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ITINERARIES Hot Springs and Nature in Hokkaido Enjoy nature around beautiful Lake Toya and Noboribetsu Onsen

Southern Hokkaido is rich in nature and boasts some of Japan's most famous hot springs and night views

Take a dip in a famous hot spring, test your skills as a ninja, explore an active volcano and round out your trip with the some of the freshest seafood in Japan.


    Relaxing in Noboribetsu Onsen, one of Japan's most renowned hot springs
    Getting close to an active volcano at Mt. Usu
    Unforgettable views from high above Hakodate

How to Get There

From Tokyo Haneda: 2 hours 35 minutes

There are multiple flights from Haneda Airport to New Chitose Airport (90 minutes) per day. From New Chitose take a JR Rapid Airport train to Minami-Chitose Station and transfer to a limited express train (45 minutes) to Noboribetsu Station. Noboribetsu Onsen is a 20-minute bus ride from the station and buses leave once or twice every hour.

Day 1
Noboribetsu Relax in a renowned hot spring town

Noboribetsu Onsen is one of the country's most well-known hot springs. Here, hot water gushes out at Hell Valley . Hike through the hellish landscape, then relax in a naturally heated bath.

While in the area, stop at Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura. This historic theme park is a reproduction of an Edo-period (1603-1867) town. Just walking around will make you feel like you're in the age of the samurai. Here, you can see a variety of performances by oiran and ninja. You can also dress up in kimono or as a ninja.

Nearby is Northern Horse Park. At this expansive park you can ride horses, cycle, or stroll through the flowers. On site are also restaurants that turn locally produced ingredients into one-of-a-kind dishes.

Day 2

40 minutes

Take JR Muroran Main Line 40 minutes to Toya Station from Noboribetsu Station.

Lake Toya Adventure near an active volcano

Turn up the heat and visit Toyako, a hot spring town on the shores of Lake Toya, a caldera lake in Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

In the center of the lake are four beautiful islands. The largest, Nakajima, has the Lake Toya Forest Museum. Here, you can learn about the area's plant and animal life.

Adjacent to Lake Toya is Mt. Usu , an active volcano that last erupted in 2000. Take the walkway to get a closer look at the crater. There is also a ropeway to the top, with panoramic views of the surroundings.

Day 3

1 hour 55 minutes

JR Super Hokuto from Toya Station goes directly to Hakodate Station.

Hakodate Taste freshly caught seafood

In Hakodate , don't miss the abundance of fresh seafood. Visit the morning market at 5 a.m. from May to December or 6 a.m. from January to April for a look at the day's catch of crab, squid and shellfish. You can also sample some of this delectable seafood one street over at Donburi Yokocho Ichiba.

As a former gateway to the West, Hakodate features many western-style buildings. Famous spots include the Catholic Motomachi Church, the Hakodate Orthodox Church, the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward , the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse , and many other buildings in the Motomachi district.

Also worth a visit is Goryokaku , a star-shaped fortress built as a defensive base. Climb to the top of the Goryokaku Tower to see the fort from above.

If you want more great views of the city below, take the ropeway to the top of Mt. Hakodate. You can see the romantic city lights below over a meal at Restaurant Genova.

More to Explore
Aomori Explore the tip of Honshu

Take the shinkansen south to the northern tip of Honshu and discover a road less traveled in Aomori . Here you can find plenty of museums like the Sannai-Maruyama Site and the Aomori Museum of Art . The city also is home to many temples and parks, as well as an aquarium.

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