2016 Hokkaido Winter Holiday - Day 7 in Noboribetsu

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Getting here and around

We took direct bus from Lake Toya Donan bus terminal to Noboribetsu. It's a highway bus and took only 1.5 hour to reach Noboribetsu. Alternatively, you can also take Donan bus in front of Noboribetsu station to Noboribetsu.

Noborobetsu is one of the top onsen resort in Japan. It's very commercialized due to its popularity. I choose to stay in onsen ryokan Takinoya instead of onsen hotel like Daiichi Takimotokan and Noboribetsu Grand Hotel. 

What to see in Noboribetsu Onsen

Jigokudani aka Hell Valley, is a valley formed in an explosion crater from an eruption of Mount Kuttara. It was given the name of Hell Valley because of its countless geysers and bubbling springs. Natural spring water is piped to many hotels and ryokans in this area. 

This is by far my most favorite attraction in Hokkaido. 

Tessen-ike is a steaming geyser located at the end of the Jigokudani walkway. Sulfur smell all over the valley but it's bearable. 

I enjoy the scenery here and I love hiking here. Wear a pair of good hiking shoes, road can be icy and slippery during winter. It's not difficult to navigate, you can always refer to the display map at every junction. Also, keep a look out for lookout points for photography. Each lookout point has different awesome view. 

After a stroll at Gokuraku Street 登别温泉街 (pretty nice street, many eateries and shops there), I went back Hell Valley again at 3pm to capture photo of  Hell Valley at dusk. The light at dawn and dusk is magical. 

Further down from Hell valley is the Oyunuma natural foot bath.

This natural foot bath is a great place to take a break after a long walk in the forest. No entrance fee, just come here, sit down and relax on rustic chairs and benches made of logs

The walk from Jigokudani to foot bath is spectacular.

Noboribetsu is a small town with lots of onsen hotels around. The room we booked in Takinoya was not cheap (JPY 80,000 per night for 2 including dinner and breakfast), so we decided to spend as much time possible in the room to fully enjoy the facility. We went back to ryokan after our visit to Hell Valley.

In room private onsen.

Private balcony.

Huge room, it's as big as a smaller version of 3-bedroom HDB in Singapore.

Here is my Hokkaido trip video 

Interested to visit Hokkaido? Check out my itinerary and click here to read day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7day 8day 9 trip reportTop 10 food must not miss in Hokkaido.

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  1. Hi There. I would like to check on both Ryokan that you stayed in Hokkaido. Which is better. Love your blog and I'm gonna follow your itnerary

    1. Hi Jess, both are equally good. Takinoya is more luxury than Kourakuen, so takinoya room rate is also more expensive than kourakuen. Dinner and breakfast were served in room at takinoya but for kourakuen, only dinner was served in room. Hope these help.

  2. Hi, I will like to know from Takinoya walk to Jigokudani, how long it take, is it far?

    1. Hi Steven, not far, probably just 15-20 minutes walk.

    2. Thank you for replying!
      I see that you also went to Oyunuma natural foot bath. It looks far after checking google map.. Did you too visit the Oyunuma Pond?

    3. Foot bath and oyunuma pond are part of the hell valley. You will pass by a lot of different attractions along the way. We spent a few hours walking around the around, it’s pretty interesting if you like nature.

    4. Thank you! I am still figuring out time allocated for the Private Onsen, Public Onsen & visiting the valley. We will reach there close to 3pm, time is kinda tight and we are only staying there for a night.
      I will like to know the time for breakfast at Takinoya. Any time slot?
      I understand for dinner, there is 5.30, 6 and 6.30pm.

    5. I can’t remember what time was the breakfast served. Private bath I assume you are referring to the private onset in your own room, you can have it anytime you want even midnight, haha. Note that not all the in room hot bath in takinoya is natural spring water, you gotta look out for the word 泉水

    6. Thank you for replying! I do hope to have an enjoyable trip!