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[Horoka Onsen in Kamishihoro] Day Trip Onsen, 4 Types of Hot Springs and Mixed Bathing Can Be Enjoyed at Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

October 3rd, 2014

Horoka Onsen

Horoka Onsen (幌加温泉) is a hot spring place in Kamishihoro town located in the northern part of Obihiro city. A blue signboard of the Horoka Onsen is a mark along Nukabira National Route (糠平国道 * National Route 273), and visitors turn and go straight for around 1.5 km, and the end of the road is the Horoka Onsen. Only Kanoya Onsen Ryokan (鹿の谷温泉旅館) is built at around 700 m above sea level at the foot of Mt. Horoka in the Higashi-Daisetsu region, Daisetsuzan Natioanl Park (大雪山国立公園 東大雪地区), and is well-known as a secret onsen. It is out of signal area. There is a trailhead for Mt. Nipesotsu, but restraunts, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built around here. Lake Nukabira (糠平湖) is near here, and there are Concrete Arches of Former Shihorosen Railway (旧国鉄士幌線廃線跡コンクリートアーチ橋梁群) including Taushubetsugawa Bridge (タウシュベツ川橋梁), and Nukabira Onsen, Nukabira Dam, Forest Truck Railway Eco Rail (森のトロッコ・エコレール), Mikuni Pass (三国峠) and Naitai Highland Farm (ナイタイ高原牧場) are relatively near here, too.

Fall Foliage
Kamishihoro Lake Nukabira

Yumeguri Ticket (湯めぐり切符) is issued to go onsen tour for JPY 1200 in the Nukabira Onsen and the Horoka Onsen, and visiotrs for day trip bath can take a bath at 3 hot spring facilities among 6 hot spring facilities, Yumotokan (湯元館), Nukabira Onsen Hotel (糠平温泉ホテル), Nakamuraya (中村屋), Primalstage (プライマルステージ), Higashi-Taisetsu Nukabira Youth Hostel (東大雪ぬかびらユースホステル) and Horoka Onsen Shika-no-Yu (幌加温泉 鹿の湯). In addition, a intercity bus, North Liner (ノースライナー号), runs between Obihiro and Asahikawa. Unfortunately, nonstop buses do not run from New Chitose Airport and Sapporo to the Nukabira Onsen.

Taushubetsu Bridge
Nukabira Onsen in Kamishihoro

Nukabira Dam and Lake Nukabira

Lake Nukabira (糠平湖) in Kamishihoro town is the second largest man-made lake in Hokkaido. There is Nukabira Hot-spring Resort (糠平温泉) on the lakeshore in the northwest side of the Lake Nukabira. There is Higashitaisetsu Nature Center (東大雪自然館) in the hot-spring resort, and tourists can gather information about Lake Nukabira. Even fishing is popular, too, and it is famous for catching spotted sea trouts in a summer and catching Japanese pond smelts in a winter. In addition, there is Horoka Onsen (幌加温泉) near the Lake Nukabira. Article is here

Lake Nukabira from Pass
Kamishihoro Lake Nukabira

Mikuni Pass

Mikuni Pass (三国峠) is the highest pass at 1139 m above sea level in Hokkaido in Kamishihoro located in the north part of Obihiro, and is on National Route 273 (Nukabira National Route (糠平国道)) that connects Kamikawa (上川) and Tokachi (十勝) and penetrates Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) in a north-south direction. There is not a house around the Mikuni Pass, a sea of trees such as Sakhalin Fir (トドマツ) and Yezo Spruce (エゾマツ) spreads over. Horoka Onsen (幌加温泉) and Nukabira Onsen (糠平温泉) are a little far away. The sea of the trees is famous for fall foliage, too. The best time to see is from mid September to early October. Aticle is here

Matsumi-ohashi Bridge
Mikuni Pass with Fall Foliage in Kamishihoro

Naitai Highland Farm

Naitai Highland Farm (ナイタイ高原牧場) is the Japan's largest public farm in Kamishihoro town located in the northern part of Obihiro city. Whole mountains of 1,700 ha with 1,000 m in height is a ranch that about 3,000 cows put out to pasture. Toursts can enter the mountain at about 800 m above sea level, and a hut is built in a neighborhood of mountaintop. A meal and a soft serve ice cream used for milk of Naitai Highland Farm cows are served at the hut, and the tourists can taste thick milk. There is a restroom, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Higashi-Taisetsu Mountains
Kamishihoto Naitai Highland Farm

Daisetsuzan National Park

Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) is the largest national park of 226,763.56 ha in Japan. A mountain named Daisetsuzan does not exist, and the whole area including the mountains with over 2,000 m above sea level such as Mt. Asahidake (旭岳), the highest mountain in Hokkaido, Mt. Kurodake (黒岳), Mt. Aibestudake (愛別岳), Mt. Tomuraushi (トムラウシ山) is collectively called "Daisetsuzan". A right notation is "Daisetsuzan", but local people often call "Taisetsuzan". For a vast area, Daisetsuzan National Park roughly divide into 4 areas, Omote Daisetu Area (表大雪エリア * Front Daisetsu Area), North Daisetsu Area (北大雪エリア), East Daisetsu Area (東大雪エリア * Back Daisestu Area), Tokachirenpo Area (十勝連峰エリア). Daisetsuzan is called Kamuimintara in Ainu language and means "The garden that gods have a good time (神々の遊ぶ庭)". Tourists can enjoy a just magnificent scene. Article is here

Mt. Asahidake
Daisetsuzan National Park

Day Trip Onsen

Tourists can take a day trip bath at the Kanoya Onsen Ryokan.

Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

Kanoya Onsen Ryokan is a small-sized long-established onsen inn founded in 1946, and is well-known for savoring 4 types of natural free flowing hot springs, and is popular with onsen lovers and hikers. Both the appearance and the interior decoration have a good old atmosphere such as an onsen hut for hot spring cure in the Showa period. Because a lot of deers welcome visitors, it is said to be named a valley of the deers. * Kanoya means the valley of the deer in Japanese. But I do not know whether it is true. An entrance fee to the bath facility is JPY 500. Only staying without meals is possible, too. An owner, nearly 90 years-old-woman, has poor hearing, so it is hard to get in touch with her by phone. It is said that it is easy to get in touch with her by a fax. In addition, please take your garbage with you.

Appearance of Building
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

They have 2 public bathhouses, a mixed bathing bathhouse and a bathhouse only for women. There are 1 outdoor bath, 3 indoor baths and 1 cascading bath at the mixed bathing bathhouse, and there are 1 indoor bath at the bathhouse only for women. I took a bath at the mixed bathing bathhouse. The good old bathhouse with a historical atomosphere of a hot spring cure facility is not large, and is slightly dark. But sunlight shines from large windows. Wash palces are on the bath floor. Slatted drainboards are just the wash places. Faucet for cold water are provided beside the windows, but a shower is not provided, so bathers should pour hot springs on theirselves to wash off the sweat and the dirt with a wash basin.

Look of Bathhouse
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Look of Bathhouse (Source: Wikipedia HP)
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Look of Bathhouse
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Left Side Is Wash Place
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

There are 3 indoor baths with Sodium Chloride Spring (ナトリューム泉), Iron Spring (鉄泉) and Calcium Sulfate Spring (カルシューム泉) beside a wall. The baths are the size that about 8 people can take a bath. Hot spring ingredients seems to be very rich, and those precipitated on the baths and the bath floor. Unfortunately, the bath with the iron spring was just cleaning on that day, so I could not savor the iron spring. The sodium chloride springs, and clear and colorless and have a little sour taste and no smell. The calcium sulfate springs, and clear and colorless and have a little salty taste and no smell. As for the cascading bath, it was too hot to be not able to soak my foot into the hot sptings...

Look of Bathhouse
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Sodium Chloride Spring, Iron Spring, Calcium Sulfate Spring, Cascading Bath from This Side
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
View from indoor Bath with Calcium Sulfate Spring
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Hot Springs Flow from Cascading Bath to Outlet
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Calcium Sulfate Spring
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Iron Spring Are Gushing out
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Hot Spring Ingredients Precipitated on Bath with Sodium Chloride Spring
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

The open-air bath is around 10 m away from the bathhouse. The bathers must walk on a stone walkway. The open-air bath surrounded by rocks is the size that about 6 people can take a bath, and uses simple sulfur spring (硫黄泉), and those are clear and light yellow green and have a little salty taste and a little sulfur smell. In a summer, the hot spring are added water because of very hot springs. The open-air bath is surrounded by trees on a small hill, and a sense of openness can be felt very much. When I visited here just in fall foliage season, it was very tasteful for a view. Fresh green can be enjoyed in the summer, fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, and a snow view can enjoyed in a winter while bathing. Starry sky seems to be beautiful. By the way, horseflies or black flies may prevent you from relaxing in the summer.

Open-air Bath
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

I took a bath togeter with a rider from Hiratsuka, a couple from Shizuoka and a local person at the open-air bath. A rock partition is divided into men or women, but it is almost nonexistent, so all bathes can talk with each other. I had a comfortable talk with them about Hokkaido. Particularly, I talked with the rider, and we were affected by taking a hot bath for too long. He is a fan of this onsen, and somtimes come from Kanagawa.

Rider from Hiratsuka, Thank You!
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Autumn Leaves from Open-air Bath
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Hot Springs Are Light Yellow Green
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan
Look of Open-air Bath (Source: Wikipedia HP)
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

Because there is not a restroom at the dressing room, You should get a wash beforehand at the restroom along a corridor. Because shampoos and body soaps are not provided at the bathhouse, the bathers should bring those. They seem to prohibit the bathers from taking a bath in wearing their swimsuits or covereing their body with bath towels, but it is Okay to take a bath in wearing bathing clothes.

Dressing Room
Kamishihoro Horoka Onsen Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

Atmosphere of Kanoya Onsen Ryokan Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kanoya Onsen Ryokan

Types of Hot Springs (1)Sodium chloride spring
(2)Iron springs
(3)Calcium sulfate spring
(4)Simple sulfur spring
Water temperature of Hot Spring Source 70 C
ph -
Indications Stomachic disorder, Pressure sores, Cut, Bruise, Burn, Chronic skin diseases, Neuralgia, Effects of self-care, Chronic bronchitis
Contraindications High blood pressure
Indications of drinking Unknown
Contraindications of drinking Chronic nephritis
Facilities Mixed bathing open-air bath(1), Mixed bathing indoor bath(4), Indoor bath for woman(1).
Entrance fee to the bath facility Adult: JPY 500. Child: JPY 250.
Business hours 09:00-20:00
Regular closing day Irregular closing day
Parking lot A free parking is provided (4 cars)
Telephone number +81-1564-4-2163
Home page Home page is not provided
Mapcode 679 750 886*21

List of Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations in Horoka Onsen.

Kanoya Onsen Ryokan(鹿の谷温泉旅館) Fax: +81-1564-4-2163

A page of Great Onsen of Hokkaido is here

Great Onsen of Hokkaido

A page of Daisetsuzan National Park is here

Daisetsuzan National Park