Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 6, Takikawa to Noboribetsu Onsen

2017 Hokkaido
Limited Express Okhotsk by KIHA 183 series

This post is continued from Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 5, Asahikawa to Takikawa via Biei.

On day 3, I dropped by three places, Biei, Noboribetsu and Lake Toya. In this post, I show you the second place, Noboribetsu.

Takikawa to Noboribetsu via Sapporo

Departure information at the walkway in Takikawa station.

Takikawa 10:47 (Limited Express Okhotsk 2) 11:46 Sapporo 12:15 (Hokuto 12) 13:27 Noboribetsu 13:39 (Donan bus) 13:54 Noboribetsu Onsen

I took the train from Takikawa to Sapporo. I supposed to take Limited Express Super Kamui 16 which departed from Takikawa at 10:32. But Limited Express Okhotsk was operated by KIHA 183 series. This fleet is very old one and all fleets of this series will be retired sooner or later. That was why I waited for another 15 minutes to take Limited Express Okhotsk.

I enjoyed one hour ride on KIHA 183 series to Sapporo.

I changed another limited express train that was Hokuto. This one was KIHA 183 series too. I spent another one hour to get Noboribetsu.

It looks different from Limited Express Okhotsk, but Limited Express Hokuto is operated by same series, KIHA 183.

In these days, Japan is very popular destination among Asian tourist. At Noboribetsu station, there were many multilingual staffs. If you visit there, you have no problem to find the direction.

Noboribetsu station platform
Noboritbetsu station ticket gate

I took a local bus from Noboribetsu station to Noboribetsu Onsen. There were so many passengers on board and many of them were standing in the bus. As I saw, Japanese were myself, driver and other few tourists only. Noboribestu Onsen is so popular among foreign tourists!

Noboribetsu station bus stop
The bus to Noboribetsu Onsen was very common city bus.

I got off the bus at Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal. Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal is a hub in this Onsen town. All local bus services and express bus services stop at this bus terminal. Information center is there and multilingual staffs take care of tourists.

Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal

But the bus makes stop at several bus stops in Noboribetsu Onsen after bus terminal. If you stay overnight, you should check which bus stop is the nearest to your accommodation.

Walking in Noboribetsu Onsen

I had one hour stop at Noboribetsu Onsen. I visited Hell Valley (Jigokudani) in this break. You can view hot steams and some volcanic activity at Jigokudani. This is must-see place when you get Noboribetsu.

Noboribetsu Onsen town is small and most of sites are accessible on foot. Jigokudabi is about 15 minutes away from the bus terminal. I just walked through Onsen town. Jigokudani was located above the town.

One of major streets of Onsen town

On the way to Jigokudani, I saw the sign of bear park. But I live in Canada and I have seen wild bear many many times. My time was limited too and I skipped this sites.

Big Enma Daio was beside the street. Enma Daio is the judge of after line in Buddhism.

It was quite easy to get Jigokudani. There were lots of signage.

Information center

Information center and washroom were located at the entrance. By the way it is free to access to Jigokudani. When I was there, it was winter time. In information center, rental winter boots were available at the free of charge.

I got the first view point. It was a few steps away from information center.

I started to walk on the train from this view point. Trail was paved or very stable gravel trail. It was not hiking. It was just walking. Anyone can access this place. It is very easy to walk.

I walked on the wooden board walk to access to the middle of Jigokudani.

After I visited Jigokudani, I went back to Onsen town. In the town, there is a geyser. It is located under the road and it is not visible clearly. But you can watch very strong activity there. When I was there, geyser was very very active. It was like a big fountain by very hot water.

Continue to the post, Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 7, Noboribetsu Onsen to Hakodate via Lake Toya


  1. Yao says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Thank you for sharing the wonderful trip!
    I am going to Jigokudani this Christmas, and we are planning to go to Jigokudani walking trail early in the morning around 6:30 AM. Do you know if it is possible to access the place at 6:30 AM?

    Thanks and cheers,

  2. sudha says:

    Can i use the Japan rail pass to travel from Tokyo to Niseko …
    I plan to travel on 19th April .
    Can i still except some snow in Niseko at that time.

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