A hell on earth in Noboribetsu
Noboribetsu Hell Valley, or Jigokudani in Japanese, gets its name from its intense geothermal activity. In winter, lights eerily illuminate the boardwalks from sunset to 9:30 p.m. in an event called Onibi-no-Michi. See how the bleached rocks, hot steam and volcanic gases contrast sharply with the icy stillness of a cold night.
Walking along the boardwalks allows you to become fully immersed in this otherworldly experience. You can see the vibrant colors of the water, feel the warmth on your skin and breathe in the lightly sulfuric air. The boardwalk makes the area easy to traverse but take care to wear appropriate footwear as it can be slippery.
This valley is the source of the therapeutic hot spring water in Noboribetsu, so take a quick break at the natural footbath at the Oyunuma River to soothe your aching muscles.
How to get there
The Noboribetsu area is a 90-minute journey from Sapporo Station on either an express bus or train. Buses run to Noboribetsu Onsen from Noboribetsu Station. The boardwalks of Noboribetsu Hell Valley are a five-minute walk from Noboribetsu Onsen Bus Terminal.
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