- July 10th, 2014
[Closed Business: Niseko Yakushi Onsen in Rankoshi] Day Trip Bath Can Be Enjoyed at One of Three Major Secret Onsen in Japan
Niseko Yakushi Onsen
Niseko Yakushi Onsen (ニセコ薬師温泉) is a hot spring place in Rankoshi town located in the southwestern direction of Sapporo city, and is one of three major secret onsen in Japan together with Yachi Onsen in Aomori Prefecture and Soya Onsen in Tokushima Prefecture. Only Niseko Yakushi Onsen Ryokan (薬師温泉旅館) is built at around 180 m above sea level in the mountain, and is surrouded by forests, so secret onsen is the perfect word to describe the Niseko Yakushi Onsen. Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built. Hot springs were discovered in 1896, and the onsen was called “Narita Onsen (成田温泉)” at that time. The Niseko Yakushi Onsen is one of 7 Konbu Onsen Places (昆布七湯) that were used to be in Meiji period and Taisho period, and has the old history. Unfortunately, this onsen ryokan closed down in 2014.
Niseko Onsenkyo Group passed a rigorous screening in 1958, and the Niseko Onsenkyo Group containing the Niseko Yakushi Onsen has been appointed by Minister for the Environment, and is one of 15 nation insurance hot spring resorts in Hokkaido. There are a lot of the hot spring places such as Niseko Goshiki Onsen (ニセコ五色温泉), Niseko Yumoto Onsen (ニセコ湯本温泉), Niseko Higashiyama Onsen (ニセコ東山温泉), Niseko Konbu Onsen (ニセコ昆布温泉), Niseko Yunosato Onsen (ニセコ湯の里温泉), Niseko Yakushi Onsen (ニセコ薬師温泉), Niseko Niimi Onsen (ニセコ新見温泉), Niseko Ekimae Onsen (ニセコ駅前温泉), Konbugawa Onsen (昆布川温泉), Niseko Weiss Onsen (ニセコワイス温泉), Hanazono Onsen (花園温泉), Hirafu Onsen (ひらふ温泉) and Kutchan Onsen (倶知安温泉) around the Niseko. Types of hot springs are different, and have a wide variety. It is said that Onsen lovers will go crazy for the hot springs. Niseko Yumeguri Onsen Pass (ニセコ湯巡りパス) is issued, and the ticket users can take a bath at 3-4 hot spring facilities.
There are Sakamoto Park, Shinsen-numa Swamp (神仙沼), Niseko Oyunuma Pond (ニセコ大湯沼) and Mishima’s Moss Pink Garden (三島さんちの芝桜) in the Niseko, too. In addition, various things can be enjoyed all the year round in the Niseko. For example, Cherry blossoms can be enjoyed in a spring, trecking, ski gondra, rafting and hot air ballooning can be enjoyed in a summer, fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, and snowshoes can be enjoyed in the winter. Nonstop buses do not run from Sapporo to here, But Express Bus Niseko-go runs from Sapporo to Ikoi-no-Yuyado Iroha.
Shinsen-numa Swamp (神仙沼) is the largest swamp at about 770 m above sea level in the Shinsen-numa Wetland in Kyowa town located in the western direction of Sapporo city, and is well-known for a good place to see beautiful fall foliage, so a lot of visitors come. Mr. Toyomatsu Shimoda (下田豊松), the Japan’s first chief scout, that was moved by a phrase “Everything is God, here is a place that a hermit lives in (皆が神、仙人の住みたまう所)” named it the Shinsen-numa Swamp. Shinsennuma Rest Station (神仙沼自然休養林休憩所) is at Shinsen-numa Parking Lot along Hokkaido Road 66, and light meals are served. It opens a business from late May to early November. The parking has Shinsen-numa Nature Forest Lookout (神仙沼自然休養林展望台) and a public restroom. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Oyunuma Pond (大湯沼) is a hot spring bog at about 560 m above sea level in Niseko Yumoto Onsen (ニセコ湯本温泉), Rankoshi town located in the western direction of Sapporo city, and is a hot spring source of the Niseko Yumoto Onsen, and adjoins Yukichichibu (雪秩父). It is smaller than a pond with the same name in Noboribetsu Onsen. The circumference of the pond is about 200 m, and the 1,000 liters per minute of hot springs are gushing out. The pond used to be a geyser in old days, but Anglo-Saxon Mining Company Howl Company drew sulfur too much in the Meiji period, and it was destroyed. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. There are Koyunuma pond (小湯沼), Chisenupuri Ski resort (チセヌプリスキー場), Oyunuma Nature Pavilion (大湯沼自然展示館) and Yumoto Onsen Campsite (湯本温泉野営場) around here. Read More
Mishima’s Moss Pink Garden
Mishima’s Moss Pink Garden (三島さんちの芝桜) is a private garden in Niseko, Kutchan town located in the western direction of Sapporo city, and is around 1 km away from Kuchan Station. After retirement from a farmer, Mr. Kazuo Mishima (三島和夫) has been planted the moss pink not to prevent tuning a agricultural land into a wasteland since the early 2000s. The moss pink is a perennial plant of the family polemoniaceae native of North America, and is a kind of the phlox. He has expanded the moss pink field every year, and now the park space is 4,000 m2. I was really surprised at the area of moss pink very much when I visited here. Admission free. A free parking lot and a restroom are provided, too. If the parking lot is full, visitors can park their cars at Kutosan Park Parking Lot (くとさんパーク駐車場) and Asahigaoka Park Parking Lot (旭ケ丘公園駐車場). Because the garden is thrown open to visitors in his good faith, the visiotrs follow a manner, and appreciate the moss pink. Read More
Niseko (ニセコ) is the general term for towns and villages around Mt. Yotei (羊蹄山) in the southwestern direction of Sapporo city, and contains Niseko town (ニセコ町), Kutchan town (倶知安町), Kyogoku town (京極町), Makkari village (真狩村), Kimobetsu town (喜茂別町), Kyowa town (共和町), Rankoshi town (蘭越町) and Iwanai town (岩内町). The Niseko means “A river in a gorge” in Ainu language, and the origin of the word is Niseko Anbetsu River (ニセコアンベツ川). In a winter, skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed, and rafting along Shiribetsu River (尻別川) can be enjoyed in a summer. It is one of the features that the Niseko has various nature such as the Mt. Yotei, Shinsen-numa Swamp (神仙沼) and Oyunuma Pond (大湯沼). In addition, tasty water from the Mt. Yotei and tasty ingredients are abundant. In a spring, cherry blossoms can be enjoyed, summer activities and nature can be enjoyed in a summer, fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, and winter activities can be enjoyed in a winter, so tourists can enjoy the nature of Hokkaido including various onsen and tasty foods in Niseko throughout the year. Read More
List of Day Trip Onsen
There is not a hot spring facility for day trip bath now.
