We’re off to Noboribetsu Onsen. It’s located in Jigokudani, the “Valley of Hell”, and indeed, steaming hills and mountains, blubbling water, geysers and dark, thick mud ponds everywhere. No doubt the devil will make an appearance soon.
We observe this natural spectacle from a safe distance, but not distant enough to escape the omnipresent devil’s fart (i.e. sulfur smell).
We stroll the walking path leading to another hot spring “Oku-no Yu”, a hot water pond with 120 degree at the bottom and 50 degree on the surface. From there, hot water streams into a river and down to a foot-bathing spot, nicely setup in the nature.
Basically, if a Japanese can soak any body part in sufficiently warm water (that would be equivalent to freaking hot for me), life is good. Downstream, at the beautiful foot bath spot, the temperature was 40 degrees celsius. Pleasantly warm at best, according to Yasuko. So we sat comfortably under the trees of the river bank and soaked our feet.