- May 9th, 2014
[Shiriuchi Onsen] Day Trip Onsen and Oldest Onsen in Hokkaido Can Be Enjoyed at Utopia Warakuen
Shiriuchi Onsen (知内温泉) is a hot spring place in Shiriuchi town located in the southwestern direction of Hakodate city. Only Utopia Warakuen (ユートピア和楽園) is bulit at about 50 above sea level in a mountain. The distance is around 12 km away from the center of the Shiriuchi. Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built. But Shiriuchi Dam (知内ダム) and Omonai Observatory (重内展望台) are relatively near here. It is said that the shiriuchi Onsen has the oldest onsen in Hokkaido. There is Raiko Shrine (雷公神社) that is well-known for the oldest shrine across 25th generations in Hokkaido near here, Ono Tosa Diary (大野土佐日記) is handed down to posterity. According to legend, Mr. Daigaku Araki (荒木大学) came to Hokkaido to discover gold with his family and followers in 1205, and built Yakushi-do as opening onsen in 1247. The legend in 1200s and family line with 25th generations are considerable rare in Hokkaido.
Omonai Observatory (重内展望台) is a viewing spot that visitors can look over Tsugaru Channel (津軽海峡) and Omonai Plain (重内平野) in Shiriuchi town located in the southwestern direction of Hakodate city and is also called “Big Panorama Observatory (大パノラマ展望台)”. I was interested in a combination of the road towards the Pacific and stone steps. There is a small hill with about 50 m in height on the back of Omonai Shrine (重内神社), and an observatory deck builts on the top. The visitors can go up on the stone steps and can go up the top with a car, too. But the road to the top is narrow and a parking lot is very narrow, too, so be careful. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
List of Day Trip Onsen
Visitors can take a day trip bath at the Utopia Warakuen. In addition, some natural open-air bath such as Tenbodai-no-Yu (展望台の湯) and Eirin-no-Yu (営林の湯) exist near here.
Utopia Warakuen is a small-sized long-established onsen ryokan founded in 1894, and owns 5 hot spring sources that gush out naturally. An entrance fee to a bath facility is JPY 460. A staying is possible, too.
They have 5 public bathrooms named Kami-no-Yu (上の湯) for men or women, Shimo-no-Yu (下の湯) for men or women, and Mixed Bathing Outdoor Bath in total. The Kami-no-Yu is at the Old Building (旧舘), and the Shimo-no-Yu is at the New Building (新館). There is 1 indoor bath at the Kami-no-Yu, and there are 2 indoor baths at the Shimo-no-Yu. The Kami-no-Yu, the Shimo-no-Yu and the Mixed Bathing Outdoor Bath are away from each other, so bathers must move in wearing their clothes. It is prohibited to take a bath in weraing their swimsuits or with a bath towel covering body.
I took a bath only at the Kami-no-yu carelessly. But it was amazing. The historical Bathroom with slightly dark is good. The indoor bath surrounded by rocks is the size that about 6 people can take a bath, and uses 100% natural free flowing hot springs. Those are very hot, but those get extra hot in a summer, too. The bath has over 800 years, so perhaps matsumae clan take a bath here. By the way, the hot spring sources for men or women are different.
When I looked at the bath floor, it was like paddy fields because hot spring ingredients precipitated on it. That is worth seeing. In addition, soil deposited at the bottom of the bath, and I made a mud pie. I suppose that here is near‐natural hot spring. * I got permittion from other bathers to take a picture.
The hot springs of the Kami-no-Yu are (1)sodium chloride carbonated spring, and are opaque and light brown and have a little salty taste and a little metallic smell, and are drinkable. The sum total of the hot spring ingredients are 3.723 g/kg. A body soap is provided at the bathroom. Because there is not a restroom at a dressing room, you should get a wash beforehand at the restroom along a corridor.
|Types of Hot Springs||(1)(2)Sodium chloride carbonated spring (Type: Neutral, Osmotic Pressure: Low, Spring Temperature Type: Extra hot spring)|
|Water temperature of Hot Spring Source||(1)61.5 C
|Indications||Gastrointestinal disease, Skin diseases, Bruise, Burn, Woman’s diseases|
|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||Chronic digestive diseases, Chronic cholecystitis, Diabetes, Gout, Obesity disease|
|Contraindications of drinking||Kidney disease, High blood pressure, Diarrhea and diseases accompanied by edema in general|
|Facilities||Mixed bathing open-air bath(1), Indoor spa(3). * Sex-Segregated Bathhouse.|
|Entrance fee to the bath facility||Adult: JPY 460. Child: JPY 330. Infant: JPY 220.|
|Regular closing day||Irregular closing day|
|Parking lot||A parking lot is provided (50 cars)|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Reservation||Jalan is here, Rakuten is here|
|Mapcode||584 335 142*16|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Shiriuchi Onsen. 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 Great Onsen in Hokkaido is here
Great Onsen in Hokkaido
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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