- July 11th, 2014
[Seseki Onsen in Rausu] Mixed Bathing Open-air Bath with Full of Atomosphere Such as Secret Onsen in Sea Can Be Taken a Bath Only at Low Tide
Seseki Onsen (セセキ温泉) along Hokkaido Road 87 is a hot spring place in the sea in Rausu town located in the Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島), and it is far away (around 20 km) from the center of the Rausu. Seseki means “Hot” in Ainu language, and it having the same meaning with hot springs, so I think that it had been known by Ainu people since long time ago. In all of recorded history, Mr. Ichitraro Horiuchi (堀内市太郎) found the hot springs in 1899, and made a public bathroom. After that, the bathroom sunk into the sea, so the open-air bath was left at present. It was used as a shooting place of the television drama “From the north country (北の国から)”, Mr. Hidetaka Yoshioka, a famous actor, and Mr. Juro Kara, a famous actor, took a bath, so a lot of tourists has came.
Aidomari Onsen (相泊温泉) is the Japan’s easternmost hot spring place in Rausu town located in the Shiretoko peninsula, and is located around the end of Hokkaido Road 87, and the distance is around 25 km far away from the center of the Rausu. The hot springs as well as the Seseki Onsen were founded by Mr. Ichitraro Horiuchi (堀内市太郎). At present, here is famous as wild natural onsen on the seashore, and a lot of tourists come. Read More
Only huts for harvesting kombu are built around the Seseki Onsen. The Shiretoko Peninsula is well-known for hidden lands, and it is not easy access to here, so here is well-known for a secret onsen. Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built. As for the secret onsen in the Rausu, Kuma-no-Yu (熊の湯) and Aidomari Onsen (相泊温泉) are famous, too. In addition, there are famous tourist attractions such as Shiretoko Pass (知床峠), Lake Rausu (羅臼湖), Rausu Kunashiri Observatory Deck (羅臼国後展望塔) and Kujira-no-Mierugaoka Park (クジラの見える丘公園) in the Rausu. As for the restraunts, Roadside Station “Shiretoko Rausu (知床・らうす)” and Hamada Shoten (濱田商店) are popular in particular. Grilled Pike Congera Sea Eel Rice Bowl (黒ハモ丼) and Shiretoko Deep Ocean Water Soft Serve Ice Cream (知床深層水ソフトクリーム) that are served at the Roadside Station “Shiretoko Rausu” are local specialty foods. By the way, the Hokkaido Road 87 is sometimes closed to traffic by a natural disaster such as a landslip.
A nonstop bus, Eagle Liner (イーグルライナー), runs between Sapporo and Utoro.
Shiretoko National Park
Shiretoko National Park (知床国立公園) at the northeastern edge of Japan main land is a national park between Shari town and Rausu town in the the northeastern part of Hokkaido. Most northern part of Shiretoko Peninsula has been desinged as the national park since 1964, and has also been designed World Natural Heritage Site, one of only 4 world natural heritage sites in Japan, since 2005. In the national park, there are Shiretoko Mountain Range (知床連山) such as Mt. Rausudake (羅臼岳), Mt. Chinishibetsudake (知西別岳), Mt. Iou (硫黄山) and Mt. Shiretokodake (知床岳), and here is a tourist attraction on behalf of Hokkaido containing some hot spring places such as Aidomari Onsen (相泊温泉), Seseki Onsen (瀬石温泉), Rausu Onsen (羅臼温泉) and Iwaobetsu Onsen (岩尾別温泉). The Shiretoko National Park is roughly divided into 2 areas, Shari Area and Rausu Area. The area is about 39,000 ha in total. A deep forest that wild animals such as Brown Bears, Yezo Deers and Blakiston’s Hish-owls inhabit, Steep cliffs with about 100 m in height that separet the sea from mountains, the sea that marine life such as Salmons and Whales swim in, and those closely related to each other create great nature views. Because the Shiretoko means “The end of the earth” in Ainu language, I can understand the reason that it is said to be an unexplored region. Read More
List of Day Trip Onsen
The visitors can take a day trip bath only at the Seseki Onsen.
Seseki Onsen is a buried mixed bathing open-air bath surrounded by rocks on rocky shore at high tide. The visitors can take a bath only at low tide. Information on the high and low tide is provided at Rausu Maritime Safety Agency (羅臼海上保安署). Generally a bathing period is almost from July 1 to September 15. Hamasawa-suisan (濱澤水産) manages it at present, and cleans the open-air bath on-season. If they appear on the site, please let them know. An entrance fee to the bath facility is free of charge. But Box for Humble Token of Your Gratitude (気持ちの箱) is provided, too. By the way, Dried Rausu Kombu (羅臼昆布) that is famous for luxury ingredients is sold at the Hamasawa-suisan. Because visitors must go through a privately owned land, an entrance gate is installed, so bathing is forbidden when the gate is closed.
There are 2 open-air bath surrounded by rocks on the rocky shore. The large bath is the mixed bathing open-air bath for bathing, and is the size that about 4 people can take a bath. Hot springs gush out from gaps of the rocks, and the bathers take a bath by adjusting temperature to use seawater. That is a really secret hot spring. The small bath is a pool saving the hot springs, and the bathing is forbidden.
It is all about luck whether bathers can take a bath comfortably because the bathers may not take a bath depending on weather. Hot springs may be too hot or too cold depend on the person. The bathers can take a bath in wearing swimsuits or with a bath towel covering body, so the bathers should think that it is sea bathing. The bottom of the open-air bath becomes very slippery by seaweed. I fell down… Some ordinary tourists without taking a bath come, too, so I guess the bathers are too shameful to take a bath without wearing somtheing. A sence of openness and a marvelous view can be enjoyed very much, too because notheing is obstructed. It is an unusual place that the bathers forget daily life. Kunashiri Island (国後島) can be seen if it is fine weather.
The hot springs are sodium chloride spring, and are clear and colorless and have salty taste and no smell. By the way, a use of shampoo and soap is prohibited because water of the sea is polluted. There are not a dressing room and a restroom beside the open-air bath. But a public restroom is provided near a parking lot, and the bathers can substitute the restroom for the dressing room.
Atmosphere of Seseki Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Types of Hot Springs||Sodium chloride spring (Type: Neutral, Osmotic Pressure: -, Spring Temperature Type: Extra hot spring)|
|Water temperature of Hot Spring Source||64 C|
|Indications||Neuralgia, Backache, Chronic rheumatism, Chronic dermatopathia, Sciatica|
|Contraindications||Acute disease(when there is the heat in particular), Active tuberculosis, Malignant tumor, Severe heart disease, Respiratory failure, Renal insufficiency, Hemorrhagic disease, High anemia, Other diseases during condition of a patient progress generally|
|Indications of drinking||Not drinking|
|Facilities||Mixed bathing open-air bath(1)|
|Entrance fee to the bath facility||Free of charge|
|Regular closing day||From Mid or late October to early July|
|Parking lot||A free parking is provided (5 cars)|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||974 352 118*71|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Rausu. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Secret Onsen in Hokkaido is here
Secret Onsen in Hokkaido
A page of Shiretoko National Park is here
Shiretoko National Park
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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