Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Hakone is best known for its therapeutic hot springs and gorgeous natural scenery. As you check off the list of top things to do in the picturesque town, you should take a look at some of the local specialties Hakone has to offer to visitors. Here are the top 10 unique souvenirs you should bring home as great travel memories from Hakone:
1. Black eggs from Owakudani hot springs
If you have been doing your research on things to do in Hakone, you would have heard of the famous Owakudani hot springs, which contain rich amounts of sulfur and iron. Check out the popular black egg (known as kuro tamago orくろたまご), a local specialty in Owakudani. Raw eggs are boiled in 80-degrees-Celsius (176-degrees-Fahrenheit) hot spring water for about an hour, then transferred to a steaming pot of 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes. Due to a chemical reaction with geothermal heat and volcanic gas, the egg shell turns black as it boils.
It is believed that eating kuro tamago blesses one with good luck, and will add seven years to one’s life. However, do not eat more than two and a half eggs, as it is believed to cause bad luck. Regardless of your beliefs, the kuro tamago is undoubtedly tasty and nutritious. It is surely a great energy booster during your travels too. Besides buying them at the souvenir shop in Owakudani hot springs, you can also buy them from one of the stores in Owakudani Station.
Kurotama Shop (黒玉子茶屋)
Address: 1251 Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: 500 JPY (5 USD) for 5 eggs in a pack
Contact: +81 460-84-9605
2. Yumochi - glutinous rice cake
Yumochi (湯もち) is a classic Hakone confectionery souvenir loved by many. Wrapped with bamboo leaves, the soft glutinous rice cake has a fragrant citron scent. The smooth texture of the yumochi is reminiscent of the beautiful silky soft skin after a good hot spring bath. Bring some back so as to keep memories of the unforgettable hot spring experience longer! Do note that the delicacy should be eaten within four days though.
Address: 690 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: 200 JPY (2 USD) for 1 piece)
Open: 9 am - 5 pm. Irregular holidays
Access: 5-minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Line
Contact: +81 460-85-5632
3. Onsen manju - steamed bun with azuki bean paste filling
As Hakone is one of the best hot spring (onsen) resort towns in Japan, it is only natural that many local delicacies revolve around the onsen theme. The onsen manju is a handmade soft bun filled with azuki / adzuki bean paste, and steamed with water from the onsen. This popular Japanese sweet can be found in many souvenir shops. For a taste of some of the best onsen manju in Hakone, get them from Round Shimamoto shop. You can even taste the fresh delight at the tea house on the second floor of the shop if you wish.
Round Shimamoto shop (丸嶋本店)
Address: 706 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: From 950 JPY (9.40 USD) for 1 small 10-piece box
Open: 8.30 am - 6 pm daily
Access: 2-minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Line
Contact: +81 460-85-5031
4. Hakone pudding
Placed in a lovely egg container, Hakone pudding is an adorable souvenir to buy as a gift for your family and friends back home. The pudding is made with high-quality local ingredients and has a rich eggy fragrance. Feel the silky smooth pudding glide down your throat as you savor the delish snack!
Hakone Cafe (箱根カフェ)
Address: 707 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: 330 JPY (3.30 USD)
Open: 8 am - 7 pm daily
Access: Within Hakone-Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Line
Contact: +81 460-85-8617
5. Pickled plum products
Besides the common Japanese sweets, you can find some sour pickled plum products to bring home from Hakone too. There is a wide range of plum products, such as the pickled plums that are great as appetizers to your lunch, the plum jam for your toasts, and so on. For those who can’t really take sour stuff, try the individually wrapped plum sweet, which is a refreshing mix of sweet and sour tastes. They are perfect as souvenirs for the workplace too.
