Saturday, November 21, 2009

Part One: Hot Springs in Hakone

After arriving at Zama late Friday night, we had to wake up bright and early on Saturday morning to catch a tour bus for our trip to Hakone.

It was so worth it, and I'm sure everyone on our tour would agree, since there was a moment on the bus when everyone opened up their blurry eyes and exclaimed when we caught our first close up look of Mount Fuji.

At the first rest stop, Andrew and I took the opportunity to get a picture with Fuji behind us:

This was the stunning view of Fuji that awaited us once we arrived at the Hakone hot springs - I will never get tired of looking at this sight!

Another shot with Fuji behind us (and my Dad's finger!):
It's a holiday weekend for the Japanese as well, so the hot springs were crowded with tons of foreign and domestic tourists - as you can imagine, the air was filled with the scent of sulfur, which was pungent to say the least!
At the top of the short hike was a shop selling just kurotamago - you're about to find out what these are!
Here's a shot of the pools where they dip trays of kurotamago to cook them:

We bought a package of five eggs for 500 yen:

Kurotamago are fresh eggs that are boiled in the sulfur springs, which causes their shells to turn black:
The tables around the kurotamago shop were littered with pieces of egg shell, as everyone was busy cracking their eggs open:

Andrew demonstrates the proper technique for opening the egg:

As my Dad shows, the eggs were delicious (and a normal white on the inside) - fresh and very good with a sprinkle of salt on top. I can't remember the last time I had a boiled egg but I know it didn't taste as good as these:
Finally, the sign explaining why people flock to the Hakone hot springs to try kurotamago - eating one egg is supposed to add seven years to your life!
This was just our first stop on the trip, next came the ropeway and the pirate ship!

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