A stop at Ōwakudani provides a chance to try the black eggs, boiled on site, with the shells turned a mottled black by to a chemical reaction with the sulphurous water. According to legend, each one you eat will add seven years to your life.

From Tōgendai sightseeing cruises cross Lake Ashinoko (the crater of the Hakone Volcano) in highly decorated Disneyland-style pirate ships pass the lakeside Hakone Jinja Shrine, with torii gates in the water, en route to Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi. A clear day will deliver views of Mount Fuji, but they’re not guaranteed. 

From there, a Hakone Tozan bus can deliver you back to Hakone-Yumoto or Odawara.

Other attractions in the area include:

•    Hakone Detached Palace, a summer palace for the Imperial Family, on the southern shores of Lake Ashinoko between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi, surrounded by a park with walking trails and views across Lake Ashinoko towards Mount Fuji.

•     Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands in the highlands of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park with numerous varieties of marsh and alpine plants and boardwalks through different types of marshland. The gardens are accessible by bus from Gora, the terminus of the Hakone Tozan Railway.

•     Hakone Open-Air Museum with a variety of sculptures and artwork in a parkland setting and a substantial collection of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics by Picasso

•     Pola Museum of Art with paintings, sculptures, ceramics and glassware by Japanese and European artists and rotating displays from the permanent collection which includes works by Cezanne, Monet, Picasso and Renoir.

•     Hakone Museum of Art in Gora with displays of Japanese ceramics from prehistoric times through the Edo Period, a moss garden and the Sekirakuen landscape garden (only open on weekends, national holidays and through November).

•     Hakone Komagatake Ropeway from Hakone-en on Lake Ashinoko to the summit of Mount Komagatake, where a mountaintop shrine (Mototsumiya) is an attraction. The ropeway's main claim to fame is the view it offers towards Mount Fuji and back towards the coast.

© Ian Hughes 2017