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Autumn Color in Japan 2009 Vol 11 / Cool Japanese Scene

COOL JAPANESE SCENE / Japanese Autumn Color (23) / Japanese Autumn Color (25)

Noboribetsu is located in southwestern Hokkaido in Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
Noboribetsu is a name from the local Ainu language which means "a cloudy river tinged with white."
This name refers to the large sulphur deposits in the area.
Noboribetsu is one of Hokkaido's best known (and most commercially developed) hot spring areas, and it is basically a one street village with hot spring hotels on both sides.
Visitors to Noboribetsu can experience the hot spring waters at the town's famous Daiichi Takimotokan hotel which has 20 different hot spring baths.

The source of the village's hot spring water is the "Jigoku-dani" (Hell) valley.
Jigoku-dani is a steaming, lunar-like valley which produces 10,000 tons of hot spring water a day. From Jigoku-dani, visitors can walk to nearby Oyunuma which is a hot water lake producing large clouds of steam. 
Noboribetsu Jigokudani

Noboribetsu Onsen is one of Japan's best hot spring resorts. Noboribetsu is blessed with a beautiful jigokudani ("hell valley"), that provides the town's ryokan with many different kinds of hot spring water.
Autumn colors in Noboribetsu's Jigokudani were close to their peak today and added an additional dimension to the already amazing scenery.  

Noboribetsu Jigokudani

Pleasant walking trails through the forest connect the Jigokudani with other places of volcanic activity in the hills above Noboribetsu. Among them, Oyunuma is a highly sulfuric pond with hot water bubbling up and a surface temperature of around 50 degrees. Colorful trees and bushes provided an attractive contrast to the pond's grey-blueish water.

Oyunuma

Oyunuma

Flowing out of Oyunuma is a river called Oyunumagawa. The river, still hot and flowing through the forest, made for an out-of-this-world scenery. And if you walk along the river a few more minutes, it gets even better: you get treated with a natural foot bath.  

Oyunumagawa


 Natural Foot Bath along Oyunumagawa

While the average onsen ryokan's baths offer one or maybe two different hot spring waters, the Takimotokan's feature as many as seven, all differing in character and benefits. The quality comes with a price, though: 2000 yen for a daytime visit.

The Takimotokan complex, standing next to the Jigokudani

By T.S. on Oct 18, 2009
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