About 200 brown bears are raised at the Bear Farm at the summit of Mt. Shihorei to the east of Noboribetsu Hot Spring. The bears are separated by age. There is a “cage for humans” in the first farm, where observation from the viewpoint of bears is possible. There is also a brown bear museum where the origin and habits of brown bears are presented using 500 materials and videos.
Brown bears are the largest species of animals in Hokkaido and are worshiped by Ainu, the native Hokkaido people, as God. There are approximately 2,000 brown bears in Hokkaido and the number is reported to be on the decline.
Noboribetsu Bear Park is located atop “Bear Mountain” which sits in the deep forest of the Lake Kuttara area. Farming, observing, and studying of brown bears started in October 1958 and recorded a major success. The numbers of bears are now over a hundred, from only eight at the beginning, and happily ever after is the way they live now.
The farm area consists of two separate farms, with groups of male and female bears respectively. You can feed them with the “bear snacks” sold here. Take a closer look from the human cage and see their cute babies at the Cubs Firm.
Eleven different types of mineral water flow forth at Noboribetsu. Noboribetsu Onsen is only a 15-minute bus ride from the town. It is one of Japan’s most unique hot spring resorts and arguably the most popular onsen town in Hokkaido. The hotels all have gorgeous indoor and outdoor baths, and most people who visit make a point of going to the Daiichi Takimotokan hotel.
This very possibly could be the largest hot spring facility in Japan. You can choose from 30 baths differing in minerals and temperatures. There are indoor and outdoor baths, saunas, Jacuzzis and more. It’s hard to complain when you’re sipping on a cold beer and soaking in an outdoor hot spring. The infernal valley where the steamy water erupts is a popular sightseeing attraction as well.
The Akashiya Youth Hostel is just a five-minute walk from the bus station.
Access: By train: 21/2 hours from Hakodate, 45 minutes from Toya Station and 1 hour 10 minutes from Sapporo
By bus: there are direct buses from Toyako Onsen and Sapporo
Point of Interest
Get in the cage and feel the force of the brown bear.
Second Farm (Females only)
Females are active and clever, just as you can see. When they ask for food, they dont just ask; they stand up, wave at you and make you just want to give.
Cubs just like those teddy bears you have
Shows are held several times a day at the indoor stage throughout the year. Stage performances include soccer, basketball and mathematics.
Pretty duck racers with colorful ribbons will show you heated side-by-side battles.
Brown Bear Museum
The only bear specialist museum in the world. 500 pieces of themed exhibitions, varying from specimens to explanatory panels, cover various sides of bears’ biological, historical and background stories.
Yukara Village (Noboribetsu Ainu Kotan)
This mock Ainu village revives the lifestyle of Ainu (native Hokkaido) peoples in the late 19th century. Traditional Ainu dance is demonstrated where you could drop in and take part. You can also get snap shots wearing Ainu cloths.
Bear Mountain Restaurant Genghis Khan Barbecue and other snacks ere available.
To get to the Park, 1300 meters long gondola ropeway connects the park at the top station with the bottom station located in the hot spring town of Noboribetsu. The high speed ropeway (capacity for 6 people, departing every 15-seconds) is the only way to get from the base station in the center of Noboribetsu hot spring town to the Bear Park. There are about 20 stairs on the way up to the Mountain Station ticket gate. Visitors in a wheelchair will be guided by staff on a different route to the ticket gate. Ropeway tickets are included in the Bear Park admission fee.
Lake Kuttara Observation Deck
Enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding area, especially Lake Kuttara, one of the clearest lakes in the country.
Each end of the gondola has a souvenir store that carries a wide variety of goods for your shopping enjoyment.
Address and Contact:
Noboribetsu Bear Park
Noboribetsu Onsen Cable Corporation 224 Noboribetsu-Onsen-cho (Noboribetsu onsen town), Noboribetsu Onsen, Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Hokkaido, 059-0551, Japan Tel: 0143-84-2225 Fax: 0143-84-2857