Places to Visit

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NOBORIBETSU

Noboribetsu is perhaps best known for its various kinds of hot spring baths but there are also plenty of other things to make your trip to this lovely sea side town worth while.

NOBORIBETSU MAIN ATTRACTIONS



Cherry Blossoms Avenue

The Japanese love of the cherry blossom continues in Noboribetsu. Best vied in the early spring this street which joins JR Noboribetsu Station to Noboribetsu Hot Spring has been planted with approximately 1000 cherry trees. The coming of the cherry blossom is viewed as the beginning of the end to the long cold winters in Hokkaido. Cherry blossom parties are held almost all week even though it can still be quite cool at night. The cherry blossom season is short lived lasting only for one or two weeks. Top

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Daiichi Takimotokan

With one of Japan’s largest bath complexes and the oldest hotel in the Noboribetsu area Daiichi Takimotokan is a hot spring lovers delight. Firstestablished in 1858, the complex now has more than half a dozen modern buildings. Contained within these buildings are various mineral pools, waterfalls, walking pools, cold pools, steam room, and a swimming pool with slide. There are seven different kinds of mineral pools and outdoor and indoor pools.Top

AdmissionHotel Guests Free of Charge
Non-Hotel Guests – ¥2 000
Opening HoursHotel Guests Open 24hrs.
Non-Hotel Guests – 9 am to 5 pm Daily
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Contact0143 – 84 – 3322
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Jigokudani (Hell Valley)

Jigokudani or “Hell Valley”, is a large crater that was formed by Kuttara volcano about 200,000 years ago. It is 450 meters in diameter and is surrounded by red stone cliffs. Hot steam vents and sulfurous streams pour out from the sides of this red valley area giving it a very hell like appearance. This area is one of the major sources for the Noboribetsu hot springs. There are 11 types of springs and water temperatures can reach more than 100°C. The valley also has many hiking trails through it (and a road) and along one of these trails (also possible to drive to) is the sulfurous pond Oyunuma. There are also some smaller even hotter mud pools nearby. Top

AdmissionIf driving the parking areas for Hell Valley and Oyunuma Marsh cost ¥410. Keep your ticket as one ticket will get you entry to both parking areas.
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Getting ThereCatch the bus from Noboribetsu Station to the hot spring area. Then follow the hiking trails for about 2 min to Hell Valley and about 15 min. to Oyunuma Marsh or 10 min. by car.


Karl’s Hot Spring

Named after a similar style Czech Republic hot spring, the lesser known but equally well thought of Karl’s Spring is approximately 8km to the Northwest of Noboribetsu Hot Spring. Located 300 m above sea level and surrounding Mt. Orofure and Mt. Raiba, the spring area was designated a health spring in 1957. This area like much of Noboribetsu is densely forested and changes colors throughout the year. Top

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Getting ThereApproximately 20 min. by bus from Noboribetsu Hot Spring.


Lake Kuttara

Located between Noboribetsu City and Shiraoi Town, Lake Kuttara is abeautiful circular crater lake. The lake goes to a maximum depth of about 148 m and has a circumference of approximately 8.5 km. The lake has large, high banks and on this area a rest house with restaurant, take out stand and other facilities / amenities has been built. The lake has previously won an award as the clearest lake in Hokkaido as water is so clear and blue. This area with it’s natural beauty, peace and clean water serves as an excellent place for fishing, row boats and hiking from the spring to autumn months. Top

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Getting ThereApproximately 20 min. by bus / car from Noboribetsu Hot Spring


Mt. Hiyori

Located to the north of the Oyunuma Marsh area Mt. Hiyori stands some 377 m. above sea level. The mountain is volcanically active and large clouds ofwhite steam and vapor continually pour from its top. Fishermen used to forecast coming weather conditions based upon the amount and direction of this smoke. There is an observation area located across from the mountain on the small road to Oyunuma Marsh. This area gives a good view of the mountain and it is also possible to hear the whistle of the steam as it pours from the top of the mountain. Top

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Getting ThereThe observation area is located just above the Oyunuma Marsh.


Mt. Kuma

Mt. Kuma (“Bear Mountain”) offers one of the best views in the Noboribetsu region. From the top it is possible to see the Pacific Ocean over JR Noboribetsu Station to the south, Lake Kuttara and Mt. Tarumae to the east, Mt. Hiyorimi and Oyunuma to the north and Funka Bay and Mt. Komagatake to the west. Also known as Shihorei, and as the name suggests, on the mountaintop you will find the Noboribetsu Bear Park as well as a restaurant, a Genghis Kahn corner and Yukara-no-Sato (Noboribetsu Ainu Village). The Mountain top is accessed via ropeway from the Noboribetsu Hot spring area.Top

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Getting ThereApproximately 5 min. by ropeway from Noboribetsu Hot Spring.


