This is one of four Jigoku regions I have been to, so you can say I have been to hell four times already hahaha. The other ones are in Beppu, Oita, Unzen in Nagasaki and Iozan also in Hokkaido. This site is probably the largest of the four.
It is worth staying at one of the onsens in Noboribetsu and spend the day exploring the area. Sulphur smells and the noise of volcanic steam escaping from this active area fills the air.
The area is still active, I remember back in the year 2000 Mt. Usu, just to the west erupted, damaging the onsen town below it. It is exciting and beautiful visiting a place like this but also knowing it is still active is a little scary. Walking around you can literally feel and smell the earth’s power.
If you haven’t already done it, I suggest visiting one of Japan’s Jigoku (Hell).
Words and photos by Stuart.