To find,where ever he goes, the sights of geological interest:
Here we are, in the mountains of Hakone National Park, at Owakudani – the ‘valley of great boiling’. The same geothermic activity that provides the hot water for the springs also makes for this landscape – the vapours behind us are sulphur emissions – and yes, it smells as lovely as you can imagine. The hills are streaked with yellow, as are the streams, and the trees are really struggling.
To get there we took a train from Hakone town – back and forth through a series of switchbacks and tunnels. Then we switched to what was called a cable car. That turned out to be a funnicular train. Up we went, where we transferred to what was called the rope car, or the Hakone Ropeway. That turned out to be – a cable car system! The smelly valley was at the top. Up there everyone was eating baked sweet potatoes and eggs that had been boiled in the sulphur water, turning them black. We met two ladies who were such fun:
They insisted that we try the sweet potato – which turned out to be yummy. Then when they heard that we hadn’t tried the famous eggs – well, you can guess what happened next……
The eggs turned out to be soft boiled. In the interest of international relations we both ate one, but it falls into the category of ‘interesting’ experiences that don’t need to be repeated!