Japan Travel

Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE & Jigokudani (Hell Valley)

Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE is located near the Noboribetsu JR Station (5-10 mins walk). It also offers free shuttle pick-up and drop-off from Noboribetsu Onsen, so it’s very convenient even if you’re not driving. The park itself is not big, we covered the entire area and watched all the shows within 2.5 hours. In my opinion, it’s more suitable for young kids and maybe somewhat boring for adults. 🙄

Admission ticket is priced at 2500 yen for adults, 1300 yen for child 4-12 years old, and free for child 3 years old and below. You can purchase discounted tickets from Klook. If you’re planning to visit Noboribetsu Bear Park and/or Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura, it’s cheaper to purchase the Two-Park Ticket or Three-Park Ticket from the marine park.

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
Entrance of Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE

Hokkaido Summer Free and Easy Vacation (Series of Posts)

Singapore to Sapporo via Thai Airways, Check-in Hakodate Kokusai Hotel – Day 1

Mount Hakodate, Morning Market, Fort Goryokaku, Red Brick Warehouse – Day 2

Hotel Mahoroba Review – A Must for Onsen Enthusiasts – Day 3

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe, Jigokudani (Hell Valley) – Day 4 ⬅ You are here!

Lake Shikotsu, Lake Toya, Usuzan Ropeway, Mount Showa-Shinzan – Day 7

Farm Tomita, New Furano Prince Hotel, Ningle Terrace, Shikisai-no-oka – Day 8

Asahiyama Zoo, Shirogane Blue Pond, Shirahige Falls – Day 9

Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE

The highlight of Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE is their full year 🐧 penguin parade. In other places such as Otaru Aquarium and Asahiyama Zoo, penguin parade is only available in winter. Thus, if you want to see penguin parade in other seasons, this might be the ONLY place. Watching these penguins waddle along in front of the crowd like a tiny army is very cute. If you haven’t seen them, you should really check them out!

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
Penguin Parade

In summer, the penguin parade is held twice a day at 11:00am and 2:15pm, with a duration of 15 mins. The show schedule may change in other seasons, so please check their website before your visit. Besides the penguin parade, other shows include Dolphin Show, Sea Lion Show and Sardine Show. I’ve seen numerous dolphin and sea lion shows that they’re no longer appealing to me.

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
Dolphin Show
Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
Sea Lion Show

I must say that the Sardine Show is more interesting. It’s my first time seeing a sardine performance, and I was so impressed! Thousands of sardines swam vigorously in the Milky Way Pool in search for food, along with music and colourful lighting. I’ve recorded a short video here to share with you. Very mesmerizing to watch, isn’t it? (I hope you’ll say YES!) 😊

The moment you step into Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE, you’ll see the Castle NIXE that sets the aquarium apart from the rest. Modeled after a Danish castle, this aquarium is one of the largest in northern Japan and it offers many points of interests within its four-storey tall structure.

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
Castle NIXE

When you enter the castle, you will start off from the 2nd floor and make your way around. There’s an Aqua Tunnel tank where you can go inside the aquarium via a see-through tunnel and observe the many species from within. There are also various touch pools with small sharks, rays, star fishes and horseshoe crabs, as well as a reptile house with snakes, turtles and lizards.

Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE

We saw an amusement park with various kiddie rides next to the marine park, but it wasn’t opened during our visit. The park has various eateries too. Edison loved their Kiwi soft serve ice-cream! 🍦

Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE
Watch the goldfish under a kaleidoscope of colours
Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE
Park Map

After visiting Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE, we took their free shuttle back to Hotel Mahoroba and we explored Jigokudani before going for another round of onsen bath.

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
Free Shuttle – it’s a minivan with limited capacity

Jigokudani or “Hell Valley” is a valley just above the town of Noboribetsu Onsen, which displays hot steam vents, sulfurous streams and other volcanic activity. It is the main source of Noboribetsu’s hot spring waters. You can see the beauty of this natural wonder as you walk along the walking trails that lead further into it (be prepared for the strong Sulphur smell!). 😲

Hell Valley

Noboribetsu Hell Valley

Hell Valley

I’ve read that you can walk for 20-30 mins along the trail to get to Oyunuma – a sulfurous pond with a surface temperature of 50°C where you can enjoy a natural foot bath. We didn’t explore until that far though.

