Meet the Demons (Oni) of Hell Valley in Noboribetsu Onsen (part 2)
This is part two of a two-part story! If you haven’t met the demons from the first part, go back!
Now that you’ve met half of the demons in Noboribetsu, you probably have certain expectations about the next six. However these next demons are quite different. For the most part they’re a whole lot more adorable. And they are all handily located on the main street in Noboribetsu Onsen, and a few minutes walk from Dai-ichi Takimotokan.
Most of the demons from here on in are going to look a lot cuter – so you can relax. Well, except for King Enma. The Yukake Demon is in a small shrine in the main street down the road from Dai-ichi Takimotokan. It is home to a demon statue put in place in 1996 by the people of Noboribetsu Onsen to pray to for good health, and the curing of all illness through the power of hot spring water.
Demon of Business Prosperity
Next door to Takimoto Inn is the Demon of Business Prosperity. It doesn’t have a very fancy shrine but what it lacks in presence, it makes up for in big-eyed cuteness. It’s probably not the best way to talk about a demon, but oh well.
The Study Demon brings good luck to anyone who needs to pass an exam! You may think only students will need to pray to this demon, but you’d be surprised how many tests and exams there are in Japan well after your academic years are behind you.
Business, exams, and now love. If you thought you were going to leave Noboribetsu with a few key chains and phone charms for souvenirs, think again. You’re going to leave with enough blessings to change your whole life. Or at least awesome pictures if you’re not into praying for romance.
King Enma Shrine
This shrine was constructed in the main street of Noboribetsu Onsen back in 1993 to mark the 30th Noboribetsu Hell Festival. For those who aren’t familiar with Enma, he is the king of the underworld. After a person dies, they must stand in front of him, waiting to be judged and sent to the afterworld. The King comes to life on the hour, at 10:00, 13:00, 15:00, 20:00, and 21:00 every day.
Sengen Park Demon
Next to Takimoto Inn and over the road from Dai-ichi Takimotokan is Sengen Park. The park is decorated with huge kanabo demon clubs that light up at night and look great in winter snow. The main attraction isn’t the Sengen Demon, but what he is guarding – an active geyser that bursts into life approximately every 3 hours, blowing boiling water up to 8 meters high, gushing steam, and bellowing like a steam locomotive. It is worth timing a visit to see the geyser in action – each blow-up continues for about 50 minutes.
If you want to learn more about things to see and do in Noboribetsu Onsen, take a look at the Noboribetsu Tourist Onsen homepage.