Known as the ‘department store of the hot springs’, Noboribetsu (登別) is one of Japan’s best places to enjoy the onsen experience and some 10,000 tons of nine different kinds of hot water gushing out every day.
The first hot-spring business was started by Takimoto Kinzo in 1858 and developed into Hokkaido’s most famous onsen resort.
There is a tempting collection of smoking volcanoes, hot spring marshes, fantastic onsen baths and friendly theme parks around the ‘Hell Valley’.
Noboribetsu Onsen is a compact and there are short trails criss-crossing the valley. Most mid-range hotel baths are open for day use to the public for ¥900 to ¥2250.
Jigoku-dani (Hell Valley)
12min walk from Noboribetsu-onsen bus terminal
Meaning the ‘hell valley’, Jikoku-dani is Noboribetsu’s premier attraction, where sulfurous gases and water that spewing out from a 10-hectare old explosion crater. A 15-minute return boardwalk leads to a small geyser and it is lit up after dark until 9.30pm.
25min walk from Noboribetsu Park Service Center
From Noboribetsu Park Service Center, there are several short trails lead to the hot-water marsh of Oyu-numa (closed in winter) backed by the active volcano Hiyori-yama (377m). You can continue walk down to Oyunuma-gawa Brook Natural Footbath (24hr year-round), about 300m north of Ashiyu-iriguchi bus stop at the Sekisuitei, along the riverside trail.
2min walk from Noboribetsu-onsen bus terminal
Noboribetsu’s only public bathhouse, the Sagiri-yu offers 100% free-flowing surfer and alum springs. There are three onsen tubs, a jacuzzi, a cold bath and a sauna. If you want to soak all day long, purchase a one-day ticket, which includes a bathing and a tatami-mat resting room usage fees. Bring your towel and soap (available rentals).
Activities & Tours
Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE
4min walk from Noboribetsu Station
Dive into an idyllic underwater fantasy land at Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE. Jellyfish and rare species of fish welcome you to the castle (modeled after Denmark’s Egeskov Castle) under the sea in the aquarium. A free shuttle bus transfer is available from Noboribetsu Onsen.
Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura
3min by bus from Noboribetsu Station
Hokkaido’s only Edo period theme park, Date Jidaimura has reproduced samurai and merchant houses related to the Sendai clan (ruled by the Date family), the birthplace of Noboribetsu pioneers after the Meiji period. Friendly staffs performing exciting and humorous ninja action at the Kasumi house and an open-air stage (must-see!).
Noboribetsu Bear Park
5min walk from Noboribetsu-onsen bus terminal
The Bear Park is a zoo where about 70 Ezo brown bears live in a relaxed atmosphere. It is full of attractions, including a museum dedicated to brown bears, a recreation of an Ainu village, and an observatory overlooking Kuttara-ko, one of the clearest lakes in Japan.
5min walk from Noboribetsu-onsen bus terminal / 1min walk from Dai-ichi Takimoto-mae bus stop
One of Hokkaido’s grandest onsen hotels, Dai-ichi Takimotokan boasts 35 indoor and open-air baths filled with five different kinds of hot water. The indoor large tubs afford the stunning view over the Hell Valley. There is also a swimming pool with a kids pool, water slide and jacuzzi. Bring your own swimsuit (available for rent).
Noboribetsu Grand Hotel
1min walk from Noboribetsu-onsen bus terminal or Noboribetsu-onsen-chuo bus stop
This long-established onsen hotel serves up Japanese- and Western-style rooms that range to spacious. It is famous for its Roman dome-style indoor bath built in 1937, as well as garden baths and saunas facing the waterfalls. Emperors Showa and Heisei stayed here.
JR Noboribetsu Station (登別駅) is the gateway of Noboribetsu Onsen. There are lockers in the waiting room.
● From Sapporo: 1hr by the limited express Hokuto or Suzuran.
● From Toya: 40min by the limited express Hokuto.
● From Hakodate: 2.5hr by the limited express Hokuto.
There are also local train from Tomakomai (38min) and Muroran (35min).
Noboribetsu-onsen bus terminal is 7km north of Noboribetsu Station. All services are operated by Donan Bus.
Frequent buses run between JR Noboribetsu Station and Noboribetsu-onsen terminal (14min), with some going directly to Ashiyu-iriguchi (足湯入口) at the Sekisuitei, stopping at the main hotels and Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura (登別伊達時代村). Round trip bus tickets are sold at a ticket vending machine in the train station (except at night).
From Noboribetsu-onsen, there are buses to Tomakomai Station (1.5hr), Muroran Station (1hr 20min) and Karurusu (カルルス: 15min).
Noboribetsu City Tourism Exchange Center
Next to JR Noboribetsu Station, this new center is the best place for tourist information about the region. There are also souvenirs and left-luggage service. If you stay in Noboribetsu Onsen and explore around the town, deposit your luggage and it will be delivered to your inn.
Noboribetsu International Tourism & Convention Association
Next door to the Yumoto Sagiri-yu bathhouse. Accommodation, taxi and guided tour bookings. Left-luggage is available and staff speak several languages.
Noboribetsu-onsen bus terminal
登別溫泉 | 노보리베쓰 온천
Address：26 Noboribetsu-onsen-cho, Noboribetsu-shi, Hokkaido
Distance：7km from Noboribetsu Station