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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