Sunday, March 18, 2018

Gokuraku Shopping Street - The Main Commercial Street in the Onsen Town @ Noboribetsu [Hokkaido, Japan]

I was half expecting the onsen town in noboribetsu to be a quiet place but there's actually a shopping street known as Gokuraku that's right outside Takimoto Inn

Aside from the shopping, you could also look out for the many cute demon statues installed along the street; they were great for selfies and photo taking.

The towering King of Hell with his own shows; it's not really a temple but it's indeed a unique feature! For more information, please click here.

One of the many souvenir shops along the street; in addition to popular Hokkaido snacks, there were many more to see, especially the demon-themed memorabilia. 

Warning; they don't come cheap! 

Honey although my eyes were drawn to another thing; not the pretty ladies in case you are wondering. I am more interested in the big ice cream cone next to the main entrance! 

Soft serve (honey) that cost 320 yen; tasted rich of honey which should be a good thing but i prefer the traditional hokkaido vanilla soft serve for their richer creaminess.  

There's also the cup version with toppings like blueberry and honey, yuzu mitsu, maple honey. Prefer something healthier, go for the honey drinks.


In the middle of the about 400-meter street is a iconic store; the 7-11 convenience store! 


How could we not step into the store?! It's always a good place to top up on the essentials like mineral water, snacks! I got a pack of biscuits that appeared really good on the packaging.

Sadly, it wasn't the sweet biscuit kind that i would have enjoyed better; salty with a cheesy filling. As my travel mates didn't like it too, i am the only one who's left with the task to clear up the bag. I could have thrown away but i am too stingy for that! 

Buddy demon statues.

A pretty tree that seemed to be showing shades of autumn! I am seriously considering another visit to Japan in autumn where leaves of various colors beautified the landscape.

As we were a bit short of time when we arrived at the onsen town, our objective was more to find lunch (which was settled at an izakaya near the 7-11) and we returned back to the shopping street in the evening to seek dinner! 

In a while, i can also show you the scenes at night for better contrast. For example, the above picture is the same souvenir shop i attached earlier in this post. Looks better at night, i feel.

People were out in their yutakas! 

Gigantic cudgel (the usual weapon for the Japanese demons); i wonder if it is the missing one from Sengen Park which was supposed to have nine cudgels and i only found eight on site. 

Building housing the izakaya (たこ焼き 永森) where we had lunch! 

Heart-shaped window.

Another souvenir shop; i refrained from stepping in as i already made up my mind to buy everything from Sapporo where the pricing might be lower (and they usually are for Hokkaido-theme snacks and souvenir). 

One of the accommodations; i just checked the website and my eyes almost fell out. I think i am better off with Takimoto Inn since i am not a big fan of tatami rooms.  

End of the Gokuraku Shopping Street.

Another good scale store although it was already closed for the day at about 7.00 am. Even though i am stopping myself from buying things, i would still love to check out bigger stores in case they have the piggy banks i want! 

Still sourcing for a place to have dinner and eventually got our tummies filled at Isekura (いせくら); pity we didn't do much research beforehand and missed out on having their milk ramen! p.s. to be frank, we might not even consider ramen as we just had it for dinner the night before. 

Some shops were still open when we exited about an hour later and there's an interesting place; a wasabi store with real, living Japanese horseradish! I have no idea that a wasabi can cost 3,000 yen (close to S$40)! 

Yukake-Kizo Demon Statue - seeing that he wasn't wearing anything, i very kindly took a bucket of hot spring water and drenched it over him.

The demon in daytime as i was back again the next morning. Anyway, Yukake-Kizo is supposed to help those who wish for health and eliminate calamity. With that in mind, i gave him another sulfur rich shower.

This one appeared to be for school-goers as the Chinese characters infer to pass an exam / subject. Oh well, no harm in asking your child to pray for it even though what matters most is that they work hard for school!

I left this to the last as it's something i should have done upon arrival in Noboribetsu.

Noboribetsu's tourist information centre which might have made it easier for us to source for food. Other than the spread of brochures and information, there's a clean washroom if you need one. 

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Location
Gokuraku Shopping Street,
Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan

Map
Get it from here


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