(A sightseeing stop in the Hong Thai Travel 7D Hokkaido Package Tour, my first packaged tour experience.)
From the Ainu Museum, we travelled for about 30 mins before reaching Noboribetsu Jigokudani, otherwise known as Hell's Valley. I don't know what "hell" refers to but the adults in the coach went "Oooo ...".
Noboribetsu Jigokudani is large volcanic valley created after a volcanic eruption. There are many hot spring vents, blowholes and clouds of sulphuric steam around the valley. When we alighted from the coach, the first thing that struck me was the smell of sulphur. Ugh! Mom handed me a kids mask to wear but the smell still came through a little.
|There's a hotel right next to the valley|
|Several walking paths ... we did not have |
time to explore, plus it was smelly!
We took the walking path down to have a closer look at the geyser. Mr. Tour Guide said the mouth of the volcano is nearby, and that it is still spewing out lots of steam. I wondered if the volcano will erupt soon?
|Long way down|
|Long way back up|
The geyser 鉄泉池 was just some bubbling hot water, and the sign there said the water temperature is about 80 degree celsius.
|Mr. Tour Guide said this is the mouth of the volcano|
Around the valley, we could also see streams of hot water flowing through, and Mom pointed out that the yellowish stuff was probably sulphur.
We also took another path that led to a small shrine, and which gave another view of the valley.
For directions, click here (in Japanese but the pictures are easy to understand).
Hotel Yumoto Noribetsu
And I was glad when we finally left the valley and the smell!
We travelled for about 15 mins and reached our hotel - Hotel Yumoto Noribetsu.
It was a Japanese style onsen hotel which meant that we have to sleep on futons on the tatami. Wow, this is a first for me!
We also had a wonderful Japanese dinner at the hotel, dressed in our yukata (mine's a kid-size). Mr. Tour Guide said that it was common to wear the yukata and move around in the onsen hotel.
|With my grandparents|
It was too much food for me, and having those bowls and plates near me were just too dangerous, too. Lucky my grandparents and Mom helped to finish the food, otherwise, it would be just too wasteful.
Notes from Mom
- The sulphuric smell can be rather overpowering for kids, so it might be good to bring along a mask or towel to help block the smell
- If time permits, you can take a 20 mins walk from Jigokudani towards Oyunuma 大湯沼川天然足湯, where you can indulge in a hot spring foot bath admist natural surroundings, free of charge
- Take a stroll along the Noboribetsu Hot Spring Street 登別温泉街 and spot the various devil /hell inspired statuettes.
Read about our next stop - Mt. Usu.
Read about our previous stop - Poroto Kotan.