as Valley of Hell) to the locals because well, just see the english translation. Steam is constantly up so you're reminded that it is indeed an active volcanic valley. There's a walking trail to get a closer look of the area but I think it needs an advance reservation. It must be so interesting not just to see the volcanic gases closer but also to see the egg boiling site.
On clear days, you can see Mount Fuji from here. It was cloudy when we came so no good views of Mount Fuji.
The area for guests are not really that wide but there are plenty of shops where you can buy food and drinks and souvenirs of course! As I have mentioned earlier, where you can buy the eggs, that's also a shop where you can buy souvenirs including sulfur soap, black facial wash, facial masks limited to this area, and of course food items specially made by the locals. There are a lot so prepare your wallet. Hehe
In the Owakudani station building, there's also a restaurant where you can have lunch. I got myself the Special Owakudani Katsu Curry (特製大涌谷カツカレー read as Tokusei Owakudani Katsu Kare) which is inspired by the place, with Onsen Tamago (温泉たまご) as topping. It's so delicious but I need more curry sauce. 😅 Don't ask about the price. It's not so cheap, but it's not so expensive either.
Getting To Owakudani
There's a road leading to Owakudani so you can use your car to go there. However, I think the road will always be congested so I won't recommend this route.
Easiest way to get there is to take the Hakone Ropeway (箱根ロープウェイ, read as Hakone Ropuwei). If you are coming from Togendai station (桃源台駅, read as Togendai-eki), you can take the cable car to go to Owakudani for a round trip fare of 2,250 yen. I didn’t check the time from Togendai to Owakudani but I think it’s around 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to get off on the first stop because that’s still Ubako station (姥子駅 read as Ubako-eki). The second and last stop is Owakudani.
Likewise you can get to Owakudani from Gora but I’m not so familiar with this route.
Be careful not to take the wrong ropeway. There’s another one going to Komagatake from Hakone-en.
Before, the boat cruise from Moto-Hakone will take you to Togendai but when we were there, they can only go up to Hakone-en.
We were there for around 1-2 hours enjoying the view and eating lunch. I forgot to mention I'm actually afraid of heights, so riding the ropeway is usually a scary experience for me. But the Hakone Ropeway's smooth ride and big cable car calmed me. Though I still keep holding on to something in case something happens. Hehe
Anyways it was a short tour to Owakudani but I enjoyed it!
The ropeway was also
scaryfun for me.
If you're in Hakone, don't forget to eat the black eggs at Owakudani!
It's nothing special but it's one unique experience.
And oh, it extends your life span too! 😅
If you have been to Hakone, please share your experience!
Or if you are more interested about Hakone or Japan in general, leave a comment below and let's talk about anything!
I'll be more than happy to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!
See you around! またね！
Next time, I'll be sharing our itinerary of this trip!
 Source: http://www.owakudani.com/kurotamago_dekiru
All photos are taken using my phone unless stated otherwise.