Along with nearby Lake Toya, Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉) is a great place for budget travelers who want to experience an onsen (hot spring). With lots of volcanic activity to see, plenty of walking and hiking routes and free hot springs, this place has to be seriously considered if you are coming to Hokkaido!
Budget travel tips
- Book hostels/hotels early, as the budget accommodation options are not as good as Lake Toya.
- All the places listed are very easy to find with the maps all around town (you can also get your own at the Visitors Center).
Things to do
All around town you will see a useful map with walking and light hiking routes, which conveniently take you around all the major spots of interest in the town. All the routes are easy, but you can combine them to make a longer or harder few hours of hiking.
Jigokudani (Hell Valley) (FREE)
The most popular spot in Noboribetsu, this hellish valley with steam blowing out from under the ground and hot spring water flowing about is a rather cool site.
Watch the hot spring water bubbling out of one of it’s main sources. Bring something to wipe your glasses, this place gets steamy!
Mount Miyori and Oyunuma (FREE)
Sulfurous lake approximately one km in circumference, with small mountain in the background. You used to be able to take a boat ride on it, but don’t get in, its 130°c at the bottom!
Oku no Yu (FREE)
Bubbling, boiling hot water mixes with grey mud to make a rather scary, but interesting pond.
Oyunuma Brook and Footbath (FREE)
A nice short walk through this lovely forest leads you to a free hot spring footbath. The water is lukewarm, so will suit anyone.
Sengen Park (FREE)
Right in the center of town, you can’t miss this noisy hot spring source. It sounds like a monster and kid and adults alike love to see how close they can get.
Dai-ichi Takimotokan (FREE)
Drinking a beer, while enjoying a hot spring with a view over Jigokudani….bliss. This hot spring is regarded as one of the best in Japan, with a huge collection of different baths and great facilities. Free if you stay at Takimoto Inn.
Price: 2000 yen (entering 9:00-16:00), 1500 yen (entering 16:00-18:00), Children half price
Open: Until 9 PM
How to get there
From Sapporo station, there is one direct bus at 2 PM (2 hours, 1900 yen). There are also more frequent buses to nearby Noboribetsu station.
From Hakodate, take the train to Noboribetsu station (2.5 hours, 6370 yen).
From Noboribetsu station, can take a local bus to Noboribetsu Onsen (340 yen).
Recommended hostels and cheap hotels
Nice budget hotel with reasonably spacious rooms. If you stay here entrance to Dai-ichi Takimotokan hot spring is free, just show your room key when entering. Check prices at Agoda.