Thursday, December 29, 2005

Chowing Down on Black Eggs in Hakone

So the Rollins siblings decided to hook up with the Hooper siblings (along with Meg's boyfriend Nick and his brother Mike) to check out Hakone. Rushing to meet up with everyone, I managed to get Scott and I on the wrong train. My attitude towards these things has always been "Whatever, it all will sort itself out..." and it seems to be working for me so far.

Fortunately for us, Haz, our new Japanese friend, guided us for the next 45 minutes to Yokahama. We discovered that Haz is the musical director for Muscle Musical. And yes, Scott and I did think this was strange, especially when he excitedly ripped open his jacket to show us the t-shirt with the Muscle Musical logo on it, but he was fascinating. The language barrier made it difficult to understand exactly what the muscial is about, and upon checking out the web site,, it appears to be a cracked-out Japanese version of Stomp... I think. They leave for Las Vegas in a month and may soon come to Toronto, or so we're told (the poster he gave me confirmed they are going to Las Vegas, but I see nothing about Toronto). Haz gave us his card and promised us seats when they arrive in Canada. Random. And we would never have met him if I didn't screw up the trains.

In Hakone, I was immediately struck by the stink of rotten eggs - sulfur. After a scary gondola ride, we arrived at the top of the mountain, which looked a lot like what I think Hell would like like - barren except rocks, dead trees, billowing clouds of steam and crows. Lots and lots of crows. So it was a little weird when Hooper bought us six black eggs to eat because black is the colour of rot or death, not of eggs. Admitedly I was a little hesitant about eating a black egg, but Hooper assured me that eating it was supposed to add seven years to my life. So I just ate my black egg and washed it down with a beer.

Following the crowds to the billowing steam further up the mountain, we passed a sign that read:

WARNING - A lot of injurious volcanic gas are drifting around this Owakudani train. Please don't stop and stay here long. Sulfurous acid gas has a strong stimulus against respiratory organs, and breathing this gas can be FATAL.

At this point, I began to wonder if this was such a good idea...

At the top of the hill, the smell of sulfur was overpowering. There were pools of sufurous liquid, billows of steam and hoards of Japanese mowing down on black eggs - just shoving these things into their faces like they were chocolate. There were tables and tables covered in mounds of black egg shells and other than us, everyone seemed to be acting like they were at a pic-nic, instead of surrounded by Hell and eating black eggs. It was bizarre. I loved it.

So here's to a longer at least seven years...


Post a Comment

<< Home