Hokkaido's Best Must-see Onsen Hot Springs

Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is renowned for its popular tourist spots, world-class ski resorts and culinary treasures. But did you know that some of the best onsen hot springs in Japan are also located in Hokkaido? Picture this: onsens facing the ocean or majestic lakes, quiet hot springs nestled in the mountains and outdoor baths with gorgeous scenery. This article introduces some of the best onsen hot springs in Hokkaido, where ultimate relaxation is guaranteed!

Noboribetsu Onsen

The magnificent Noboribetsu Onsen is located in southwest Hokkaido. Probably the most famous onsen on the island of Hokkaido, over ten different types of hot spring water flow here, including acidic springs, sulphur springs, iron-containing springs, hydrogen carbonate springs and sulphate springs. The largest of these is ‘Jigokudani’ or “Hell Valley” – a gigantic 450m wide hot spring valley with fifteen separate “hell” springs centering on one “great hell”, where over three-thousand liters of hot spring water gushes out every minute. There are very few places in Japan where it is possible to experience ten different types of hot spring baths, so make the most of soaking in this natural wonder (quite literally).

Hot spring benefits:

  • Acidic springs: Soothes chronic skin diseases and eczema
  • Sulfur springs: Soothes chronic bronchitis and arteriosclerosis, etc.


  • Approx. 1 hour 15 minutes by highway bus from New Chitose Airport (reservation required)
  • Approx. 1 hour 20 minutes from Sapporo by highway bus (reservation required)

Niseko Onsen

© Niseko Tourism

Niseko Onsen is the collective name for the hot springs scattered throughout Niseko Town as well as Kutchan Town and Rankoshi Town in Hokkaido’s central western region. This area also has a diverse range of hot spring varieties - Niseko Konbu Onsen and Niseko Goshiki Onsen are chloride springs, Niseko Yumoto Onsen is a sulfur spring, and Niseko Niimi Onsen is a sulfate spring. Purchase a Niseko Yu-meguri Pass for entry to all these different hot springs, where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the snowy mountains.

Hot spring benefits:

  • Chloride springs: Soothes neuralgia, muscle pain, joint pain, etc.


  • Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes from Sapporo by JR
  • Approx. 2 hours 45 minutes from New Chitose Airport by JR

Lake Akan Onsen

Lake Akan Onsen, in the eastern part of Hokkaido is home to many wild animals such as Yezo Sika deer and foxes. In the 1850s, the indigenous Ainu people frequently used this pure, quality hot spring. The picturesque lakeside is dotted with traditional inns, where visitors can enjoy hot spring baths surrounded by the breathtaking nature of the lake, Mount Akan and Mount Oakan. This onsen area is a great base for sightseeing around Akan, where you can learn about the native Ainu culture.

Hot spring benefits:

  • Soothes neuralgia, sensitivity to cold, fatigue, rheumatism, chronic digestive diseases, etc.


  • Approx. 1 hour 10 minutes by bus from Kushiro Airport
  • Approx. 5 hours 10 minutes by JR and bus from JR Sapporo Station

Kawayu Onsen

Kawayu Onsen, in the northeastern part of Hokkaido, flows from nearby active volcano, Mount Io. The spring water is sulfuric and so highly acidic that it can dissolve a nail in just a week. Kawayu Onsen has been used by locals since ancient times as it is believed that this onsen can cure many different illnesses and ailments. You can also enjoy strolling around the nearby forest area, a beautiful natural wonder where hot spring smoke and the scent of sulfur floats through the air. In winter, the trees freeze over, creating a brilliant white landscape to gaze upon while you enjoy bathing in the hot springs.

Hot spring benefits:

  • Soothes sensitivity to cold, fatigue, cuts, chronic skin diseases, chronic women's diseases, etc.


  • 1 hour 30 minute drive from Kushiro International Airport, Memanbetsu Airport, and Nemuro-Nakashibetsu Airport
  • 10 minutes by bus from JR Kawayu Onsen Station

Lake Toya Onsen

Lake Toya Onsen is a scenic chloride hot spring resort located on the south shore of Lake Toya in southwestern Hokkaido. Picturesque inns, as well as small hand and foot baths are scattered along the lakeside for the perfect break during a nature stroll. For an interesting experience, try ‘Ema-mikuji’ fortune telling at Yakushi Nyorai Hand and Foot Bath. After purchasing a ticket, dip it in the hot spring water and the result of your fortune will gradually be revealed. Lake Toya is renowned for its legends of dragons, so enjoy a mystical time at this ancient onsen town.

Hot spring benefits:

  • Soothes stiff shoulders, bruises, sensitivity to cold, gastrointestinal dysfunction, etc.


  • Approx. 1 hour 50 minutes by JR and bus from New Chitose Airport to JR Toya Station.
  • Approx. 2 hours 45 minutes by bus from JR Sapporo Station to Lake Toya Onsen.

Contents Source

This information is sourced by Fun Japan Communications Co., Ltd.
There may be business closures, changes to hours of operation,
or temporary suspension of the service of alcoholic beverages, etc.,
implemented without prior notice.

For details, please check the official websites or inquire with the
establishments directly.

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