HOME Hokkaido Noboribetsu / Lake Toya 5 great places in Noboribetsu Onsen within walking distance of your hotel!
5 great places in Noboribetsu Onsen within walking distance of your hotel!

5 great places in Noboribetsu Onsen within walking distance of your hotel!

Date published: 9 July 2018
Last updated: 20 September 2018

Noboribetsu Onsen is a well-known sightseeing spot in Hokkaido, with tourists from all over Japan and overseas coming to stay at the hotels here.

A bath in the hot springs is a must, but we’d also strongly recommend you visit some of the nearby sights, such as Noboribetsu Jigokudani. This is a great area for walks and for trekking. There are several scenic spots, as well as some great places for eating, within easy walking distance of your hotel.

Noboribetsu Jigokudani - experience the power of hot springs gushing out of volcanic craters!

Noboribetsu Jigokudani - experience the power of hot springs gushing out of volcanic craters!

Noboribetsu Jigokudani is a popular attraction for anyone visiting Noboribetsu Onsen.

An iconic photo spot, close by the hot spring town.

All around you’ll see the remains of craters created by eruptions from the Kuttara volcanoes. There are spouts and blowholes everywhere, with over 10,000 tons of water gushing out from different hot springs every day. This water is used to supply the hotels in the area, including those at Noboribetsu Onsen. The hot springs seethe with bubbles and foam. It's like a vision of hell. No wonder this place is called Noboribetsu Jigokudani (literally “Noboribetsu Hell Valley”).

Nothing grows here in this bowl-shaped valley. Just bare gray and red-brown rocks everywhere.

In the center of Jigokudani there’s a geyser known as Tessen Ike. You can go there on foot via a walkway from the Noboribetsu Jigokudani photo spot (about 10 minutes each way).

Let's take a look at the bottom of Hell Valley!

Tessen Ike is at the end of the walkway. From time to time hot water bubbles up in a frenzy. It’s like hell’s hot water kettle! There’s an observation rail round the pond so you can watch and wait for the waters to bubble up.

The waters bubble up violently in a show of power and force!

The water spouts up at irregular intervals. Sometimes it just takes a few minutes, but on other occasions you might wait 30 minutes without anything happening. It’s down to luck whether you see anything or not. If you see water bubbling up after only a couple of minutes, it’s your lucky day!

Hours: Open all the time (the observation area is lit till 11:00PM.)
Closed: Open daily
Access: 20 minutes by bus to Noboribetsu Onsen from JR Noboribetsu Station and then 10 minutes on foot from the bus stop; 15 minutes by car from Noboribetsu Higashi (East) IC on the Hokkaido Expressway.

Oyunuma – see a gurgling hot spring lake right in front of you!

Oyunuma – see a gurgling hot spring lake right in front of you!

There are other places nearby besides Noboribetsu Jigokudani where you can see gurgling hot springs. Oyunuma and Okunoyu, for example. The path forks as you walk along the Noboribetsu Jigokudan walkway, and it’s about 20-30 minutes’ walk along the mountain path. There’s a parking lot, so you can drive here from town if you’d rather not walk along the mountain path.

Oyunuma all in gray and black, and volcanic plumes at Hiyoriyama
Oyunuma is a hot spring lake with a 1km circumference

You can’t bathe here because the bubbling water’s too hot. It’s about 130 degrees as it spews out and the surface temperature is 40 to 50 degrees. Going in the water is strictly forbidden but there’s nothing to stop you enjoying the view!

The waters guzzling up from the bottom of the lake are full of sulfur.

There’s another hot spring lake bubbling away across the parking lot. It’s called Okunoyu.

The gray-black bubbling sulfurous spring waters of Okunoyu. The surface temperature is really hot - about 75 - 80 degrees!
Just stand on the observation deck and you’ll feel the heat and smell the sulfur wafting up straightaway!

Just like Noboribetsu Jigokudan, these two lakes are all that remain of craters created by the eruptions of the Kuttara volcanoes. Hot spring water bubbles up and is used to supply some of the local hotels around here. Seeing the source of these hot springs right in front of you is an amazing experience. It’s a place where you can really feel the power of the earth, and the strength and intensity of the energy in the ground beneath you.

Hours: Always open
Closed: Open daily (The parking lot is closed in winter, but you can still go and look at the hot springs).
Access: 20 minutes by bus to Noboribetsu Onsen from JR Noboribetsu Station and then 30 minutes on foot from the bus stop; 25 minutes by car from Noboribetsu Higashi (East) IC on the Hokkaido Expressway.

River Oyunuma Natural Footbath: Enjoy a footbath in a hot spring river!

River Oyunuma Natural Footbath: Enjoy a footbath in a hot spring river!
Bathe your feet in the flow of this hot spring river!

Oyunama and Okunoyu are both great to look at, but there’s a river nearby that you can actually dip your feet into. It’s not manmade: it’s a natural hot spring river flowing in completely natural surroundings.

Oyunumagawa tennen ashiyu (Oyunuma River Natural Footbath) is a warm river that flows up from Oyunuma and Okunoyu. The temperature drops to just the right temperature as the hot water flows downstream from the lake! This is a place where you can enjoy a truly natural forest footbath.

A natural hot spring river with the scent of sulfur hanging in the air. Dip your feet in the water. The temperature feels good! Keep your feet in the water and feel the warm glow spread through your body.

There’s a wooden deck along the bank of the river. Sit back and enjoy your footbath.

You should bring your own towel to dry your feet, since towels aren’t provided.
The river is in the forest with no parking lot, so you’ll have to walk here.

It’s about 10 to 20 minutes from Oyunuma.

