Release | nobu Kawashima
Autumn colors, onsen steams, and volcanic smoke at Noboribetsu Oyunuma!
Oyunuma in Noboribetsu Onsen is a hot water pond with gushing high-temperature sulfur spring. There are volcanic smokes from Mt. Hiyori behind the onsen steams. Oyunuma is one of the famous tourist spots in Noboribetsu along with Jigokudani (Hell Valley), but it’s especially beautiful in autumn with red and yellow colored trees around the pond!
What is Oyunuma in Noboribetsu Onsen?Oyunuma is a tourist spot about five to ten minutes drive or twenty to thirty minutes on foot from Noboribetsu Onsen town. It’s a hot water pond made of high-temperature onsen in the crater born from the volcanic eruption of Mt. Hiyori.
▲The pond looks like a crater when it’s seen from the top of the mountain.
There is a gushing 130 degrees sulfur spring water from the bottom of the pond and it is said that surface temperature is 40 to 50 degrees. We will be boiled up if we dive into the pond, thinking it is an enormous onsen…
▲Okunoyu, located right next to Oyunuma. This is also a hot pond with high-temperature sulfur spring.
There is no trees and grass on the surface of Mt. Hiyori or around Oyunuma. The scenery is savage with white and gray rocks. Because of that, the colors of trees around seems to stand out.
There are green trees from spring to early autumn, but the times with colored leaves is the most beautiful season of the year! Sorbus, Japanese sumac, and betel ermanii get red and yellow, and the contrast of gray hot water, white and gray of the mountain surface and clear blue sky with white volcanic smoke are incredibly beautiful!
▲The collaboration of onsen steam, volcanic smoke, and colored leaves! The white smoke on the left is a cloud, but onsen smoke looks like volcanic smoke.
There are thousands of famous place to view the autumn colors throughout Japan, but the collaboration of volcano, hot pond, and colored leaves must be rare! This is a unique scenery of Noboribetsu Onsen.
When and where should I see the autumn colors of Oyunuma?The standard spots are the scenery from the parking of Oyunuma or the road around. Mt. Hiyori with autumn colors are at the back, and Oyunuma with steam are located in front.
▲There are white smokes from the summit of Mt. Hiyori
Another spot is around Mt. Hiyori observation deck, which is about five minutes walk from Oyunuma, using the trail. Most of the place is covered with trees, but the view from the top is fantastic!
▲There are many trees around the observation deck, but there is a place where the view becomes clear.
▲Though it is only five minutes, you can enjoy the stunning view from the top worth walking!
▲You can also reach Jigokudani walking the trail surrounded by colorful trees, getting over the mountain.
The colors around Noboribetsu Onsen get at its best around mid-October usually. It is said that the best timing is getting late every year, but when is the best time this year? Maybe from mid-October to the end of October?
For your information, the photos in this article are taken on 22 October in 2015.
The collaboration of onsen steam, volcanic smoke, and autumn colors. What color combination is waiting for you? I hope you can find a beautiful scenery!
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers Photo-Writer nobu Kawashima