TRAVEL PHOTO-LOG 03
noboribetsu, HOKKAIDO, JAPAN
thanks for viewing!
I must say Jigokudani was one of my favourite town in this trip, mainly because of their ultra cute and gar oni and the random oni kanabo which littered the town. To reach Jigokudani, you’ll have to take a bus up from Noboribetsu station. From there you’d start the actual hike to the top of the mountain and back. They have buffed-up handsome onis sending you off and welcoming you back! Locals and visiting japanese usually drive, but broke tourists like us had to rely solely on legpower.
A day-trip in Noboribetsu is sufficient, but I would recommend staying the night there cos there were apparently fireworks at night in certain seasons. Plus NOBODY declines an onsen sleepover. There was an edo ninja village – Date Jidaimura – which we didn’t have the time to go to as it was out of the way. There was also a bear park which we missed, but truthfully I’d rather eat them then browse.
As city bumpkins, the hike through the mountains were exhausting – and my nikes were screaming as they ploughed into mud baths. Complains aside, the view you’d get here is completely different from other volcanoes – such as the one in Hakone, Owakudani. There are a multitude of hot springs, and several springs for you to soak your feet which most elderly enjoyed thoroughly – though make sure to bring a few mats or plastic bags to sit on.
The onsen we went to was at Dai-Ichi Takimotokan Hotel, which is apparently the best in town. The hotel allows day trip visitors into their hotsprings for ¥2,000 per adult. Of course, photography isn’t allowed inside, and you’d want to keep your valuables locked up anyway. HOT TIP: There are actually free lockers inside but we just had to be super bodoh and paid for the first lockers we found for our bags and shoes.
Onsen was simply da-bomb.They have a couple of indoor baths, all at different temperature, and 3 natural outdoor baths. Soaked until I felt kinda dizzy but you really do feel as though your skin became softer after your rinse down afterwards.
The sad thing was that Jigokudani is just simply lacking when it comes to food – or we didn’t coordinate our timing well enough. Shops close in the afternoon and open for the dinner crowd at 7pm, so when we came out to the streets after soaking, hungry and hungrier at 5pm, our food selections were whittled down to a mere couple of shops.
Overall the town’s mascots were really really cute, and if I had the money I’d throw it all to all the souvenir shops I entered!!