Noboribetsu Hot Spring

Noboribetsu Hot Spring

Travel Guide

Noboribetsu Hot Spring is Hokkaido's most famous and one of Japan's best hot spring resort. It has 11 different kinds of water, containing minerals such as hydrogen sulfide, salt, and iron, so it is called “a department store of hot springs”. The quality of these minerals results in the spa being ranked among the world's most exceptional hot springs. Noboribetsu is part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

Noboribetsu Hot Spring is used for medical treatment of illness and injury from the ancient times, and many people are visiting Noboribetsu Hot Spring in recent years for refreshment of mind and body, or the production of positive health.

Okuraku-dori Shopping Street is the main street in Noboribetsu Hot Spring. You can find many souvenir shops in the street. Most of the hotels and information center are situated in the street.

At the center of the hot spring resorts, there is a valley called Jigoku-dani or ‘Hell Valley’, which is a popular sightseeing spot. Ten thousand years ago this valley was created after an eruption of the still active Mt.Kasayama. Today, boiling water, steam and yellowy gray volcanic gas blow out from many spots along the red valley’s 12 hectare area. To Japanese, the boiling water and the distinctive smell of sulfur give an image of the Buddhist Hell.

Other than Gokuraku-dori Shopping Street and Jigoku-dani, there are many attractions in the hot spring resorts. In the northeastern part of the hot spring grow many sorts of broad-leafed trees, including oaks, and a bamboo grass called 'kuma-zasa.' The area is called Noboribetsu Primeval Forest, and has been designated as a natural monument. To the east is Shihorei-Peak, from which you can view Lake Kuttarako, with its clear water said to be the second most transparent in Japan. There are Noboribetsu Bear Park, which is the largest bear parks in the world with some 120 brown bears, theme park Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura and other attractive places are nearby. Marine Park is an aquarium built like a Danish castle, with a small amusement park bolted on.

The word Noboribetsu derives from the language of Ainu, who is a native in Hokkaido, meaning “a white murky river or a dark river,” which indicates that affluent hot springs have gushed since a long time ago to the extent the color of the river changes. Some document already wrote that an inn was built in Noboribetsu Hot Spring as early as in the 19th century. Since then, it has prospered as a spa for medical purposes and also for amusement.

The history of Noboribetsu is long and interesting. It all began in 1845 when Takeshiro Matsuura, one of the first pioneers of Hokkaido wilderness, visited the area and recorded his fascination with the amount and variety of its hot springs. In 1857 the Omi merchant Okada Hanbe opened up a road into the area which led to the building of the first hot spring hotel by Takimoto Kanezou. The area has continued to grow since then and now is a thriving hot spring tourist area.

The whole view Night view Enmado Temple

Travel Advice


In the shopping street, there is a temple called “Enmado Temple” which is not far from Daichitakimoto Hotel. In the temple is a statue of Enma (the Judge who decides who can get to the heaven) with kindly face. When the show “Judgement of the Hell” starts, the face of Enma turns to scary looking, waving hands to scare the audience. The show time is about 2 minutes and will be held 5 to 6 times a day.

The time table for Judgement of the Hell
Summer: 10:00 / 13:00 / 15:00 / 17:00 / 20:00 / 21:00
Winter: 10:00 / 13:00 / 15:00 / 17:00 / 20:00

Autumn Leaves

Noboribetsu Hot Spring is a spot to see autumn leaves. Please see Autum Leaves in Noboribetsu Hot Spring.


Events in 2020
Noboribetsu Hot Spring Festival Traditional dance “Yukijin Kagura” will be performed by red and green demons. Young people with traditional clothes splashing hot springs to each other is one of the highlight too. Feb 3(Mon) and 4(Tue)


Address Noboribetsu Onsen-cho, Noboribetsu-shi, Hokkaido
Phone 0143-84-3311 (Noboribetsu Tourist Assosiation)
Admission Free  
Hours Free time  
Closed Open 7 Days a Week
Duration 1 hour
Getting There By Train
15 minutes ride by Donan Bus bound for Noboribetsu Hot Spring from JR Noboribetsu Station to the Noboribetsu Hot Spring Bus Terminal, then walk approximately 1 minute.

By Car
Take Hokkaido Expressway to Noboribetsu-higashi exit and take Hokkaido Highway route 2, and 350. It is approximately 6 kilometers from exit.
Parking Parking available

Attractions in Japan