2014 Volume 123 Issue 3 Pages Cover03_1-Cover03_2
Owakudani is a well-known sightseeing spot in Hakone visited by many local and foreign tourists every day. With its constant fumarole activity, gushing hot springs, and decayed mountain surfaces, anyone visiting this area is immediately aware that Hakone is an active volcanic zone. Owakudani offers a good view of Mt. Fuji and the outer rims of volcanic craters such as Mt. Kintokiyama and Mt. Myojogatake. Owakudani is a geosite of Hakone Geopark today. It is possible to view flora, such as Iougoke (Cladonia vulcani Savicz), which is unique to fumarolic areas. However, it was once called the “land in hell” due to its rugged terrain and savage mountain scenery, and its volcanic gases and erosion are still controlled today.
The Hakone Geomuseum was opened at Owakudani in April 2014 as the central base of the geosite. It introduces the origins of the Hakone volcanic area, hot springs, and its unique fauna and flora using large screen panel displays and specimens.
(Photograph: Hakone Geopark Promotion Council; Explanation: Tomofumi AOYAMA and Toshio KIKUCHI)