Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉) is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts bustling with international tourists. About 10,000 tons of mineral water gushing out every day from a volcanic valley and a muddy pond. The valleyside onsen town is small and walkable.
Population (Noboribetsu City) 46,000
Highlights Hiking Trails around Jigoku-dani, Yumoto Sagiri-yu
Tourist Information Noboribetsu International Tourism & Convention Association (登別国際観光コンベンション協会): Tel 0143-84-3311 / 60 Noboribetsu Onsen-cho / 9am-6pm / www.noboribetsu-spa.jp
01 HIKING & VOLCANIC LANDSCAPES
Hiking Trails Around Jigoku-dani (Hell Valley)
Meaning the ‘hell valley’, Jikoku-dani (地獄谷) is the highlight of Noboribetsu where spewing out sulfurous gases and mineral water from the 10-hectare old explosion crater.
From here, a number of nature trails (Closed in winter) lead to Oyu-numa (大湯沼) gray hot water pond at the foot of an active volcano Hiyori-yama (日和山).
The riverside trail connects with the brook natural foot bath of Oyunuma-gawa Tennen Ashi-yu (大湯沼川天然足湯: 24hrs / FREE) open throughout the year.
02 ONSEN EXPERIENCE
夢元さぎり湯 / 60 Noboribetsu Onsen-cho / 7am-9pm / ¥420 / sagiriyu-noboribetsu.com
Noboribetsu’s only but excellent public bath runs by the hot water supply company on the ground floorl. Bring your towel and soap (available rentals).
03 ONSEN EXPERIENCE
第一滝本館 / Day bathing 9am-9pm (reception closed by 6pm) / ¥2000, after 4pm ¥1500 / www.takimotokan.co.jp
This long-running hotel has a variety of large indoor and open-air baths plus seven different kinds of hot water. The main bathroom offers an impressive Jigoku-dani view.
NOBORIBETSU ONSEN MAP
BUS: Buses run to Noboribetsu Onsen terminal from Noboribetsu Station (14min / one-way ¥350 / return ¥640) and some services continue to Ashi-yu iriguchi (足湯入口) at the hotel Sekisuitei (stopping at the main hotels and Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura). There are also direct local buses from Muroran (80min) and Tomakomai (1.5hrs).
Donan Bus Onsen-go (おんせん号) runs from Sapporo Station departing at 2pm for Ashi-yu iriguchi via Noboribetsu Onsen Terminal. Highway buses also run to Ashi-yu iriguchi from New Chitose Airport (3 daily / 1hr) and Toyako Onsen Terminal (2 daily / 1hr).
CAR: Noboribetsu Onsen is about 5km northwest of Noboribetsu-higashi IC on the Hokkaido Expressway. Prefectural Road 2 connects Toya-ko with Noboribetsu Onsen via scenic Orofure Pass (オロフレ峠: Closed 5pm-5am in winter).
Noboribetsu Onsen has two car parks (common ticket is ¥500). Oyu-numa car park is closed in winter (late Nov-late Apr).