[Shut Down] Yakushi Onsen Ryokan
Yakushi Onsen Ryokan is a small-sized long-establish onsen ryokan surrounded by forests, and opened a business in 1896, and is one of 18 onsen fasilities that the Japan Association of Secluded Onsen Heritage (日本温泉遺産を守る会) will recognize the hot spring facilities using fresh free flowing hot springs in Hokkaido. Because a building was destroyed, I thought that the ryokan was shut down. But they opened their bussiness unexpectedly. It is said that it is ruins-type onsen. They have 2 buildings, a private house and a building for stay, and there was a ticket vendor at their private house, I purchased a bathing ticket via the ticket vendor. An entrance fee to the bath facility is JPY 300. A staying is possible, too. The appearance and the interior decoration are very old. Unfortunately, they closed down in 2014. This article before closing is as follows.
They have 4 public baths, and there are 1 mixed bathing public bathroom and 2 gender segregated public bathrooms on the 1st floor of the building for stay, and there is 1 mixed bathing open-air bath look like almost the pond on the outside. The baths are away from each baths, so bathers must move in wearing their clothes.
The mixed bathing public bathroom is surrounded by wooden boards, and is very dark. There is 1 mixed bathing indoor bath, and it is the size that about 10 people can take a bath. A wash place is not at the bathroom, so please take a bath after washing your body at the gender segregated public bathroom. The depth of the bath is around 1 m, and bathers can take a bath while standing. The bottom of the bath is paved with rocks, and hot springs gush out from the bottom, and do not expose to air without oxidizing, so this onsen is famous for fresh free flowing hot springs called high quality hot springs. The bath uses (1)sodium chloride carbonated spring. The hot springs are called “Various Changes of Hot Springs (七変化の湯)” because the hot springs sometimes look changing color. In addition, the onsen is famous for a legend with curing baldness, too.
There is 1 indoor bath at the gender segregated public bathroom. The bath is the size that about 5 people can take a bath. The depth of the bath is around 1 m, and bathers can take a bath while standing, too. The bottom of the bath is paved with rocks, and the hot springs gush out from the bottom, and do not expose to air without oxidizing. The bath uses (2)sodium chloride spring. The wash place is at the bathroom. But showers are broken. The bathroom is slighly dark, and handprints are covered on a wall.
An owner guided me to the mixed bathing open-air bath through a destroyed steel bridge, and there is 1 mixed bathing open bath like a pond in nature. It is the size that about 6 people can take a bath. He told me that I must pay JPY 100 to take a bath. Algae that was not flowers of sulphur floated naturally on the surface of the hot springs. Because he did not clean the open-air bath for about 7 years, it might be an unembellished situation. I paid the money, but I gave up bathing.
The hot springs are (1)sodium chloride carbonated spring, and are opaque and ocherocherous and have a little salty taste and metallic smell, and and another one is (2)sodium chloride spring, and are clear and colorless and have a little salty taste and metallic smell. Because shampoos and body soaps are not provided at the bathhouse, bathers must bring those. A restroom is broken at a dressing room, so you should get a wash beforehand at the restroom along a corridor. I think that this onsen is unsuitable for people having a weak heart or a neat and tidy people because a destroyed building and deep baths are amazing. But I suppose that a person liking adventure can enjoy it.
Atmosphere of Niseko Yakushi Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Types of Hot Springs||(1)Sodium chloride carbonated spring (Type:Weak acidic, Osmotic Pressure:Low, Spring Temperature Type:Hot spring)
(2)Sodium chloride spring (Type:Weak acidic, Osmotic Pressure:Low, Spring Temperature Type:Hot spring)
|Water temperature of Hot Spring Source||(1)37 C
|Indications||(1)(2)Neuralgia, Wound, Gout, Chronic skin diseases|
|Contraindications||(1)(2)Malignant tumor, Severe heart disease, Pulmonary tuberculosis|
|Indications of drinking||(1)(2)Hypoacidity, Anemia|
|Contraindications of drinking||(1)(2)Hyperchylia, Kidney disease, Gastric ulcer|
|Facilities||Mixed bathing open-air bath(1), Mixed bathing indoor bath(1), Gender segregated indoor bath(1).|
|Entrance fee to the bath facility||JPY 300|
|Regular closing day||Irregular closing day|
|Mapcode||398 281 592*51|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Rankoshi. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
Niseko Konbugawa Onsen
Niseko Yumoto Onsen
A page of Secret Onsen in Hokkaido is here
Secret Onsen in Hokkaido
A page of Niseko is here
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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