Noboribetsu Onsen Area
Noboribetsu is Hokkaido’s most famous and popular hot spring town. Located around 2 hours drive to the south of Sapporo, a visit to Noboribetsu avails lots of good accommodation options including large-sized hotels and smaller, more cosy guesthouses. Noboribetsu is best-known for its remarkable ‘Jigokudani’ or ‘Hell Valley’ – a dramatic expanse of volcanic steam vents and sulphurous water including Oyunuma, a beautiful but dangerous pond with a surface temperature of 50°C.
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Accommodation is relatively spread-out with the great concentration around the ropeway station and ‘Jigokudani’ vents. Most if not all hotels and guesthouses have their own in-house ‘onsen’ (hot springs) with high-end mid-range and budget options all available. Notable hotels include Noboribetsu Grand Hotel, Oyado Kiyomizuya and Hotel Mahoroba. A couple hotels in Noboribetsu allow day-visitors to use their baths – charging between JPY700 to JPY2000 for entry – though most are reserved for the exclusive use of overnight guests.