I recently wrote about the incredible stay at Takinoya in Noboribetsu and how it still ranks as one of the best places I’ve been to so far – so what do you do in the time between the fantastic breakfast and dinners at Takinoya? For Ms Buddha and I, we find ways to walk it off. We set off in the morning and our car was covered in snow – the staff at Takinoya looks after the windshield wipers and also wipes the snow off the cars each morning for the guests.
Around town there are a few items to explore and look at, one thing in particular is their bears park – but unfortunately when we were there, it was closed because of the snowy weather – so we just walked about the very small shopping street from Takinoya. There’s a few souvenir stores selling bear theme items and a nice honey drink store – but overall, it is a quite a smallish town.
With that, we decide to take a walk further towards Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley” where you can see live hot springs along the hike. On the way to the start of the hike area, there was another temple dedicated to the local Oni in the area.
Hell’s Valley was covered by snow and also by tourists, and you can hire simple gear to walk around with – the issue with me was that my shoes were not remotely equipped for snow/ice hikes, so throughout the trip, I was pretty much slipping 3-4 times a day. At one stage, I just rolled down the slopes instead of the risk of slipping again and again. Ms Buddha was much better equipped in this case and she walked the valley without issues. However many slips there were – I have to say the scenery was worth all the work – overall – the hike was about 2-3 hrs in the snow.