Noboribetsu Area

Hokkaido, Hokkaido

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, Karurusu, kaminoboritbetsu 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 hot spring 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 sulfer, 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 Mt. Shihorei, from which you can view Lake Kuttara, 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 New Chitose Airport.
From Osaka:
[Air] 2h from Itami, or 2h 15 min from Kansai International Airport to New Chitose Airport.
50 min from New Chitose Airport to Noboribetsu Station by JR Muroran Line (Limited Express), and 13 min from Noboribetsu Station to the hot spring area by bus.

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