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Noboribetsu Onsen

Noboribetsu Onsen

In 1845, Takeshiro Matsuura, while exploring Hokkaido, stumbled upon the hot springs. During this time there was no road to the hot springs (onsen). An Omi Merchant named Hanbei Okada started the construction of a road in 1857 to the onsen. In 1858, Kinzo Takimoto was in search of a cure for a skin disease that was afflicting his wife. This led him to the hot springs near Jigokudani. It was said that the waters of the area had healing properties. When his wife soaked in the onsen, her disease was cured. Takeshiro, happy with the health of his wife, wanted to share the healing properties of the water with the world. He established the first hot spring hotel in Noboribetsu called Dai-ichi Takimotokan. It first started out as a small inn at the source of the spring, where the town developed around it, and since then it has become the largest onsen complex in Hokkaido. The town received more fame when it was designated a health resort for the injured soldiers of the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War.

The different minerals which enrich the water create 11 different types of thermal water. The contents of the hot spring will determine what kind of healing it offers. The sulfur spring helps ease chronic bronchitis, dermatitis and hardens the arteries. The salt spring eases lower back pain and poor circulation. Aluminum spring helps with symptoms of skin disease, athlete’s foot, hives and inflammation of the mucous membranes. Mirabilite spring increases blood flow, which helps with hypertension, wounds and arteriosclerosis. Melanterite spring is highly acidic, but helps with the effects of anemia and chronic eczema. Iron spring heats up the body and helps with symptoms of anemia and eczema. The acidic Iron spring is a powerful disinfectant, which helps with symptoms of eczema, but those with sensitive skin should wash their body with regular water after. Alkaline spring smooths skin and is good for various wounds. Radium spring has strong sedative effects and is good for neuralgia, rheumatism and menopausal disorders.