There are other routes for getting back to town, so you don’t have to go back the way you came from Oyunuma. Depending on where you’re staying, you can get back within 10 to 20 minutes. If you like bathing in the middle of a forest, this is a great place for a natural footbath!

Hours: Flexible (No lighting; no nighttime use)
Closed: Open daily
Access: 20 minutes by bus from Noboribetsu Onsen Line from JR Noboribetsu Station, 30 minutes on foot from the bus stop "Noboribetsu Onsen", 15 minutes by car from Tacho Expressway / Noboribetsu East IC, 20 minutes walk from Noboribetsu Jigokudai parking lot

Enmado and Hakuraku shopping area: Watch out for the little devil statues standing guard!

Enmado and Hakuraku shopping area: Watch out for the little devil statues standing guard!
Enmado, a famous sight in Noboribetsu

On main street of the town, known as Hakuraku Dori Shoten Gai (Paradise Street shopping area), you’ll find the well-known sightseeing attraction, Enmado (Shrine of the King of Hell), along with restaurants, souvenir stores, convenience stores, drug stores, and even discount stores. It’s always crowded here, day and night.

Enmado is where the King of Hell, the symbolic ruler of Noboribetsu Jigoku, has his shrine. Enma is a karakuri ningyo (a traditional Japanese mechanical puppet). His face is usually quite calm and gentle, but when it’s “Judgement Time” in Hell, that’s when his expression changes!

He looks really frightening as he casts judgment on our sins. Lots of tourists come to watch to see Enma’s face change. As well as the King of Hell himself, you’ll find lots of other demon statues around the place, such as the yukijin, the guardians of the Noboribetsu hot springs.

Pray to this stone statue for good luck and prosperity for your business. You might strike it rich!
These statues can help your love life. Take a photo here if you want to give your love life a boost!
Pray for your wishes to come true. This statue has ema (wooden cards with prayers and wishes written on them) hung around it.
A statue for health and happiness in front of the public baths. You can come here for the day.
A demon at the geyser in Sengen Park. It blows every 3 hours or so.
Look at the steam and vapor clouds when the hot water bubbles up!

It’s fun to keep an eye out for these demons as you walk about the area, shopping and eating. Take your time and see what you can find!

Performance times = 10:00 AM; 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 8:00, 9:00 PM ※ Weather permitting
Closed: Open daily
Access: 15 minutes by bus to Noboribetsu Onsen from JR Noboribetsu Station and then 5 minutes on foot from the bus stop; 15 minutes by car from Noboribetsu Higashi (East) IC on the Hokkaido Expressway, with 3 minute walk from Noboribetsu Jigokudai parking lot.

Fresh seafood and local dishes at Onsen Ichiba

Fresh seafood and local dishes at Onsen Ichiba
Located next to Enmado in Gokuraku Dori shopping district.

Onsen Ichiba is a great place for lunch or a break after you’ve been out walking. It’s a very popular restaurant, and you may have to queue up if you come at lunchtime. If you’d prefer to avoid the lines, we suggest you come some time before or after midday.

You can try local dishes made with fresh seafood caught in the waters around Noboribetsu, along with various local specialties. There are large fish tanks lined up inside the restaurant, filled with shrimp, crabs, scallops and oysters and other kinds of seafood. The chefs take them out of the water and serve up delicious sashimi, sushi, grills and various other dishes. The fish is so fresh!
There are several types of sushi, and this is the most popular!

Ichii (No. 1) (3980 yen, tax included). 11 nigiri sushi pieces, including fresh tuna (chutoro - medium fatty and akami - lean) and fresh shellfish, including scallops and oysters.
The kaisendonburi (seafood rice bowl) is also really popular! 10-shoku maehama don (10-colored Maehama rice bowl) (2,160 yen tax included)
Funka Bay Hokkaido scallops (690 yen large, extra large 88 yen); Hokkaido oysters (Akkeshi, Senposhi) (380 yen each, 3 for 1080 yen).

If you prefer not to eat sashimi or sushi, why not try a grilled dish or one of the local specialties, such as Noboribetsu enma yakisoba?

Noboribetsu enma yakisoba (980 yen, including tax) is a specialty Noboribetsu dish that you can eat at some of the restaurants in town.

The yakisoba is made with Hokkaido wheat flour flat noodles, sesame flavored spicy sauce, and includes local ingredients from Noboribetsu Onsen. The seasonings and ingredients vary depending on the restaurant.
The yakisoba at Onsen ichiba features plump young shrimp and scallops, and chestnut octopus. Fresh chili pepper and yangnyeom (Korean seasoning) are added as secret ingredients, giving the dish an intense spicy umami that brings out the sweet thick flavors of the white sesame.

  • Hot spring market
    温泉市場
    • Address 〒059-0551 北海道登別市登別温泉町50/50 Noboribetsu-onsen-cho, Noboribetsu,Hokkaido 064-0805
    • Phone Number 0143-84-2560

    Hours: 11:30 AM - 9:00 PM (last orders 10:30PM); Shopping hours 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM.
    Closed: Open daily
    Access: 15 minutes by bus to Noboribetsu Onsen from JR Noboribetsu Station and then 5 minutes on foot from the bus stop; 15 minutes by car from Noboribetsu Higashi (East) IC on the Hokkaido Expressway, with 3 minute walk from Noboribetsu Jigokudai parking lot.

Noboribetsu Onsen is a great place for sightseeing, with plenty of places you can walk to from the town. Some of the paths round Oyunuma River Natural Footbath and Noboribetsu Jigokudan are a little tricky so make sure you wear something suitable for walking, like sneakers, rather than sandals or heels.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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