To Hell and Back

D5_Hokkaido_CoverVisited July 2014

Day 5
We had an impromptu decision to make our way to Noboribetsu as we did not think that we required 3 days to explore Sapporo and head back to Otaru. Hopping on to the limited express train, we had our breakfast on board while enjoying the scenery, hoping hard that the gloomy skies out there would not turn into another thunderstorm.

D5_Hokkaido_01_BusLocated just outside the station is the bus to Noboribetsu, and fares cost ¥340 one way. While there are a few buses heading up to Noboribetsu via different routes, we decided to take the one that brings us to the bus terminal and explore on foot from there. (Noboribetsu Tourism Website has very comprehensive e-brochures that were very helpful in my planning.)

D5_Hokkaido_02_NoboribetsuWhat I liked about the town are the little stores that lined the sides of the streets. Although once you’ve been into one, you’ve been into all; it is the ambiance that it exudes that makes me like being in such towns. Not to mention the little souvenirs one can get from them.

D5_Hokkaido_03_JigokudaniOne of the most famous places in Noboribetsu is Jigokudani, also known as Hell Valley. It is a crater with many spouts and boiling water, created from the explosion of Mount Kuttara.

From Jigokudani, we decided to hike on to Oyunuma, which was about 2km away. Do not be misled by the short distance, because the hike was far from easy! With steep slopes and damp ground, it was not an easy feat trying to climb the many steps that were along the route. In fact, many a times we were breathing pretty heavily with our backpacks and the humidity that came with the intermittent rain.

D5_Hokkaido_04_OyunumaWe finally saw a peak of our destination midway, and decided to just snap a picture from our vantage point as the thought of climbing back up was something we would not want.

On our way back however we encountered an aggressive wasp. While we tried to make our escape, it somehow went onto the back of my Boy. Although we managed to escape in the end, my poor Boy experienced some itchiness, which made him worry if the wasp somehow managed to get a sting onto him.

Thankfully we had a safe journey back home and no medical issues, as we enjoyed a nice and hot ramen back in Sapporo for dinner.

D5_Hokkaido_05_DinnerAmazingly for about ¥900, their portion was huge that both of us could not finish our meal.

And after dinner, we decided to check out Saporro TV Tower for some night shots to end the day.

D5_Hokkaido_06_SapporoTower

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