Saturday, 29 November 2014

Japan Trip (Hokkaido): Noboribetsu


Jigokudani or Hell Valley is a volcano region which displays hot steam vents, sulfurous steam, and other volcanic activities. From Jigokudani, there are many walking trails which you can take by following the clearly labelled signs along the trails. The trails bring you to a river where you can have a natural foot bath or another trail which you can hike to the blue pond.

If you are driving to Jigokudani, just enter the phone number: 0143843311 and the GPS will bring you there. Do note that the car parks outside require a parking fee of 400 yen, but the admission to Jigokudani is totally free.

Other modes of transport to Jigokudani include:
15 min ride by Donan Bus from JR Noboribetsu Station;
1 hour bus "Kosoku Airport" from New Chitose Airport;
1 hour 40 mins by Donan Bus from Sapporo Station Bus Terminal

Once we were near Jigokudani, we could smell Sulphur in the air.

Following this sign on a trail brought us to the hot spring vent which has fences around it.

The smell of sulphur got really strong when we were near the vent. The hot spring vent boils and bubbles every few minutes. There were many tourists gathering round the vent waiting for it to bubble before the crowd dispersed. We waited for a few minutes and finally saw the hot spring bubbles. I was covering my nose while waiting though, as I couldn't stand the smell.

Waiting for the hot spring to boil
Some facts about the hot spring. The temperature is around 80 degrees celsius but there will be intermittent geysers.
It's bubbling furiously! It's hard to take a picture of it with the smoke.
Following the trails, we climbed up the steep slopes and reached the blue pond after a good 20 mins

There are many walking trails around Jigokudani, though some trails may be close in winter. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes!

Oh! Not forgetting the stamp chops at Jigokudani Tourist Centre.

Fresh Seafood - Onsenichiba

This gotta be one of our highlight of the things we ate in Japan! I highly recommend this place and you must try it if you are in Noboribetsu! It is just 5 min walk from the entrance of Jigokudani to the shops street and you will be able to see this!

There are fresh seafood in the shop and they grilled it in front of you!

We ordered lots of seafood for our dinner and that was so satisfying!

Super fresh and big piece salmon sashimi!
Juicy and big oyster!
My favourite Uni!! So fresh and yummy!
A whole big piece of squid! It's so fresh and the meat was tender.
OMG! The big, juicy and sweet scallop!
Sooo sooo delicious!
This was a surprise to us! Didn't know mackerel can be grilled to such perfection! The chef grilled it with his heart and effort. He first used aluminium foil to cover it. While grilling, he kept checking on how cooked was the fish by using a needle to poke the fish and then checked the temperature of the needle. We were touched by his meticulous when preparing this dish for us. His effort did pay off! The meat was so soft and juicy. Don't forget to eat it with the minced radish. They were a perfect match! After that, I couldn't find such nice grilled fish anywhere! I miss it!
The best has yet to come. Can you guess how much we spent for all the above that we ordered? Only 6800 yen!! I highly highly recommend Onsenichiba!

There are 3 theme parks which you can explore around Nobosibetsu if you have the time:
Marine Park Nixe
Address: 1 Chome-22 Noboribetsuhigashicho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture 059-0464, Japan
Tel phone: +81 0143833800
Admission fee: 2400 yen for adult

Date Jidaimura
Address: 53-1 Nakanoboribetsucho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture, 059-0463, Japan
Tel phone: +81 0143833311
Admission fee: 2900 yen for adult

Bear Park
Address: 224 Noboribetsu-Onsen-cho, Noboribetsu Onsen, Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Hokkaido, 059-0551, Japan
Tel phone: +81 0143842225
Admission fee: 2520 yen for adult.

If you plan to go to 2 of the above theme parks, then you can get the discount ticket which is available at the ticketing office of any of the theme parks. The discount ticket cost 3300 yen for an adult to visit 2 of the above theme parks.

We spent our night at Lake Toya instead of Noboribetsu. A 45 mins drive brought us to Lake Toya!

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