Plumes of volcanic gas and hot springs are huge attractions. Broadleaf trees sway boldly in Noboribetsu Primeval Forest.
Noboribetsu in southwestern Hokkaido is the location of the Noboribetsu-onsen, Karurusu-onsen, Shin-Noboritbetsu-onsen hot springs, and has a rich variety of scenery including forests, lakes and marshes. It has been designated a part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
The Noboribetsu-onsen is one of Hokkaido's best-known hot springs, and is surrounded by a virgin forest 200 meters above sea level. It has 9 different kinds of water, containing minerals such as hydrogen sulfide, salt, and iron. The quality of these minerals results in the spa being ranked among the world's most exceptional hot springs.
In the northeastern part of the hot spring grow many sorts of broad-leafed trees, including oaks, and a bamboo grass called 'kuma-zasa.' The area is called Noboribetsu Primeval Forest, and has been designated as a natural monument. To the east is Shihorei-Peak , from which you can view Lake Kuttara-ko, with its clear water said to be the second most transparent in Japan.
The most impressive scene at the hot spring is the Jigoku Valley (hell valley), where yellowy gray volcanic gas seeps from the surface of the rocks. This makes the whole place smell strongly of sulfur, and gives it an image like that of hell. The valley is a 450-meter-diameter mouth of a volcano, which produces 3,000 liters of hot water per minute.
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 30 min from Haneda to Shin-Chitose Airport.
From Osaka :
[Air] 2h 10 min from Itami, or 1h 55 min from Kansai International Airport to Shin-Chitose Airport.
50 min from Shin-Chitose Airport to Noboribetsu Station by JR Muroran Line (special express), and 13 min from Noboribetsu Station to the hot spring area by bus.