Jiro Murakami shop (村上二郎商店)
Address: 702 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: From 190 JPY (1.90 USD) for a large piece of pickled plum
Open: 8 am - 5 pm daily
Access: 3-minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Line
Contact: +81 460-85-6171
6. Surimi dumplings - dumplings filled with fish paste
Craving something savory? You must give the famous surimi dumplings (すり身団子) a try! As Hakone is strategically located near the Odawara and Numazu seaports, there is an abundant supply of fresh seafood here. Stuffed with fine white fish paste and seasonal vegetables, the surimi dumplings are fried till golden brown with an irresistible aroma. Get yours at the popular Bamboo Ichi (竹いち) that prepares this delicious item fresh every day!
Bamboo Ichi (竹いち)
Address: 729 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: 1,300 JPY (12.80 USD) for 10 pieces
Open: 9 am - 6 pm daily
Access: 3-minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Line
Contact: +81 460-85-6556
7. Odawara dried fish
With the seaports of Odawara and Numazu nearby, you will be able to find various types of seafood produce in Hakone too. There is a well-known shop, established since the Edo Period, selling yummy Odawara dried fish. The thick-cut sun-dried fish are grilled over a charcoal fire at the free sampling counter. Grab a pack of aromatic dried fish if you love what you tried at the counter!
Yamazato Yumoto mountain village store (山里 湯本山里店)
Address: 692 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Open: 9 am - 5 pm daily. Closed during the New Year period
Access: 4-minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Line
Contact: +81 460-85-5805
8. Hakone tofu
In the Hagino Tofu shop, established since the Edo Period, the firm tofu is made from 5 am every morning, a tradition that has been preserved for a long time. Natural spring water from Mount Yusaka is used in the process of making these delicate tofu that are easy on the palate. Popular items include the Soy Milk Tofu, Sesame Tofu, and Soy Milk Almond Tofu.
Hagino Tofu (豆腐処 萩野)
Address: 607 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: Soy Milk Tofu 250 JPY (2.50 USD); Sesame Tofu and Soy Milk Almond Tofu 350 JPY (3.50 USD)
Open: 8 am - 6 pm daily. Closed on Wednesdays
Access: 6-minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Line
Contact: +81 460-85-5271
9. Kamaboko (boiled fish cake) in Hakone Tozan toy train
When you are in Hakone, you cannot miss the iconic Hakone Tozan Train. Being the oldest and only mountain railway still operating in Japan, a ride on the train is a special and unforgettable experience. If you can’t get enough of the nostalgic train, you will be glad to know that you can also bring a unique Hakone Tozan Train souvenir back! The signature kamaboko (palm-sized boiled fish cake) can be found in the toy train too. Kamaboko is a nutritious food rich in protein yet low in calories. Keep these beautiful trains as gifts after eating the tasty snack.
Address: 1-3-15, Sakae, Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: 900 JPY (9 USD) for a set of 3 trains
Open: 9 am - 7 pm daily
Access: JR Odakyu Odawara Station
Contact: +81 460-22-2223
10. Yosegi puzzle box
Besides delicious food souvenirs, there is also the Japanese traditional parquetry to check out when in Hakone. This traditional type of woodwork began in Hakone during the culturally rich Edo Period. The sectional surface is sliced into thin plates of wood, which are glued onto boxes and other handicraft works. The fine craftsmanship of the puzzle box is not just a beautiful piece of art, it is also a handy piece of souvenir storage for your small items.
Hakone Maruyama Bussan Main Branch (箱根丸山物産本店 寄木細工)
Address: 17 Hakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: from 500 yen (4.9 USD)
Open: 9 am - 5 pm daily
Access: 5 minutes walk from Hakone check point
Contact: +81 460-86-4220
Lovely souvenirs to end the trip on a sweet note
There is a wide range of great souvenirs you can take home to remember Hakone for, from items related to hot springs to fresh seafood, handicrafts, and even mementos from the mountain railway. Share the beautiful story behind each souvenir with your family and friends. Bring a smile to everyone, including yourself, with the lovely memories you made in Hakone!
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