Autumn in Japan

From Hell Valley to Oyunuma Lake

Locating just 1 hour and 10 minutes away from New Citose Airport and Sapporo, Noboribetsu is one of the most popular hot spring (Onsen) areas in Hokkaido Japan. In addition to the many choices of onsen hotels, Noboribetsu offers beautiful natural scenic path for trekking from an easy 30 minutes walk to around 4 hours hike covering an extensive area of hot spring lakes, geysers and a river where you can enjoy a natural foot bath with running hot water.

Noboribetsu Onsen Trekking Map 登別溫泉行山地圖
To start: take a 15-minute bus from Noboritbetsu JR station, get off at Noboribetsu Onsen and walk for 10 minutes to Jigoku Dani (Hell Valley).
Jigoku Dani in Noboribetsu 登別地獄谷
The first view point of Jigoku Dani (Hell Valley) is easily accessible, offering breath-taking view of the valley with smokes coming out from the ground.
Jigoku Dani in Noboribetsu 登別地獄谷
There is a wooden path that takes you through the valley, enabling a closer look at various cracks and openings on the ground where the smoke of the hot spring comes out.
Jigoku Dani in Noboribetsu 登別地獄谷
Then you will reach Tessen Ike which is a low-rising geyser at the center of Jigoku Dani.
Tessen Ike at Jigoku Dani 地獄谷鐵泉池
The hot spring water will burst every now and then, creating exciting moments.
Jigoku Dani in Noboribetsu 登別地獄谷
After visiting the Tessen Ike, you may go back to Noboribetsu Osen for a hot spring, lunch or take a walk on the Onsen street.
Jigoku Dani in Noboribetsu 登別地獄谷
If you choose to walk further, you may take a pathway towards Oyunuma Lake.
Oyunuma Pathway 大湯沼步道
There is a nice shade on the Oyunuma Pathway 1.
Nanakamado Square
The top of the pathway is the Nanakamado Square where you can get a view of Jigoku Dani from the top.
大湯沼第一步道頂是 Nanakamado 廣場,是一個休憩地方,亦有一個展望地獄谷的觀景臺。
Oyunuma pathway 大湯沼步道
Then simply follow the Oyunuma Lake direction to continue the hike.
Oyunuma pathway 大湯沼步道
The Oyunuma Lookout! It’s the most spectacular view point of the pathway.
Oku no Yu 奧の湯
As you walk down the hill, you will see the Oku no Yu which is a smaller hot spring lake next to the Oyunuma Lake.
Oku no Yu 奧の湯
Oku no Yu is at the foot of the hiking trail.
Oku no Yu 奧の湯
The interesting thing is that you may touch and feel the spring water. It’s hot!
Oyunuma Lake 大湯沼
The Oyunuma Lake is a sulfurous lake approximately one kilometre in circumference, 22 meters deep, with surface temperature around 50 degree celsius and 130 degree at the bottom. You may walk along the lake to go to the natural foot path.
Pathway 步道
After about 15 minutes walk along Oyunuma, you will see an entrance to another pathway leading towards Taisho Jigoku and the natural foot bath area.
Taisho Jigoku 大正地獄
The Taisho Jigoku is in a forest.
Taisho Jigoku 大正地獄
What’s unique about this spring is that the water changes color from blue to white to pink to black as the mineral changes color in a dissolving process.
Oyunuma Brook 大湯沼川
The pathway along Oyunuma Brook is a nice walk, leading to the natural foot bath.
Natural foot bath 天然足湯
The natural foot path! By the end of 3 hours trek, it’s nice to soak your feet in a hot bath before you continue on the journey.

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