Ōwakudani is a popular tourist spot that attests to the past volcanic activity of Hakone. Actually a crater on Mt. Kamiyama formed by the last volcanic eruption of Hakone around 3,000 years ago, Ōwakudani still actively emits a white “smoke” of sulfuric volcanic fumes. The desolate sight traces back to the time when the place was called “Grand Inferno,” which was later renamed when the Meiji Emperor and Empress visited Hakone in 1873 because people hesitated to invite the Emperor and Empress to a place with such a name. It almost seems a shame to have lost such an evocative name. Now, a tourist center has been established with souvenir stores and a restaurant/café. “Kuro-tamago” (black eggs) have gained popularity as a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs.
This recreational facility consists of 2 areas: the “Yunessun” play area for playing in the water in bathing suits and the “Forest spa” relaxing hot spring bathing area. “Yunessun” contains some unique baths, such as the “authentic coffee bath” and the “open-air wine bath,” as well as “Rodeo Mountain,” Hakone’s only water slider. There’s also “Doctor Fish’s footbath,” which provides a unique sensation, and the “floating bath.” All of these are to be enjoyed in bathing suits. “Forest spa” boasts a magnificent view of Hakone’s volcanic peaks from the open-air bath. The cypress bath and the ceramic bath made with Shigaraki pottery provide a Japanese traditional atmosphere. The facilities also include a lounge where visitors can lie down and take a rest, and a relaxation room offering spa treatments and massages. It is an all-weather recreational facility, for enjoyment and relaxation rain or shine!