All in all, we had a wonderful time in Noboribetsu. We loved the onsen at Hotel Mahoroba and had a comfortable stay at their ryokan. On the other hand, Oni Hanabi or Demon’s Fireworks in Hell Valley was truly an eye-opener for us. We also enjoyed walking along its trail to see the mysterious lighted path at night. We started Noboribetsu with low expectation, thinking that it’s just a small town, but in the end, we truly enjoyed it. 😃

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4 comments

Serene February 27, 2020 at 12:53 PM

Dear Emily,

Glad to see your post here. I plan to visit Hokkaido around mid of Dec (2 adults & 1 boy-11 yo), and kindly comments and advise my concern as follow:

9-Dec: Depart from Singapore to Haneda
10-Dec: Arrive Tokyo
10-Dec ~ 12-Dec: F&E at Tokyo
12-Dec: depart from Haneda to Hakodate by Flight
12-Dec ~ 14-Dec: 3D2N at Hakodate
14-Dec: Depart from Hakodate to Sapporo in the morning (will catch up earliest train)
** Buy JR Pass in advance (Klook) and take Super Hokuto Limited Express back to Sapporo.
** On the way, I plan to alight at Noboritbetsu Station after 2.5 hour travelling. Proceed to visit the Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe and Hell Valley. May I know during your July trip, you joined the local tour group and go by your own? Plan not to overnight here. After visit these places, will take train back to Sapporo. Please comment
15-Dec: Sapporo -> Otaru (will visit the interest places around such as Mt Moiwa, Shiroi Koibito Park, Glass Museum, TV Tower etc)

FYI, i also booked a room at Ibis Style Sapporo (14-Dec ~ 19-Dec). During winter, i feel a bit worry of their traffic if i take taxi from Ibis hotel to Chitose Airport. Alternative Plan is to stay a night at those hotels near to Airport. Worry will miss the Flight back to Singapore!

Thanks a lot!

Reply
Emily February 28, 2020 at 2:55 PM

Hi Serene,
Nice to e-meet you here! 🙂 I visited Noboribetsu on my own. To visit Hell Valley, you need to take bus. It’s not within walking distance from JR Noboribetsu Station. So, it’s quite troublesome if you ask me (especially when you’re carrying your luggage). You can walk from JR Station to Marine Park Nixe. If you only want to see penguin parade, it’s easier to go to Otaru Aquarium since you’ll be going there.
I love ibis Styles Sapporo! The price is very reasonable with a good location. Don’t miss out their butter croissants during breakfast. Haha! What time is your return flight to SG? To be on the safe side, you need to leave 4 hours before your flight time.

Reply
Serene March 1, 2020 at 10:18 AM

Dear Emily,

1) Since we are travelling from Hakodate to Sapporo by JP Train, I plan to stop at Toya (Visit Lake Toya), then proceed to Noboritbetsu. Will keep the luggage at JR Station (Locker).
2) Will see Penguin parade at Marine Park Nixe & Otaru Aquarium. He loves to visit Sea Aquarium.
3) I am yet to buy the air fare and I am still monitoring the fare. Hope can grab a good fare. So far, JAL online fare price is S$ 2,714.00. I think is a good deal too. Due to Conovirus, I am still on hold to purchase the air ticket. However, I already booked the rooms 🙂 Good deal for the rooms.
4) Noted your advise we need to leave 4 hours before my flight time. Planned return flight is 10.40am from Chitose to Sin.

Really get a lot of helpful tips from your Blog!

Regards/Serene

Reply
Emily March 2, 2020 at 8:29 AM

Hi Serene,

1) It’s a good idea to stop-over at Toya and Noboribetsu. Else, the 3.5hr journey from Hakodate to Sapporo is quite long. That’s why I took domestic flight in my last trip.
2) I’m sure your boy will love the penguin parade. My boy enjoyed it so much esp during winter in Otaru.
3) With the current situation, I believe the fare will be lower than last year. Hope that you can secure a good deal soon. Good luck! 🙂
4) ibis Styles has a time table of the airport limousine at their lobby with recommended time to leave based on your flight timing. Do refer to the time table. The earliest bus leaves at 5+. You should have enough time since your flight is 10:40am. 🙂

Reply

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