hakone, japan

As part of my tour in Japan, we paid a visit to Hakone, just outside of Tokyo. We arrived at a dormant volcano where hydrogen sulfide and sulfulous acid gas steam out of the ground. While seeing this natural phenomenon is pretty interesting by the itself, the real reason why we came to the volcano was to eat some black eggs.

You see, the world famous black eggs — Kuro Tamago — from Hakone come with very special properties. The people cook regular chicken eggs in the volcanic groundwater, which happens to be a murky gray color. After cooking the eggs in this boiling hot water, the eggshell turns very dark black color. To my knowledge, these eggs don’t become poisonous from the sulfur. Instead, they have regenerative properties that add years to the lives of those who eat them.

According to the sign near where they sell these eggs:

If you eat one egg, you will increase your longevity by 7 years.
If you eat two egg, you will increase your longevity by 14 years.

I didn’t pluralize “egg” in the second statement, because that’s exactly how the sign reads. You’ll notice that there is no mention of what happens when you eat three eggs… I comment on this briefly in the video below.

kuro tamago (black egg) from hakone, japan

Interestingly, the Hakone Kuro Tamago don’t stay black forever. After a couple of days, the shell turns yellow. The inside looks just like a regular hard-boiled egg, so I’m thinking that this is little more than one big tourist trap. And we fell right into it.

The eggs are sold a half-dozen at a time (you can’t buy just one) for 500 Yen. That works out to about $4.50 Canadian, or about 75 cents per egg. That’s not crazy expensive, so it’s totally worth it if I end up living 14 years longer as a result.

If you ever have a chance to visit Tokyo, it might be worth your while to drive out to Hakone to sample their Kuro Tamago. Not eating the black eggs is like coming to Vancouver and not eating some salmon. And maple syrup. And maple salmon.