The 'Great Boiling Valley' was created 3000 years ago when Kami-yama erupted and collapsed, also forming Ashino-ko. Hydrogen sulphide steams from the yellow ground here (the yellow is crystallised sulphur) and the hot water is used to boil onsen tamago, eggs blackened in the sulphurous waters, which you can buy to eat from the tourist shops beside the ropeway station. On rare occasions Ōwakudani might be closed due to volcanic activity.

The one-hour Ōwakudani-Tōgendai Nature Trail has been mostly closed since 2015 due to the presence of toxic gases.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hakone attractions

1. Hakone Geomuseum

0.09 MILES

In the complex opposite the Ōwakudani ropeway station, this interactive natural history exhibit is a fun way to learn about the volcanic forces that…

2. Hakone Ropeway

0.31 MILES

The Hakone Ropeway is a 30-minute, 4km gondola ride, taking travellers to Tōgendai from Sōun-zan. It glides over the steaming crater of Ōwakudani, one of…

3. Pola Museum of Art

0.87 MILES

Showcasing the private collection of the late Suzuki Tsuneshi, son of the founder of the Pola Group (a cosmetics company), this impressive building…

4. Hakone Museum of Art

1.26 MILES

Sharing grounds with a lovely velvety moss garden and teahouse (¥700 matcha and sweet), this museum has a collection of Japanese pottery dating from as…

5. Okada Museum of Art

1.46 MILES

This mammoth museum showcases the dazzling Japanese, Chinese and Korean art treasures of industrialist Okada Kazuo. You could easily spend hours…

6. Hakone Open-Air Museum

1.71 MILES

Occupying a verdant swath of Hakone hillside is this unmissable art safari, leading visitors past a rich array of 19th- and 20th-century sculptures and…

7. Hakone-jinja

2.72 MILES

Hakone-jinja, established in the 8th century, is set in the woods above Ashi-no-ko, but its red torii (shrine gate) is right on the water – and very…

8. Ashi-no-ko

3.03 MILES

Cobalt-blue crater-lake Ashi-no-ko was created by an eruption of Hakone-yama nearly 3000 years ago. It's famous for the view of Mt Fuji, reflected on the…