Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bathing in Hell

Sapporo's a nice place and all, but sometimes you just gotta get out of town for a bit on a day-trip, and my buddy, Junko, and I decided that we needed some onsen (natural hot spring) therapy in a bad way. Enter the town of Noboribetsu, Hokkaido's most famous, steaming hot springs town. Some of you may remember my post about the last time I was in Noboribetsu for their fantabulous Hell Festival back in September. It's a cute place. And, it loves its devilish image:

All over are reminders that the town is sitting on top of some pretty serious seismic action. This guy guards the entrance to a boiling, sulfuric geyser that blows every three hours. You need a facial or two? This place oughta get the job done:

The best hot baths in town can be found at Dai-ichi Takimotokan Hotel (also visited last time as well), with about 20 baths utilizing 7 different mineral properties to make you a better you (everything from beautiful skin and diet control, to arthritis and heart problems). Our ticket from Sapporo included a colorful, delicious bento lunch as well...score!

Providing most of the hot water onsen lovin' for Noboribetsu is the steamy, sulfuric Hell Valley, which is just as pretty in the snow as it was in the greenery of last September:

If anything, this trip taught me one thing: Life is a whole lot happier when cute Japanese cowgirls and larger-than-life devil figurines are present:

When you hop on a train back to the city with relaxed muscles, extra smooth skin, and the ever so slight fragrance of rotten eggs, you know its been a good day in Hokkaido.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your blog post Bathing in Hell. My husband and I are planning a trip to Japan this October. We would like to spend about a week in Hokkaido. Can you give me some suggestions? And approximately how long does it take to go from Sapporo to Noboribetsu? Any tips and suggestions would greatly appreciated.

ThiessenTwosome said...

SO SORRY for the laaaaaate reply! I've had crazy problemos with blogger and viewing my comments...yours were among a few that just popped up TODAY (November)!

Anyhoo, hope that you enjoyed your trip to Japan and Hokkaido! Our email address is on the main page of our blog if you ever wanted to contact us (or, if for some reason your trip got pushed back and you still need some tips)!! Thanks for reading!