So you’ve figured out how to get to Noboribetsu by train for a visit to one of Japan’s hot springs area and home of Hokkaido’s hell valley.
But getting to the Noboribetsu JR train station doesn’t quite get you to the main tourist area of Noboribetsu onsen town.
It does require a bus ride to get the rest of the way, but it is pretty simple!
Walk outside the train station…
The bus stand will be right in front of you…
And wait for the next bus to Noboribetsu Onsen to come!
How much does a taxi cost from Noboribetsu Station?
Below are estimated taxi fares.
Photo was taken in March 2019.
Taxi fares from Noboribetsu Station:
- To Noboribetsu Onsen 2,000 yen (US$18) 15 minutes
- To Noboribetsu bear park 2,000 yen (US$18) 15 minutes
- To Noboribetsu date jidaimura 1,500 yen (US$14) 10 minutes
- To Noboribetsu marine park 1,000 (US$9) 3 minutes
How much does a bus cost from Noboribetsu Station?
The bus fare from the Noboribetsu JR train station to Noboribetsu Onsen will likely cost around 340 yen (US$3).
You will pay for the bus fare once you are on the bus.
This means that you don’t need to buy a ticket before you board the bus.
Although I do believe I saw a bus ticket machine inside the train station if you do want to buy your ticket ahead of time! You’ll drop this ticket into the bus fare box as you’re getting off the bus.
How to take the local Donan bus from the train station
You’ll want to check the front of the bus to make sure it’s a bus that’s bound for Noboribetsu Onsen.
The sign on the bus might only be in Japanese, in which case, you can ask the bus driver to confirm the correct bus… or just get on the bus that all the other tourists get on. 😉
There are 2 doors on the bus – the front and the back.
You want to get on from the back.
The front is for getting off.
As you get on the bus, there will be a spot to grab a ticket – so you want to be sure to grab one.
This ticket is basically an indicator of where you boarded the bus, and it will be used to determine how much you will pay for the bus fare. (More on that later.)
And then grab a seat if you can!
And if you’re headed to Noboribetsu Onsen for an overnight stay…
If you’re just spending a few hours in Noboribetsu and you’re in transit to another city, there’s also a coin locker for luggage at the train station. (See more about how to use coin lockers in Japan with examples of Tokyo Station coin lockers and Nagano Station coin lockers.)
But back to the bus ride.
There will be announcements on the bus telling you what bus stop is next.
Once your bus stop is next, you’ll press the button indicating to the bus driver to stop at the next stop.
So in reality, the bus will probably stop at the Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal no matter what, as this is a major bus stop.
But it’s good to know that this is what common practice is, since this is how buses are across Japan.
And, if you are getting off at a stop before Noboribetsu Onsen, then you definitely want to make sure to press the button!
Okay, so your bus stop is next.
How do you know how much to pay for your bus fare?!
At the front of the bus, there will be a digital sign board with a bunch of numbers. Under those number will be the corresponding bus fare.
Once it’s your bus stop, you’ll take a look at that board to see how much you need to pay.
You’ll look at the number that’s on your ticket (which will be 1 if you get on at Noboribetsu Station), and then pay the fare that’s listed underneath #1.
You will then pay that amount as you exit the bus.
No change is given, so you need to have exact change.
Also at the front of the bus is a change machine.
So if you need change, do this well BEFORE you get off the bus, not AS you’re getting off, so that you’re not holding up the line.
Pay your fare!
You’ll put into the fare box both the ticket and the coins for the bus fare.
Where to take the bus to?
There are a number of bus stops within Noboribetsu Onsen town, including at or near:
- Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal
- Jigokudani (hell valley)
- Sengen Park (geyser park)
- Oyunuma Brook natural footbath (hot springs for your feet)
But I think no matter where you’re going, consider getting off at the Noboribetsu Onsen bus station!
This will allow you to walk through town to get to where it is you’re headed.
A walk through town means you’ll get to see…
Sengen geyser park
That’s steam from the geyser!
You can pick up a walking map from the tourist information center once you reach the Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal to help guide your way to see these things.
Or, if you walk to Jigokudani and the Oyunuma Brook hot springs footbath, then you’re sure to see these things too!
Oyunuma Brook hot springs for footbath
What are the timings for the bus to Noboribetsu Onsen?!
While the bus timings aren’t the most frequent, they are frequent enough that you don’t need to be all that concerned about it.
But if that doesn’t ease your mind… 😉
Photos taken below are from March 2019 at Noboribetsu Station. Exact bus timings can change, but you can likely expect a similar frequency in bus timings.
If you are trying to get to the Oyunuma Brook hot springs footbath, you can get there by bus, but only some buses will go that way. (Indicated in the timetable below.)
Noboribetsu Station to Noboribetsu Onsen bus timings
Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal to Noboribetsu Station bus timings
HAPPY BUS RIDE TO NOBORIBETSU ONSEN!
How to spend winter in Japan
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)
Food in JapanIf you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)
And also have a look at some of these cooking classes in Japan too.
If you're looking for a route for winter in Japan, here are some ideas!
- 10 day Japan winter itinerary
- Tokyo to Nagano bus
- 2 days in Nagano with snow monkey pass // Stay at this Nagano hostel (private rooms available)
- A few days in popular ski resort area Hakuba (go here for at least a day even if you don't ski for the winter landscape in the mountains!) // Stay at this Hakuba hostel (private rooms available)
- Hakuba to Takayama (Hakuba to Matsumoto train / a few hours in Matsumoto / Matsumoto to Takayama bus)
- A few days in Takayama with day trips: Shirakawago / Shinhotaka ropeway on a sunny day // Stay at this Takayama hostel (private rooms available) and eat regional Takayama ramen
- Takayama back to Tokyo OR Takayama to Nagoya airport to fly to Hokkaido for more winter landscapes!
Hokkaido winter itinerary (train to get around - there are JR Hokkaido passes available, and you can use a regular JR pass too)
- Sapporo to Asahikawa (Asahikawa for penguin walk at zoo)
- Asahikawa to Abashiri (Abashiri for drift ice cruise)
- Abashiri to Obihiro (night in Obihiro and go to Lake Shikaribetsu ice village the next day)
- Obihiro to Sapporo
- Sapporo to Noboribetsu onsen hot spring town (day trip)
- Sapporo to Hakodate // Stay in this Hakodate hostel
- Hakodate to Tokyo on shinkansen bullet train through the underwater tunnel! (Regular JR pass will be worth it if you take this train ride along with one more long distance train ride within 7 days)
When the JR pass is worth itIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure. See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
More for your Japan itinerary
- 5 days in Kyoto
- Cost of climbing Mt Fuji from Tokyo
- Where to go for famous Mt Fuji views as seen in pictures
- Know before you go to Hiroshima
- One day in Miyajima with famous floating torii views
- 3 days in Okinawa, Japan's tropical islands
- Cherry blossom photo walk
- When is the JR pass worth it for train travel?
- Tokyo to Kyoto train
- Hostels in Japan