Noboribetsu – Hokkaido Best Onsens

[Winter Scenery at Noboribetsu]

[Winter Scenery at Noboribetsu]

[All White Snowscape]

[All White Snowscape from sky to ground]

White …. white …. white everywhere! That is the beauty of Winter, at least to someone like me that lives in a country that is all-year round summer, hot and humid. The only cool time is when one sets foot into an air-conditioned room or venue. We arrived at Noboribetsu station from Sapporo, and made our way to Noboribetsu Grand Hotel by cab, that took roughly 10 minutes. Yes! We have made it to the famous Hot Spring area in Hokkaido and we are so gonna spend the next 2 days enjoying the warmth of the onsens  😆

[Noboribetsu Hotel, Photo Credit to kimi-tourguide.blogspot.com]

[Noboribetsu Grand Hotel, Photo Credit to kimi-tourguide.blogspot.com]

If you see the walkway towards the hotel, they have actually gone all the way to put mats along the walkway up so that guests would have a non-slippery walk towards or away from the hotel. Kudos to their attentiveness!

Besides that, there was also another reason why I chose this hotel. It was for the Onsens available. Just look at the photos below  😀 Nope, I didn’t take the photos, you know the rules … this is a private area where there is too much nudity about. Nevertheless, they sport a big Roman style hall with the Salt Bath in the centre, and smaller baths at the side ranging from Sulphur, Iron, Radium baths to name a few. [Now...this is the only photo that i could take ... while outside lol][Now…this is the only photo that I could take … while outside lol … Question: Are all penguins male?]

[Main Roman Salt Bath with Smaller Sulphur, Iron baths by the sides]

[Main Roman Salt Bath with Smaller Sulphur, Radium, Iron baths by the sides, Photo Credit: Noboribetsu Grand Hotel]

[Outdoor Hot Spring, Photo Credit: Noboribetsu Grand Hotel]

[Two Outdoor Hot Springs, Photo Credit: Noboribetsu Grand Hotel]

 

There is also an outdoor pool area to enjoy the scenery with onsen-ing. What’s more, as the bath areas are unisex, the hotel rotates the baths on a daily basis so that the guests using the baths could have an opportunity to view the scenery from both sides that are available.

Maybe someone would say that to onsen in winter in the open is crazy … I think not, it’s really quite enjoyable. Just don’t make it as the first stop on reaching the onsen. Heat up the body with the other pools that are inside for awhile. You could then proceed to the outside pool without a tint of coldness even in full nudity. If one is worried about frozen ears breaking off, I assure you that it doesn’t happen haha! Just wet the towel that they provide (not by soaking it within the Onsen pool …. it is not allowed!) by using scoops at designated pools to wet the towel, if not, one could get that done at the showering points as well. Then when one is outside, place the warm towel over the head and cover the ears. That should do the trick 😛

Oh did I mention that this hotel also serves fantastic buffet meals … kinda eat-all-you-can type ??? Goodness … the range of food is fantastic here and it comes together with the room price! But after the first night of buffet, the food novelty wore-off … thankfully! Otherwise I might need to size-up my pants on returning home 😀

[Crab Pincers ... lots of it!!!]

[Crab Pincers … lots of it!!!]

[More selection of Food !!!]

[More selection of Food !!!]

[The best part ... Dessert!!!]

[The best part … Dessert!!! Oh… this is only a small selection of what that is available]

[Jigokudani, the Hell Valley]

[Jigokudani, the Hell Valley]

[Hot Steam coming from the ground]

[Hot Steam coming from the ground]

Jigokudani is also one of the few Geothermal Park that I think Japan has. Japan has active volcanos, lots of hot springs, though not so many Geothermal Parks like this. One of the good thing is that despite visiting the park in all-cold Winter, there is still nice things to see hahaha! The water here wouldn’t freeze like the one in Sounkyo (waterfall) due to the extreme temperature here. Though a word of caution: the walkway in winter is extremely slippery at certain portions. I would probably call it dirty-ice or black ice. It is far more slippery than it looks, and it can also be covered with a thin layer of snow making it not-apparently slippery. I remembered it so well … It was at a gentle slope going down with a pebble-like path. I cautioned my family to be careful and take it slow. But as the camera-man for the trip, I moved faster in front to snap a shot of them coming down. Big Mistake! No sooner had I warned them, and turned around to stride down, my sports soles gave way, and I slipped and landed on my bum hard! That’s not the end … I actually slided some distance down the slope before coming to a stop! Ouch!!! To my embarrassment, a Japanese old man in front spoke in Japanese and hand language to tell me to be very careful and need to hold the side hand reels lol! I learnt my lesson well lol … not so much with a painful butt but just that in the course of my fall, one of my elbow also hit the floor hard that left it painful to the touch for the next few days.

Feel free to share your experience or comments