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Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/13 18:41
Can young toddler go to Owakudani? I saw it is not recommended but I am wondering how bad it is since we are doing the Hakone Freepass round course and this is part of the trip.
by Clarie  

Re: Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/14 08:44
Why wouldn't a toddler be able to go? Anyway, it's currently closed https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5203.html
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/14 09:38
The main area still open near the shops and ropeway station would be fine for a toddler.

I saw babies last visit. You do get a slight sulphur smell. But unless one has known respiratory issues. There shouldn't be an issue.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/14 09:41
So you mean that when I disembark from the ropeway, i can only access to the shop where the black eggs are? There is nothing to do there?

I read that the valley is not suitable for babies due to strong sulphur smell. Hence was asking if it is fine to go since the smell may vary from time to time.
by Clarie rate this post as useful

Re: Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/14 10:04
You look at the sulfur vents and view, buy souvenirs, maybe visit the small museum. Not a lot to do, but unless you (or toddler) have allergies/respiratory issues, you should be fine.

On a busy day you'll spend much more time queuing for the gondola/ropeway than actually looking around.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/14 21:18
Interestingly, only the Japanese language version of their website warns you that those with heart or lung problems should avoid the area because of the gas. It doesn't say anything about toddlers.
http://www.owakudani.com/know_gas
http://www.pref.kanagawa.jp/docs/j8g/cnt/f532566/

So I suppose that if your toddler doesn't have any health problems including asthma, than a short visit would be fine. I often used to take my then three-year-old child to places with strong sulphur smell, and we never had a problem. The websites do, however, warn that whenever you start feeling sick, you should leave the area.

Meanwhile, Owakudani (and other similar places throughout Japan) is not a place "to do" things. You just go there and experience/witness the amazing nature. That's what's so impressing about it. I visited Owakudani a long time ago, and the tiny area was one of the most fascinating things I'd witnessed in the decades of traveling around the world (as a Japanese). And the eggs were so delicious that I couldn't just eat one!
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/15 13:07
@Uco - if you enjoyed Owakudani, you should visit Rotorua in New Zealand. They have big places with some amazing geothermal scenery. Probably because I'm used to the fumaroles and geothermal activity and what it can look like I find Owakudani interesting, but normally I enjoy the views north towards Tokyo more. And the local city of 60,000 people survive the sulfur.

As a footnote, if the volcanic gas levels do increase (which they can do at sort notice), they shout the area down and remove everyone. I had a trip last year where they did just that - arriving in Odawara everything was open and running, but within two hours and getting to Gora the ropeway was halted - took the bus around that part of the "loop" instead.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Young toddler at Owakudani 2018/11/16 16:11
Thanks, JapanCustomTours. I'll keep that in mind. I truly regret I didn't visit Yellowstone while in the U.S., but I also enjoyed the fact that in Owakudani everything is right there in a very small space, which made it very easy to enjoy in only several minutes. I hope others like it there too.
by Uco rate this post as useful

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