Spa Triathlon @ Noboribetsu on 21st June!

"What the heck is Spa Triathlon?" was my question when I first read the column about marketing the event in the newspaper last year. Back then I was still with my former employment which is located overseas and had no idea what my hometown was up to.

Well, since I now pretend to be "Noboribetsu expert" (yeah, I must admit I am still in a learning phase...), let me explain what "Spa Triathlon" is all about......

Spa Triathlon is the sport competition event with the combination of "Spa" (hot spring) and "Triathlon". One of the venues in 2009 is my hometown, Noboribetsu!
With the strict rule, the participants MUST wear "Yukata" (a cotton kimono). How cool!!!

According to their Japanese promotion website (http://www.spatra.jp/) , the event is not only about promoting well-being but also promoting the local character and sharing the excitement of achievement. The course actually covers the highlight of Noboribetsu Onsen area.
Wanna participate? Email to info@spatra.jp


Flavor of Spring! Yummy Wild Vegetable Heaven

Noboribetsu local mountains become a gigantic fresh market for FREE! at the moment. The amount of mountain vegetables (we call them "san sai") we can catch is just far too much to keep them to ourselves. I am not exaggerating! We can feed the world. It's a wonderland for adult who love the nature.

Other than bamboo shoots, watercress, Japanese parsley, probably other mountain vegis are exclusive to Hokkaido. And the amount we can catch is far too much more we can consume ourselves.

.....bamboos just picked from the local mountain. yum!

When Sakura (cherry blossoms) is over its best, locals get itchy feet to go into mountains and pick mountain vegetables (we call them "san sai"). This is almost addictive! Everybody go nuts about picking as many as they can. And even though it is such a hard work, without any hesitation they give away many of their catches to friends, family, and neighbors.

I very much enjoy all the vegetables from the local mountains. They are all beautiful to look at and have strong unique flavor that you can never taste from the farmed vegetables. Truly blessings of nature!

Around this time of the year, no matter if you go to mountains yourself or not, your fridge is filled with tons of different kinds of "flavor of Spring". This makes me realise that us, human being had started our society with "sharing" to survive together. And this time Noboribetsu locals seem to return to where we should be and I feel fortunate to be here!


On your arrival in Noboribetsu Onsen.....

You cannot miss this sign once you arrive at "Noboribetsu Onsen (Hot Spring)" bus terminal.

First time here? Please be reassured because.....
Noboribetsu Gateway Center is your helpful friend!

The staff (including me!) are expert to everything about Noboribetsu area and always love to provide local tour guide services and information about the area, accommodation, transport, everything you need to know.

"Your pleasure is Our pleasure!!"

Noboribetsu area may have a lot to see, however, some places are hidden and unwritten in a guide book. If you wish to spend your limited time wisely, booking our professional guide service is strongly recommended! We have a wide range of programs from the local tour to experience-oriented activities and happily customize a plan to match with your preference too.
One of the popular programs is "Night Adventure"!
We take you to a walk to the popular "foot bath" and "Oyunuma" lake in a darkness. Only the torch light would direct your way. Shapen your sensibility and experience the nature surrounding you without eyesight. Feel the life and heartbeat of the earth! If you are lucky, shooting stars would delight your eyes like fireworks.

Booking is essential. (Price: 1,500yen per person)

We have more programs to make your stay more enjoyable. Come ask us!

We are open everyday from 8:00 am to 6:00pm.
Please feel free to contact us anytime.

Noboribetsu Gateway Center
Address: Noboribetsu Onsen Bus Terminal,

26 Noboribetsu Onsen Cho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Japan
Telephone: 0143-84-2200
Fax: 0143-84-2301


Noboribetsu is full of pink right now!

A perfect flower for my first blog!

After "loooo~ng" cold winter, yes! Noboribetsu's "sakura"(cherry blossom) is at its best right now!

This is just like a nice treat for us to survive through the winter here!

The lovesome and dainty pink color cuddles and makes you feel warm when you feel down. However, this fragile flower lasts just a week only if no rain or wind....

On the way up from Noboribetsu JR Station to Noboribetsu Onsen (Hot Spring) area, sakura trees line up along the side of the road for a few kilometers. This "Aka oni" (Red Ogre) stands tall and strong to welcome you into Noboribetsu Onsen Area and today this guy looks very happy with a sakura tree blooming for him.

Driving through the beautiful tunnel of sakura is absolute pleasure!
Today I have met quite a few excited people who said that sakura in Noboribetsu is the best!

I suppose our sakura is not displayed flashy like other gigantic tourist sights but is for you if prefer seeing sakura trees with rather subtle setting. If you miss this spring, do come next year!

Any information or guide required? Please contact us at "Noboribetsu Gateway Center" located inside of "Donan Bus" terminal in Noboribetsu Onsen.

Phone: 0143-84-2200 email: gwc-noboribetsu@hotmail.co.jp