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  • Footpath leading to the center of Jigokudani
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  • Jigokudani in Noboribetsu Onsen
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  • Tessen Pond at the center of Jigokudani
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  • Oyunuma
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  • Okunoyu
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  • Overlooking Mt. Hiyori and Oyunuma
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Noboribetsu-Onsen Recreation Forest

462.34ha

Elevation Lowest: 200 m / Average: 200–550 m / Highest: 550 m

A wonderland of attractions and onsen
with valleys, ponds, fumaroles and Ezo brown bears

A wonderland of attractions and onsen
with valleys, ponds, fumaroles and Ezo brown bears

Newest information
CHECK
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Area
Hokkaido
Activities
Flower-viewing Autumn leaf viewing Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Picnics (lawn area/park)
Overview
Geographical/topographical features
The Recreation Forest is located in a valley encompassing central Noboribetsu City near the coast and Mt. Hiyori, Jigokudani, Oyunuma, etc. in the northern and more mountainous area. The entire area is within Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
Historical/cultural features
"Noboribetsu" is said to be derived from "nupuru-petsu," which means "a milky-colored river or a deep-colored river" in the Ainu language.
Noboribetsu Onsen is believed to have traditionally been treasured by the Ainu people for its medicinal properties. In 1845, Takeshiro Matsuura, who is said to have named Hokkaido, visited the hot springs and wrote about his fascination with them. Noboribetsu Onsen was designated as a health resort for sick and wounded soldiers during the Russo-Japanese War in early 20th century. As a result, a railway was constructed and various facilities were established to take advantage of the area's abundant and highly varied hot spring water, including the Noboribetsu Branch of the Medical Faculty Hospital under the Hokkaido Imperial University School of Medicine. It is also known to have been visited by the Emperor.
As the Recreation Forest surrounds the hot spring resort, it is a popular recreational area for people visiting the hot springs.
Climate, flora and fauna
The area receives little snowfall and has a mild climate for Hokkaido. The Recreation Forest comprises the Noboribetsu Primeval Forest, which was designated a natural monument in 1924 and where about 60 varieties of trees including Mizunara (Japanese oak mizu-nara (Quercus crispula Blume)) and about 110 varieties of herbs such as Miyamatanukiso (Galium nakaii Kudo) grow wild.
Attractions
At Noboribetsu Onsen, about 10,000 tons of hot water with a springhead temperature of 45–90°C naturally gushes out of the ground daily. In addition to its abundance, the hot spring water also boasts a wide range of qualities. It is extremely rare to have nine types of spring water anywhere in the world, leading some to refer to Noboribetsu Onsen as a "department store of hot springs." Recently, it has been gaining in popularity not only among Japanese tourists, but also with foreign tourists, and the number of visitors has been growing every year.
Jigokudani ("hell valley") is a remnant of a volcanic explosion crater and contains Noboribetsu Onsen's largest springhead area with a diameter of about 450 m. The white fumes rising from Mt. Hiyori, a nearby active volcano, and the billowing steam from Oyunuma ("large hot-water pond")―formed by the eruption―create hell-like scenery. The primeval Recreation Forest surrounding the valley makes this mysterious spectacle stand out.
In addition, visitors can take a 15-minute ride on Noboribetsu Onsen Ropeway to Noboribetsu Bear Park where they can try feeding powerful Higuma (Ezo brown bears (Ursus arctos)).
Latest Information
Regular events
Noboribetsu Hell Festival (late August every year), Noboribetsu Hot Water Festival (February 3 and 4 every year), Karurusu Onsen Winter Festival (first Sunday of March every year)
Danger information
Ticks: Please note that ticks are present in the underbrush. Wearing long sleeves and long trousers is essential.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
None for the Recreation Forest itself or the Noboribetsu Park Service Center
Noboribetsu Bear Park: Adults 2,600 yen, Children 1,300 yen, Children 3 years of age or younger are free
The ropeway fee is included in the bear park entrance fee.
Operating hours and seasons
Accessible 24 hours a day
Staffed facilities such as administration buildings
Noboribetsu Park Service Center:
8:00 am – 6:00 pm during the summer (May through October)
8:00 am – 5:00 pm during the winter (November through April)
Accommodation options
There are many hot spring inns nearby.
Facility
Toilets and drinking fountains (Includes surrounding area) Toilet (accessible) (Includes surrounding area) 3 locations Walking trail (Includes surrounding area) Parking lot (Includes surrounding area) 2 locations (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities) Observation platform Vending machine (Outside the forest) Shop (Includes surrounding area) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Resource center/Museum (Outside the forest) (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities) Cultural asset (nationally designated) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Outside the forest) Hot Spring (Outside the forest) (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities)
Map
pdf
Location
Noboribetsu Onsen, Noboribetsu City, Hokkaido
Access
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)

Parking lot capacity / parking charges
  • - Noboribetsu Jigokudani Parking Lot No. 1:
    Paid parking for 14 large vehicles and 60 ordinary vehicles (Large buses: 2,000 yen per day, Ordinary vehicles: 500 yen per day)
  • - Noboribetsu Jigokudani Parking Lot No. 2:
    Paid parking for 70 ordinary vehicles (Large buses: 2,000 yen per day, Ordinary vehicles: 500 yen per day)
  • - Oyunuma Parking Lot (closed during the winter):
    Paid parking for 1 large vehicle and 39 ordinary vehicles (Microbuses: 1,000 yen per day, Ordinary vehicles: 500 yen per day)
Nearby tourism facilities
  • Karurusu Onsen (hot spring) (about 15 minutes by car)
  • Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura (about 25 minutes by car)
Management office contact details
Shiribeshi District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Lake Kuttara [External link]
Karurusu Onsen Area [External link]
Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura [External link]
Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Noboribetsu International Tourism and Convention Association [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Supporters
Other

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