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|Noboribetsu Onsen. Daiichi Takimotokan|
onsen, Daiichi Takimotokan is a huge, famous and expencive hotel.
The entrance fee to the baths "only" is 2000 yen. There are around 20 different baths ranging from sleeping baths and walking baths to an extremly hot hinoki bath.
There are of course separate rooms for men and women to undress in,
and the baths are separated too. There is a mixed area too, but it is necessary
to wear a swim suit there. (And they call that a hot spring?)
Noboribetsu onsen is located between Muroran city and Tomakoi city. Take route 36 from either Muroran city or Tomakoi city and turn off when you see a sign for Noboribetsu onsen. If you are looking for Daiichi Takimotokan, just go to the center of Noboribetsu onsen, and you won't miss it.
Noboribetsu onsen is among the most famous hot springs in all of Japan, and since I was in that area, I just had to check out why it was so famous. Did the water smell bad in particular? Was the view especially pretty? Did it have any curing powers which other hot springs did not have, or what was it all about?
I very soon found out that it was not because of the view. Daiichi Takimotokan is a huge hotel located in a little gorge together with a lot of other hotels. Most of the baths are inside, and the only thing you can see from the open air bath is a wall. There are at least 20 different kinds of baths. There are baths with different kinds of water. There are baths of different temperatures, and a lot more. There is a "walking" bath were you walk around in ankle deep water. There is a "sleeping" bath where you can lye down and sleep, that is if you can sleep on the wood pillow there is to prevent your head from falling into the water.
I tried all the different baths. I even tried the "walking" bath without getting exited. I finally settled for the hinoki bath, which is just a square hole covered with hinoki wood and filled with steaming hot water. The water in this bath was so hot that I turned all red, and could not stay in it for more than a couple of minutes at a time, but it felt just great getting out of it again.
Having spend about an hour trying out the different baths I finally left. I must admit that I am not really for gigantic commercialized hot springs with the newest gadgets and weird stuff. Maybe it is interesting to some people to sit indoor in a beautifully decorated bath, but to me one man made bath is like the other. I might as well be at home in my own little bath tub. The water in my bath tub can get at least as hot, and I can have a glass of wine, and I do not have to pay a fortune.
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