And we saved it till we got to our destination at Hakone Yumoto before we had our breakfast (9plus?). Why? Cause we were too shy to eat on the train! (which we later found out that we were actually allowed to... after seeing some Japanese eating.) Never mind, we learn something new everyday! And while savouring our breakfast at the bus stop waiting for the bus to Hakone-cho station, we learnt how to "undress" the onigiri properly! (note the numbers on the plastic wrappings). Ha. The Pancakes were quite amused. And yah. These train station food (also sold in supermarkets) are good. (3.75/5)
So after we settled in and walked around our ryokan, we decided to have lunch (2pm?) while waiting for the bus. And we saw some other tourists eating at this little ramen eatery inside the shop at Hakone-cho bus station. Well, it is a vending machine type of shop where you pay via the vending machine and pass the ticket to the おばあさん (auntie) and they will cook. It is bad by Japanese standards. Almost the same level as some of the bad ramen I had back in Singapore. When you go Japan, you at least expect something better or at least normal. The soup base was super salty and the ramen were slightly overcooked. (1/5) Simply not worth the JPY700 we paid for it. Which goes to prove that not all Japanese food outlets are good or at least normal.
And so we continue our journey, going through the ropeways, cable-car and bus rides of Hakone. And we reach... Owakudani! The place to view Mt Fuji... and to have black eggs! So we bought our black eggs, sold in a packet of fives for JPY1000.
The authentic paper bag that the eggs came in. As you can see from the photo, we went out of the shop and sat down on a bench, with Mt Fuji at a distance. What a view. But it was a tad too cold.
TADA! Behold the black egg! They are cooked in the volcanic waters in the region and the black colour is due to the minerals in the water. It is touted for longevity and ahem... potency.
And when peeled, it is just a normal hardboiled egg! Well, it did tasted of a hint of sulphur, other than that, it is just a hardboiled egg. A overcooked one, note the gray parts around the yolk. But with the promise of a longer life and whatever other benefits, we gamely gobbled down all five of the eggs (they were small, and expensive eggs) between the two of us, with the remaining onigiri that we had.
And... only at our second last egg did we find a packet of salt in the paper bag!!! I don't think its some volcanic salt or something with magical powers to add on to the already very potent eggs, but it did lift the taste of the eggs. (especially after you gobbled down 3 already). (3/5 without salt, 3.5/5 with salt).
So we continue on our journey, often distracted by the lure of food, but we held on, with the promise of a kaiseki (かいせき) dinner back at the ryokan.
But nothing could stop
An amazing array of flavours they carry. I think there were like 20 odd flavours if I am not wrong. Trust the Japanese to come up with all the artificial flavours which we so love. Ha.
We got the Japanese Sweet Potato (JPY 300) and my, was it good. And a very happy missus as you can see from the photo. We took a walk around the bus station (Hakone-cho) and the nearby residences while savouring the soft cone before we trotted back to the ryokan. (4/5)
Needless to say, the next entry will be on the kaiseki dinner we had. You will salivate reading that one.
Till then, I shall leave you with our snack view at Owakudani. Imagine having hot hardboiled eggs with splendid onigiri in the cold crisp air of Japan and looking at this.... magical.