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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Jigokudani 地狱谷, Tessen Pond 铁泉池

Visited 15.07.2012


Jigokudani, also referred to as Hell Valley, is a caldera formed from volcanic activity and undoubtedly the trademark of Noboribetsu. Ongoing spurting of steam can be observed from various outlets in this 11 hectares area. Barriers and warning signs are in place to prevent you from going near the hot water and steam. Jigokudani is less than 5 mins walk from Sengen Park & Daichii Takimotokan Hotel.


How to tour Jigokudani? Grab this useful guide to walking trails in Noboribetsu Onsen, which is readily available in hotels and tourist information centers. The brochure recommends various routes which you can cover depending on the time available, and some of them could be slightly physically demanding due to uneven terrain and steep steps. The shortest (and less physically challenging) route to get closer to Hell Valley is the Jigokudani Loop Course (highlighted in purple in the map below), which will take around 10 - 20 mins by foot. After capturing the picturesque scenery of fuming Jigokudani from the main observatory, follow the footpath to Tessen Pond (铁泉池) - a 80 degC, iron containing hot spring, and make your way back to the starting point. A short and sweet way to see the magnificent Jigokudani!


Demon's Fire Trail (鬼火の路) is an event that takes place everyday from May to Nov. During this period, the footpath to Tessen Pond is lit up at night till 2200 hrs. The glowing lights, coupled with the continuously emerging sulpur fumes, were intended to make Jigokudani look more mysteriously "dangerous" at night. Personally felt that the lighting was not sufficient (do watch your steps in the dark) and overall did not appear to be as scary as what was depicted in the poster. Nevertheless, it was still a different/unique way to experience the dynamics of Jigokudani.


Tip: Do check out Noboribetsu Tourism Association website which contains plentiful information on how you can enjoy your stay in Noboribetsu.
- Noboribetsu Tourism Association: http://www.noboribetsu-spa.jp/?lang=en
- Noboribetsu Onsen Walking Map: http://www.noboribetsu-spa.jp/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/tekuteku_en.pdf

Noboribetsu Onsen Map (Older Version)
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Commemorative stamps: 

- From Noboribetsu Park Service Center -

- From Noboribetsu Park Service Center -

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