Noboribetsu Hokkaido Japan is famous for its hot springs or Onsen. Noboribetsu also lays claim to the largest spa in Asia.
Noboribetsu actually comprises the nearby towns of Noboribetsu, Horobetsu and Washibetsu. However, for most visitors the main target is the hot spring village of Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉), 6 km inland from Noboribetsu itself. The vast majority of (Japanese) tourists are drawn to the 11 types of water found in the local hot springs. Water contains sulfur and iron.
Noboribetsu boasts a huge number of hot spring resorts in all shapes and sizes. The majority are within walking distance from the bus station. If staying overnight it is de rigeur to wander around town dressed in yukata.
Dai-Ichi Takimotokan Hotel
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|This famous hotel makes a creditable claim to being the largest spa in Asia. ¥2000 gets you one day's access to the 29 large baths, the largest of which is nearly 4,950m² in size. Open 24 hours.|
Noboribetsu Attractions (Other)
Hell Valley (地獄谷 Jigokudani). Sulphurous volcanic pits and
geysers. Included in the Japanese Minstry of Environment`s top 100 areas of
fragrance and scenery!
Bear Farm (クマ牧場 Kumabokujo). The small, crowded enclosures in which the bears are kept may be disturbing to Western visitors. The entry fee is also quite expensive - ¥2500, and there are only 3 cages of bears. Not recommended.
Marine Park (マリンパーク). Aquarium built like a Danish castle, with a small amusement park bolted on.
Getting to Noboribetsu
The nearest airport is Sapporo's New Chitose Airport, served by Donan Bus direct to Noboribetsu (¥1,170). You can also take a train directly from New Chitose Airport.
Noboribetsu is located on the JR Muroran Line between Oshamambe and Tomakomai.
Several limited express trains stop at Noboribetsu: The Hokuto and Super Hokuto, on runs between Hakodate and Sapporo, and the Suzuran, on runs between Sapporo and Higashi-Muroran.
From Sapporo, Noboribetsu can be reached by limited express in about one hour at a cost of ¥4160. The run from Hakodate to Noboribetsu is about 2 1/4 hours at a cost of ¥6500.
Noboribetsu is also served by overnight trains: The Cassiopeia and Hokutosei trains to and from Ueno Station in Tokyo, the Twilight Express to and from Kyoto and Osaka in Kansai, and the Hamanasu express to and from Aomori.
The main sights of Noboribetsu Onsen can be seen easily on foot. Sensible footware is highly advisable as this area gets a lot of snow. Some of the paths around Hell Valley can be impassable even in Spring.
(Article based on Wikitravel article by Wikitravel Episteme. Based on work by Jani Patokallio and Jose Ramos, Wikitravel user(s) StayDown! and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Article used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)