A hot spring resort representative of the three cities, visited by 3.5 million people per year
The name of the city comes from an Ainu word "Nupurupett" (a river with a dark color). Development of this area began when Kuninori (Kojuro) Katakura, the lord of the Siroishi-jo Castle, Sendai clan, was ordered to rule Horobetsu County by Dajokan Fukoku in 1869.
Horobetsu Mine had been developed in a full scale by 1906. Gold, silver, copper and sulfur were mined. Production of sulfur was the largest in Japan from 1916 to 1919.
Noboribetsu Hot Springs have a daily yield of hot spring water of ten thousand tons, with the spring source temperature of 45 to 90 degrees Celsius. This hot spring resort is attractive because there are a wide variety of spring sources, such as sulfur springs, saline springs, iron springs and alum springs. It is called the "Department Store of Hot Springs".
The city is located at the center of the Shikotsu-T?ya National Park. It has developed as one of the best tourist cities in Hokkaido, having Noboribetsu Hot Springs, and as a part of the Muroran Industry Area, the most advanced heavy chemical industry area in Hokkaido. About fifty thousand people live in the city.