Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Meet Bears At Noboribetsu Onsen! Access, One-Day Hot Springs, And More
Written by Mayu
Noboribetsu Onsen is a hot spring area in Hokkaido. With nearly twenty accommodations to choose from, let's learn more about the hot springs, ninja village, and bear park that have made this a popular tourist destination.
What is Noboribetsu Onsen?
Noboribetsu Onsen is a hot spring area located in Noboribetsu city in Hokkaido. It has been a popular tourist spot for over 100 years and welcomes many guests with their 20 accommodations.
Around the hot springs, there are also theme parks such as the Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura where you can meet ninjas or the Noboribetsu Bear Park which entertains tourists year round. In addition to these sightseeing spots, there are seasonal events such as the Noboribetsu Hell Festival held every August in the Hell Valley.
In this article, we have collected information on how to get to Noboribetsu Onsen along with great one-day hot springs you can visit.
The Hot Springs in Noboribetsu
Noboribetsu Onsen is known for the various types of hot springs that can be found here. There are nine types of springs and the area is often referred to as a department store for hot springs. All have different qualities, but most of them are said to help treat skin problems and poor circulation.
Getting to Noboribetsu Onsen
Here, we will feature the ways to get to Noboribetsu Onsen from various areas. For more information on how to get to Hokkaido from Tokyo, please refer to Ways To Travel From Tokyo To Hokkaido! A Thorough Comparison.
From Sapporo Station to Noboribetsu Station
You can get to Noboribetsu Station from Sapporo Station by train or bus.
If you are traveling on an express bus, take the Express Muroran bound for Muroran Tourist Association and get off at Noboribetsu-eki dori. It takes around an hour and 50 minutes and costs 1850 yen.
From Sapporo Station, you can ride either the Limited Express Super Hokuto, Limited Express Hokuto, or Limited Express Suzuran bound for Hakodate and get off at Noboribetsu Station. It takes around an hour and 10 minutes and costs 3960 yen.
From Hakodate Station, take the Limited Express Super Hokuto or the Limited Express Hokuto bound for Sapporo and get off at Noboribetsu. It takes around two hours and 30 minutes and costs 6370 yen.
From Shin-Chitose Airport
When traveling to Noboribetsu Station from Shin-Chitose airport, using the express bus is very convenient. Get on the Donan Bus Express Hayabusa-go bound for Muroran and get off at Noboribetsu. It takes around an hour and costs 1200 yen.
From JR Noboribetsu Station
After arriving at Noboribetsu Station, get on the bus bound for Noboribetsu Onsen from the N1 bus stop and get off at the last stop. It takes around 15 minutes and costs 330 yen.
One-Day Hot Spring Spots in Noboribetsu Onsen
Let us introduce you some spots to bathe in Noboribetsu Onsen without having to stay the night.
This is a hot spring inn where you can bathe in seven types of hot springs all in one place. Inside the facility, you can bathe in fifteen types of baths along with a sauna, steam bath, and an open-air bath. This is a great one-day hot spring that will make you feel like you went on a bath tour.
Standard fee: 9:00-16:00 adult 2000 yen, child 1000 yen
Afternoon discount fee: 16:00-18:00 adult 1500 yen, child 750 yen (infants 3 years old and below are free) (with tax and bathing tax)
Address: Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 55
Website: Daiichi Takimotokan
This is a hot spring where you can enjoy two types of baths. One is a sulfur spring that is said to help skin problems and the other is an alum spring that is said to help eye problems. There are no open-air baths but you can relax in the jacuzzi and sauna instead.
Bathing fee: adult 420 yen, child 180 yen (with tax and bathing tax)
Address: Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 60
Website: Yumoto Sagiriyu (Japanese)
Oyunuma Natural Footbath
A perfect place to rest your feet after touring around in the Oyunuma Natural Foot bath. This is a natural foot bath made using the flow of the river mixed with the natural hot spring water.
Let your feet take a nice dip in the warm waters in this unique river in Japan.
Address: Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, Noboribetsu Onsen-cho
Recommended Inns in Noboribetsu Onsen
Here are a few recommended inns in Noboribetsu Onsen.
For those who wish to try different types of hot springs during their stay, Yumoto Noboribetsu is the perfect spot. There are four types of springs to select from. One with sodium chloride is said to help anemia and the spring with sulfur is said to ease neuralgia. Along with a large shared bath, you can indulge in the open-air bath or even the sauna as well.
There are three types of rooms ranging from a Japanese style with a tatami mat floor with a futon, a mixed Japanese-Western style with a bed on a tatami mat floor, or a Japanese-modern room with tables and chairs on a tatami-mat floor.
Address: Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 29
Website: Yumoto Noboribetsu (Japanese)
This is also an accommodation that has four types of hot springs. In addition to springs with sodium chloride and iron springs, many people enjoy the rooms with private open-air baths or indoor baths. Rooms come in Japanese-style or mixed Japanese-Western style.
There is also a wonderful Japanese garden in the hotel grounds which is lovely to see.
Address: Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 162
Website: Takinoya (Japanese)
This ryokan inn is known for its traditional kaiseki style dinner using seasonal ingredients. Unlike a hotel, you are able to savor your breakfast and dinner right in your room.
The sulfur springs in this inn allow you to warm up very quickly. In the large shared bath, you can also bathe in an open-air bath. Rooms come in either the Japanese-style, mixed Japanese-Western style or Western style.
Address: Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 134
Website: Kashotei Hanaya
Highlights of Noboribetsu Onsen
When visiting Noboribetsu, the tourist spots in the nearby areas are also a must-go.
Take a seven minute ropeway ride from the Noboribetsu Hot Springs village to the Noboribetsu Bear Farm. There, you can see bears that live in Hokkaido such as the Ussuri brown bear, Brown bear, and the Asian black bear. In the bear farm, there is an area called the human cage where large glass panels surround you. Once you enter, you can observe the bears up close as they come right up to see you!
In Hell Valley, located ten minutes on foot from Noboribetsu Hot Springs Village, the Noboribetsu Hell Festival is held on the last weekend of August every year.
The festival is based on the legend where the Enma Daio (*1) rises from Hell with his ogre companions and visits Noboribetsu Onsen. During this time, you can see a procession of ogres throughout the town.
Aside from this, there is the Noboribetsu Hot Spring Festival every February. Many young men gather and splash hot water at each other and heat up the town. It is highly recommended to visit Noboribetsu during these festivities to join in on the fun!
For more details on how to bathe in hot springs, please refer to What You Should Know About Bath Culture In Japan.
*1 Enma Daio: The king of Hell that is said to judge the dead in Hinduism and Buddhism. Also referred to as the Enma-o.
** Travel times and expenses are based on publicly available information and are current as of March 2017. They may be subject to change.