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Places not to miss! Sapporo locals’ top 5 onsen

# Hot springs
September 18, 2020
Sapporo, Hokkaido is full of great things to see and do: skiing, snowboarding, the Snow Festival, sightseeing, gourmet cuisine...the list goes on - and we can’t forget the region’s excellent onsen too. Taking a dip in an onsen after a long day of skiing or sightseeing out in the cold will warm you to your core! So, here we’ll be taking a look at five of the easiest onsen to access from inside Sapporo City. If you were to describe Hokkaido in one word, a good choice would be “big.” Even if you happen to hear about a special hideaway onsen, if it’s difficult even for locals to get to, there’s not much point, is there? We selected the following onsen taking into account both their ease of access along with the quality of their facilities, and hope you’ll check them out if you’re in the area.

Jozankei Onsen Shika-no-Yu: take some time off in Hokkaido’s leading onsen village

The Jozankei area is full of different onsen lodges, each with their own unique personality, and is one of the most well-known of all onsen villages in Hokkaido. Despite being located within Sapporo City proper, the onsen are completely surrounded by mother nature, making it a popular spot to come sightseeing! However, of all the onsen establishments located here, we would like to especially recommend “Shika-no-Yu”.

Opened in 1927, this Japanese-style lodge provides guests with high quality hot spring water brimming with natural minerals. With a large, open bathing area that includes open air-style baths, jacuzzis, and saunas, Shika-no-Yu’s facilties make it easy to relax. Visitors can even see the mountain streams lit up after dark, making for a bewitching sight.

Shika-no-Yu’s famed onsen water that has been flowing ever since the lodge opened for business has been called the best in the whole Jozankei area. The water is particularly renown for being gentle and easy on the skin.

Located nearby are a ton of popular “power spots” - places said to have highly concentrated levels of spiritual energy - including Shiraito Falls and the Futami Suspension Bridge, from which you can view the onsen village from. For those who want to make the most of a trip to Jozankei, we recommend definitely checking these two places. With comparatively easy access to the Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort, if you’re coming to the area on a ski trip, Shika-no-Yu makes a great place to stay.

Yumoto Koganeyu: an onsen village with a cozy atmosphere

This small onsen village is located relatively close to the Jozankei area, and has a relaxed atmosphere where you can really appreciate the passing of time. The town is located approximately one hour by train and bus from Sapporo Station on the subway. The town also features a free shuttle bus service that will pick you up from the closest station.

The hot spring water at Yumoto Koganeyu been beloved since antiquity by locals for its healing properties - characteristic of Japanese onsen - and has even been accredited for their effectiveness! Their 100% wellspring water is excellent when it comes to rejuvenating tired bones and for improving blood pressure levels.

Offering “rotenburo” open air bath-style, “tsubo-yu” barrel-style and indoor-style all natural onsen baths, Koganeyu also has jacuzzis, mist saunas, and plenty of other facilities installed to relax and revitalize. The staff-recommended reservation bathing plans allow the whole family or groups of visitors to rent out baths to enjoy on their own. With this plan, which comes highly recommended by past patrons, visitors can really make the most of their time at the onsen.

After bathing, head straight to the facility’s restaurant to enjoy a carefully tailored Japanese culinary experience, prepared by a professional master chef.

Located just a short 15 minutes from the Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort by car, this onsen lodge is great if you’re in town to hit the slopes. While it’s easy for visitors to come on just a day trip, we recommend Yumoto Koganeyu’s lodging accommodations, full of their own special charm.

Hoheikyo Onsen: enjoy the largest open air baths in all Japan

Hoheikyo Onsen is a huge bath house that can accommodate up to 200 visitors in its enormous open air baths. This luxurious onsen locale uses 100% all-natural wellspring water. Most alluring of all are Hoheikyo Onsen’s open air baths that allow bathers to really take in the beauty of nature as they soak.

The bathing areas have been constructed so that nothing obstructs the gorgeous view of the greenery surrounding them. With 3 different kinds of open air baths to choose from, all built in a different style, taking a dip in the evening with the area lit up is a truly mystical experience.

The resort also offers their special “Hot Springs for Beauty Skin” bath service, perfect for female patrons who want to revitalize their skin. Inside Hoheikyo Onsen’s main building, they offer massage, beauty salon, and facial care services, allowing visitors who’ve come back from a long day of skiing the perfect way to rejuvenate and recoup.

In terms of dining, local specialties like “Juwari Soba” and Jingisukan-style roasted mutton are popular choices, but especially popular is the chef-recommended Indian-style curry. Using a recipe developed through much trial-and-error, this pinnacle of Indian-style curry is so good it’s gained fans who keep on coming back for it.

Shinrin Koen Onsen Kiyora: conveniently located near Sapporo Station

Shinrin Koen Onsen Kiyora, a genuine onsen bath house, is located just 30 minutes by train from Sapporo Station. Kiyora makes it easy for visitors to the city to enjoy 100% all-natural, carefully selected free-flowing hot spring water.

The establishment’s “moor hot springs” are excellent for helping to relieve ailments such as neuralgia​ and fatigue, as well as helping moisturize and rejuvenate the skin, in addition to aiding sensitivity to cold. Moor hot springs, with a unique plant-based organic makeup, can only be found in certain select areas of Hokkaido and southwest Germany. Having these benefits conveniently within reach has made Kiyora popular not just among tourists but locals, too.

Kiyora’s bathtubs utilize state-of-the-art water processing technology, making them clean and hygienic - and at only 440 yen for adult admission, it won’t break the bank either. This rare onsen allows visitors to get an authentic onsen experience without any extra effort. (*No amenities such as shampoo or body soap are provided, so visitors will need to purchase or bring their own.)

Located just a 5 minute car ride away from the onsen is the “Historical Village of Hokkaido”, an outdoor museum offering visitors a rare glimpse into the history of Hokkaido pioneering. This easily accessible attraction is a must-see for Kiyora bathers.

Teine Onsen Honoka: a relaxing onsen open 24 hours a day

Teine Onsen Honoka is located a quick 30 minutes from Sapporo Station via the JR Line, and offers both accommodation and 24-hour bathing services. While it may appear like a deluxe public bath house at a glance, this natural saltwater onsen is excellent for improving blood circulation and relaxing muscles.

With a wide array of different types of baths including an open air bath, indoor baths, seated baths, saltwater steam saunas and stone saunas, this is one of the best bath houses you can find in the Sapporo area.

The mildly alkaline sodium bicarbonate waters feel great against your skin, and leave it feeling velvety smooth. This onsen is particularly popular among female tourists.

Complete with all kinds of amenities like shampoo, body soap, and free hair dryers, there’s no problem turning up empty-handed as well. For any skiers out there who hit the slopes a little too hard and forgot to check out the bath houses, why not pop by at the end of your trip for a quick dip before you leave?

The onsen in Hokkaido are not to be missed!

So, that about does it - we hope you enjoyed our look at easily accessible onsen in the Sapporo area. Sapporo is known for its harsh winters, but these onsen will leave your chilled body feeling heated to the core - a definite must after a long day of skiing! If you find yourself heading up to Sapporo, we hope you’ll enjoy these ultra-relaxing onsen.

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.

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