Flipping through my Photo file I came across pictures of Owakudani or the Great Boiling Valley in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Not exactly ‘roofs’ but views of the burning valley and sheds from the Hakone Ropeway.

DSCN3287Owakudani or Jigokudani is centered on a crater formed by the last eruption of Mount Hakone some 3000 years ago. It is still sizzling, scarred with clouds of steam bursting through the crevasses. The entire gorge, engulfed in acrid sulfur smell, makes for a risky walking venture, there is a walking trail from the Ropeway station into the valley dotted with steam vents and bubbling pools. Black eggs or Kuro-tamago cooked in the sulfuric hot waters and said to prolong one’s life by seven years, are  temptation amidst the burning sensations.

DSCN3290Access to Owakudani is via the Hakone Ropeway from either Sounzen Station or Togendai Station on the shore of the fabulously clear Lake Ashi. We took the Ropeway from Sounzen and stopped at Owakudani and then proceeded to Togendai. On a clear day one has a spectacular view of Mount Fuji and vagaries of nature… the still fiery autumn colors and then, next minute, the theatrical boiling Jigokudani.

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I had visited Owakudani in November 2010 courtesy JNTO, Japan