Black Eggs from ‘Big Hell’ Owakudani15

Posted on July 13, 2009 by ChristieTaste Tests, Travel Stories

black-egg-from-big-hell
[Black and chalky from cooking in a sulfurous hot spring]

On a day trip to Mt Fuji we were taken to the gorgeous volcanic Hakone mountains via cable car (sky gondala). We went to see the famous Owakudani Valley (literally, The Hell Valley); an ancient crater with sulfurous hot springs in which eggs are cooked. You can see steam rising from crevasses in the ground, hence why they call it ‘Big Hell’.

These eggs are believed to add 3 years to your life per egg eaten. We ate two each, even though the smell of the sulfur was extremely strong, and killed our appetite. We couldn’t really we pass up the opportunity to add 6 years to our lives!

hakone-peeling-black-egg
[Peeling it, praying for some weird and wonderful innards]

As we peeled them we excitedly imagined what they’d look like inside. Would they be green like century eggs? Or maybe some weird colour / texture we’d never even heard of before?

hakone-black-egg-inside
[Nope, just looks and tastes like a regular boiled egg inside]

Unfortunately not. They’re just regular boiled eggs with a black shell!

hakone-egg-packet
[You can only purchase the eggs in a packet of 5]

hakone-sulphor
[Hot sulfurous water - very stinky!]

hakone-mountain-view-big-hell
[Gorgeous blue sky and the fairly steep trek up to the eggs]

mt-fuji
[In the opposite direction the clouds are gathering - and Mt Fuji appears to float!]

We’d just come from Mt Fuji and got the most incredible view from this side. I love the way it appears to float on top of the clouds – no wonder it’s an object of worship. It’s very awe-inspiring.

Next stop was a pirate boat cruise on Lake Ashi and then we caught a bullet train back to Tokyo. It was a very fun and adventure filled day! I highly recommend Gray Line Tours as they were super professional, organised and entertaining.

Before the eggs we had lunch at Hakone Lake Hotel. That post is coming up soon.

Until next time, I heart Japan, Christie x

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Read more posts about my adventures in Japan:

Review: Issen Yoshoku, Kyoto
Review: Mister Donut, Akihabara Tokyo
Postcard from Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

  • Ju’eta

    When I saw your caption I was so sure you had century eggs!! I was going to write “Eeeeeeuuuuwwwww!!!” But they were not century eggs so no dramatic exclamations….But 3 years to your life per egg? Wow, that’s pretty good. Do you fee revitalised and buzzing?

  • http://www.lifeisafeast.com Natty

    Those would make the ultimate deviled eggs for a party, “Have one. Look at that! 1.5 years added to your life. I did that. You can thank me later.”

  • http://www.tummyrumble.net Reemski

    Oh, I remember going there, and the smell! It was so stinky!

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella

    Oh I remember the stinky sulfur when we went to see Mount Fuji (years and years ago)! We didn’t get to try the black eggs though! God I’d love to serve these at Halloween :P

  • http://www.foragingotaku.blogspot.com/ Forager

    Surpised you didn’t wolf down a few more eggs! And the smell is offensive isn’t it? Certainly understand the origin of the “rotten egg smell”

  • http://feedingmaybelle.blogspot.com Maybelles mom

    While i have been there I never braved the stinky eggs. hope you really enjoy those 6 extra years.

  • http://www.norecipes.com Marc @ NoRecipes

    I’ve been there! Looks kind of like something from another planet huh? If you’re ever back there, there are some amazing Ryokan in Hakone.

  • http://www.jackieconnelly.com/blog jackie connelly

    Whoa these are so bizarre. Sign me up for another 3 years!

    Your trip looks amazing so far!!

    ~ j

  • http://www.helengraves.co.uk Helen

    Wow. japan is my dream destination but obviously it’s a lot further away for me! Mount Fuji looks incredible. The eggs are surprising too – looks and tastes just like a normal boiled egg? So why do it then?

  • http://www.figandcherry.com Christie

    @Ju’eta – Yep, I’m on top of the world. Feel so young! ;)
    @Natty – Exactly! If only they were transportable…
    @Reemski – It wreaks doesn’t it? But the eggs are yummy.
    @Lorraine – Oh your famous Halloween parties. They’d be perfect.
    @Forager – There’s only so many eggs a girl can (and should) eat! :)
    @Maybelles Mom – Thanks, me too ;)
    @Marc – Thanks for the tip. We definitely want to go back to Japan.
    @Jackie – It’s going pretty well. Stay tuned :P
    @Helen – You should definitely go. Japan is the most amazing country I’ve ever been to. The eggs? Novelty value? And the Japanese actually believe they add years to your life… probably a good reason to eat them!

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  • http://www.worldfoodieguide.com Helen Yuet Ling Pang

    I’m also going to Hakone in November, so your photos have made me look forward to the day trip even more. Shame about the eggs, I was expecting something more spectacular. I’m looking forward to my onsen tamago at the ryokan I’ve booked near Jigokudani snow monkey park. The eggs are steamed in the hot spring water of the ryokan!

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  • Tomasz

    black eggs are wonderful!!!
    Japan is very interesting.
    Asia country are very nice.
    Regards from Poland!

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