Momijidani
New Noboribetsu Bridge

Located just before the hot spring resort area and home to the Kusurisambetsu River the valley drops to a depth of almost 500 meters. It is a popular place in the autumn when the valley is covered in a sea of various reds, golds, yellows and browns. Top

The new bridge spanning the Noboribetsu river is in an “Inverted-Lose-Type” of bridge with a length of 120m. The bridge offers a nice view across the river and down to the bottom of the valley and can be particularly nice in the autumn when the colored leaves are at their best. Top

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Noboribetsu Bear Park

Located at the top of Mt. Kuma or Shihorei is a fenced bear sanctuary where more than 140 bears roam freely. Acces to the bear park is via a 5 min. gondola ride to the top. There are various shows the bears perform and also other animal shows. You can buy bags of cookies to feed to the bears. They will usually wave to you if you give them a cookie or two. Hokkaido has many problems with bears and attacks on people are frequent especially in the spring and autumn months. As a result bears are thought of as being a pest and are often hunted and killed. The sanctuary at Mt. Kuma helps to change the perception of bears to the general public and works toward preservation of the species. There is also a small Ainu village and some relics from the area. Top

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Getting ThereApproximately 5 min. by ropeway from Noboribetsu Hot Spring.


Noboribetsu Date Historical Village

This unique leisure park is made up of various buildings preserved from the Edo period and state-of-the-art 3D theater technology. Fun for all the family buildings to explore include; the house of Masamune Date’s deputy (KojuroKatakura), the Date Village Theater, “Momiya” or the Sendai Brothel as well as many others. The 3D theater projects fantastic images accompanied by amazing acoustics. Other attractions in the park include; Yokai Bikkuri-goya (goblin surprise cottage) and Fort Ninja. Top

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Getting There10 min. walk from JR Noboribetsu Station or 5 min. by car from Doo Expressway Higashi Noboribetsu Exit.


Noboribetsu Hot Spring

This area is one of Hokkaido’s most popular and well known spa resort areas. The hot spring area boasts 11 different varieties of springs and is particularly well known for its large quantities of water and good spring quality. The hot spring area is located in the tree lined hill area behind Noboribetsu, 200m above sea level and approximately 7 km from JR Noboribetsu Station. It can be reached by car or local bus in about 15 minutes. Top

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Getting ThereFrom JR Noboribetsu Station take a local bus for about 13 to 15 min. headed form Noboribetsu Spa Resorts.


Noboribetsu Marine Park

This theme park is modeled after Egeskov Castle in Denmark and designed to project a Scandinavian and European image. The parks main attraction is amarine ecology hall which houses an array of sea life, all of which can be viewed through an underwater glass tunnel. There are various shows with performances by sea lions and dolphins and visitors can also watch the sea otter feeding time. There is also a theater and various restaurants serving Scandinavian food. Top

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Getting There5 min. by bus from JR Noboribetsu Station or 5 min. by car from Do-oh Expressway Higashi Noboribetsu IC


Orofure Pass

Located about halfway between lake Toya and Noboribetsu Hot Spring, Mt. Orofure is a dormant volcano which rises to a height of 1 231 m. above sea level. For the adventurous the climb up the mountain takes about one hour and 30 minutes, with the return journey being slightly quicker. Hikers will be rewarded with a beautiful view of lake Toya to the northwest at the top and on the climb up with various types of wild flowers, unusual cliffs and rock formations and other alpine plants. The best time to climb is in July when the weather is fair and the red azaleas are in full bloom. Top

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Oyunuma

Another great walk for those who are a little adventurous. Oyunuma is a hot-water marsh area located approximately 300 m. north of Jigokudani (Hell Valley). The marsh is about 1 km. in circumference and goes to a depth ofabout 25 m. The water contains a great deal of sulphur and has a surface temperature of about 50°C and reaches as much as 130°C in the depths. Top

AdmissionIf driving the parking areas for Hell Valley and Oyunuma Marsh cost ¥410. Keep your ticket as one ticket will get you entry to both parking areas.
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Getting ThereApproximately 15 min. walk or 5 min. drive from Noboribetsu Hot Spring


Shiraoi Ainu Museum (Porotokotan)

The Ainu are the native inhabitants of Hokkaido and there are a few museums in Hokkaido showing some of their lifestyle and goods. The Shiraoi Ainu Museum, also called Porotokotan, exhibits the Ainu culture and lifestyle in an outdoor reproduction of a small Ainu village and also various tools and other goods inside a museum. There are performances of traditional Ainu dances held at various times throughout the day. Top
Getting There:
From Noboribetsu, Shiraoi Town is five stations east by local train. A one way journey takes about 30 min. and costs ¥350. N.B. – There is only one train about every one to two hours. The museum is a 10-15 minute walk east from JR Shiraoi Station.

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