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Japan Travel Guide - Tourist Information - Hot Springs - Dogo Onsen
att. Hot Springs - Noboribetsu Onsen
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Noboribetsu Onsen
att.JAPAN Issue 40, May 2008

Noboribetsu Onsen

noboribetsu mapnoboribetsu onsenHokkaido is blessed with a number of onsen hot springs and one of the most famous places for onsen in Japan. Noboribetsu onsen is a representative of hot springs in Hokkaido and always ranks high in many popularity rankings of onsen in Japan,. Surrounded by mountains, there are many hotels and ryokan. 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 onsen as early as in the 19th century. Since then, it has prospered as a spa for medical purposes and also for amusement.  

Jigokudani, literally meaning a hell valley, at the back of the spa town is an explosion crater of volcanic mountain Kuttara. With gushing hot water, a cloud of steam and volcanic gas, the area is full of intense smell of sulfur. Landscapes with bare mountain surfaces are just like Hell. About two thirds amount of water used in Noboribetu onsen town is flumed from Jigokudani. Depending on sources, quality and temperature of water is different.

A hot spring resort with a variety of water quality is rare in the world and Noboribotsu onsen is called “a department store of onsen.” There are sulfur springs, salt springs, alum springs, to name just a few. Each water has various effects, for example, for heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic arthritis, dermatitis, bruise, female disorders, neuralgia, low back pain, skin care and others.

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.

How to bathe in an Onsen

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