The Shikotsu-Toya National Park is home to the town of Noboribetsu. This town is well-known as the top tourist spot in the Hokkaido region for the hot springs. Another sector within the town is known as Hell Valley due to the availability of bubbling hot waters. Here are the 10 best things to do in Noboribetsu.
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10 Best Things to do In Noboribetsu | Japan
1. Checking out Demon Statues
The town is already famous for the demonic name, Hell Valley but, it is also famous for the original demons. These demon statues are spread across Noboribetsu and there are eleven distinct ones. Each demon has distinct meanings and functions. The locals use them as models of good luck in case of marriages, to gain prosperity, etc.
2. Visiting Kuttara-ko
Kuttara-ko is a well-renowned lookout point. You can visit the spot to take in the majestic view of Noboribetsu. There is a beautiful caldera lake at the location. If you are looking to pay a visit to Kuttara-ko, you have to travel through a picturesque mountain road.
Kuttara-ko is the perfect spot for a pleasant day trip. You can take a car-for-hire to head out.
3. Visiting the Noboribetsu Park Service Centre
You may visit the Noboribetsu Park Service Centre on your way to the greater Jigokudani region. The center consists of a magnificent wooden house which acts as a service center. You can learn more about the Hokkaido region by visiting this center. The staff can show you videos describing Hokkaido’s topology and geology.
When you take a hike through Jigokudani, you will come across some dioramas of the wildlife. To help you with hiking, there are custom boots on rent for the rainy season.
4. Tasting the Ramen
Ramen is a signature dish in this region. This list is incomplete without tasting the ramen. It is also called “Jigoku Dani noodles”. You can try the ramen anywhere in Noboridetsu however, the best ramen can be found at Aji no Daio.
They serve the dish with different degrees of heat. It is up to the customer to decide the spiciness on a scale of 1-10. If you are not used to eating spicy food, you need to start slowly as these noodles are quite spicy.
5. Shopping for Souvenirs
You cannot just return empty-handed from a town famous for demon folklore. There are so many shops full of demon statues and demon-related mementos that you will want to buy some. These shops also let visitors buy demon carvings among other conventional souvenirs. Some of these souvenirs include bath salts since the town is mostly famous for the baths and spas.
You can use the bath salts as you bathe at your own home. It will help you reminisce about your visit to Hokkaido.
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6. Try the Hot Springs
Perhaps the best activity out of the 10 best things to do in Noboribetsu is trying out the hot springs. They are commonly referred to as “onsen”. These hot springs are famous enough to pull in even the domestic visitors from across the country. Resorts have been constructed throughout the city near those onsens.
If you plan on visiting the hot springs, you need to try out the Dai-Ichi Takimotokan. It is among the biggest spas in all of Asia. You can visit the spa anytime you want to because they stay open for 24 hours.
7. Take part in the Demon Festival
The residents of Noboribetsu are very respectful of their demon culture. So, they organize many festivals to pay homage. The most notable one is the Noboribetsu Hell Festival, taking place in August of each year. There is a belief that the gates of Hell are opened during the Festival for Yamam, the King of Hell.
Yamam does not come alone as his demons arrive with him. In an attempt to counter these demons, the residents take to the streets with colorful parades and fireworks. The highlight of the night is communal dance competitions. You can also observe another festival that is held from June and lasts till August at the Demon’s Fire Footpath.
8. Visiting Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE
The Park is a complex that comprises of a huge aquarium. It also comprises of a model castle which is inspired by an actual castle from Denmark. The castle is home to a structure called the Crystal Tower. It is an actual water tank which stands at 8 meters.
You can observe more than 20,000 marine creatures inside the aquarium. Finally, there is an amusement park as well. So, this visit turns out to be a very enjoyable activity for many.
9. Meeting bears at the Bear Farm
Noboribetsu is home to a bear farm. As per the name, nearly 160 bears are living on this property. These enclosures act as a home for these bears but are not that spacious. However, the farm still attracts visitors from all over Noboribetsu and foreign tourists.
When you pay a visit to the farm, you can feed these animals. There is a cable car inside the farm that gives visitors a tour of the entire premise. Visitors can capture the picturesque view of the farm in the form of photos. It is an opportunity that you shouldn’t skip out on among the 10 best things to do in Noboribetsu.
10. Sightseeing on the Oyunuma River
Noboribetsu is blessed with the scenic view of the Oyunuma River. Oyunuma contains bubbles made of sulfur and enters the water. These bubbles heat the water to 130 degrees. Due to this heating process, the water appears to be green and grey.
The colors appear on the water depending on the weather conditions as well as the season. You will also have the chance to observe how volcanic activities have created such a natural sensation.
To conclude, a trip to Noboribetsu can be an experience of a lifetime. There is no shortage of activities to do and sights to see in this town. So, in this article, we have listed down the 10 best things to do in Noboribetsu.
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