We waked up late and left Furano, heading towards Shikotsu-Toya National Park and the town named Noboribetsu. The place is known because of the hell Valley and the many hot springs with their high sulfur and iron content. While on our way I was checking what would be the best things to do in Noboribetsu hell valley and we decided to start with the hell valley and then see what next. Finally, by the time we arrived the sky changed their color to deep gray and rain was pouring as we entered hotel Daiichi Takimotokan. After all the hiking of the previous days we were now dreaming of deep, warm onsen and could hardly wait. Nevertheless we decided that it will be pitty to loose the daylight so we put on our rain suits and first of all went to see the hell valley.
Hell Valley/ Jigokudani
Hell valley was two minutes walking from our hotel and it was surprising to discover that we are going to sleep tonight right near the crater. The valley is actually a 24-acre smoking crater created 20,000 years ago. The moment you enter the park the smell of sulfur doesn’t leave you. The look of the rusty and yellow rocks covered with steams was stunning. We stood in the rain and watched the geysers and then followed the circular trail on it’s way up. It was nice to walk in the warm air , partly hidden from the rain by the high dripping trees. At the top we took the trail that lead to Oyunumagawa.
This hot river flows out of a sulfurous pond named Oyunuma. The pond has a surface temperature of 50 degrees Celsius that slowly loose the heat as the river flows away. A few hundred meters down the river we reached a nice deck where one can sit and enjoy a natural foot bath. Gladly we took off our shoes, sat on the deck and put our soles in the water – we practically jumped up! The heat was tremendous. Around us we saw a Japanese mother letting her few month old child legs touch the water. The child didn’t seem to mind. Once again, like in other onsens, we were impressed by the ability of young Japanese kids to enjoy the onsen heat. Slowly we tried again. This time I managed to immerse my soles and Doron stood with his ankles deep in the water. It was fun. We put on our shoes and went to see the origin of the river. A black sulfur mud pond was bubbling under the fog. The trail was going up the hill and took us back to the entrance. Now we felt that going to the onsen would be the best thing.
Fineshmaker’s coice -Check our impression of hotel Daiichi Takimotokan Onsen2