A short walk uphill from Noboribetsu town reveals what may await us in the afterlife: sulphurous gases, hissing vents and seemingly blood-stained rocks. Jigoku-dani, which literally means 'Hell Valley', is part of the smoking crater of volcanic Kuttara-san. A wooden boardwalk leads out to a boiling geyser.

There are also a number of short hiking trails. In about 30 minutes you can walk out to Ōyu-numa (大湯沼), a steaming lake fed by hot springs; another 15 minutes will take you to the Ōyu-numa Natural Footbath (大湯沼天然足湯), where the hot spring water comes up a perfect 42°C.