Hokkaido Winter Self Drive Travel – Noboribetsu & Shiraoi

Noboribetsu 登別 is well known for its natural hot spring in Hokkaido and is usually the first stop to visit as it is an hour away from New Chitose Airport. Jigokudani (Hell Valley) is the most visited attraction in Noboribetsu. Steam rises in the volcanic crater from the mountains and hot water bubbles up from the Tessen Ike geyser.

Shiraoi 白老 was established in 1867 by the feudal lords of Sendai. The town is located before Noboribetsu. We decided to stay in Shiraoi as the accommodation in Noboribetsu is more expensive. Another alternative town to stay is Muroran. There are several regions in Hokkaido produces Japanese Wagyu, Shiraoi is one of them. The town is famous for its Shiraoi Wagyu.

We stayed in both Airbnb and hotels for ur Hokkaido travels depending which fits us better. Get Extra RM160 off on your Airbnb booking when you Sign up new Airbnb HERE!

Jigokudani (Hell Valley 地獄谷)

Jigokudani (Map) is a spectacular volcanic valley situated just 5 mins from the town. There are several walking trails that lead to Oyunuma pond from the valley. During winter, the trails might closed. Car parks are available 5 mins walk away from the entrance.

During our visit, Both Oyunuma pond and Oyunumagawa Natural Footbath were closed.

Hell Valley

The valley is 450m in diameter and contains 15 geysers and hot spring of various sizes. More than 3,000 liters of hot spring water flows through every minute.

Follow me to hell

Annual Family trip

Noboribetsu Town

Noboribetsu town is 5 mins walk from Hell Valley’s car park hence you can walk to the town for a meal after visiting as there are only a handful of car park spaces in town. There are few restaurants and a 7 Eleven in Noboribetsu town.

Shiraoi Accommodation

We stayed in Airbnb in Shiraoi since it is cheaper compared to accommodation in Noboribetsu.

Our Airbnb in Shiraoi comes with a Japanese Garden & Onsen

Get Extra RM160 off on your Airbnb booking when you Sign up new Airbnb HERE!

We stayed in: Airbnb 1 and Airbnb 2

Shiraoi Food

Shiraoiushi no Mise Iwasaki

There are quite a few restaurants that serve Shiraoi Wagyu. We decided to try at Shiraoiushi no Mise Iwasaki (Map), a yakiniku restaurant. We ordered a set platter thus allowing us to try different parts. The platter costs about 5000 JPY (RM200/SGD70).

It is much cheaper to eat wagyu in Japan as the price is exorbitantly high in Malaysia and Singapore. Japanese wagyu is much more flavourful and tender compared with Australian Wagyu.

The perfect marbling that literally melts in our mouth

BBQ Wagyu

Sobadokoro Fukuzumi Shiraoi

Sobadokoro Fukuzumi 福住白老店 (Map) is a popular restaurant chain serving soba in Japan. The restaurant offers Japanese curry however it is not recommended as their soba is much better.

Ebi Tempura Soba

Pork Cutlet Soba

Hokkaido Car Rental

We booked our Nissan car online with ToCoo Japan. If you are travelling to few cities, Hokkaido Highway Pass will be beneficial as HEP allows unlimited use of Hokkaido’s expressways, for one fixed price thus saving on toll.

Read: How to Rent a Car in Hokkaido

Pocket Wifi

We rented our portable wifi from Roaming Man which offers 3GB data daily at a 4G speed at only RM12 per day for up to 5 devices.

Promo code: RMWIFI19 for 10% off discount. (validity: 4th May till 31 July 2019, for travels until 31 Dec 2019)

Our Hokkaido Self Drive Travel Blogs

About Tommy Ooi 509 Articles
Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Tommy,
    Thankful for all your post on the driving trip in Hokkaido. Really helpful and insightful.
    Would like to ask a few questions:
    1. Is it safe to drive during winter? Need to be slower and extra careful?
    2. Is the parking fees expensive there?
    3. How about the petrol? Is it expensive as well?

    Thanks in advance!

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