“Onsen” is the word for hot springs in Japan, as well as the bathing facilities and traditional inns around them. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsens scattered throughout all of its major islands. Onsens come in many types and shapes, including outdoor and indoor baths. When travelling to Japan, it is imperative that you experience the beauty and relaxation of at least one onsen.

Club Med have accumulated a list of the top 10 best and most beautiful onsen in Hokkaido in 2021.

Top 10 best and most beautiful onsen in Hokkaido in 2021

1. Tsurunoyu Onsen

Tsurunoyu Onsen is one of eight hot-spring baths that belong to Nyuto Onsenkyo - a secluded spa resort which is located near the foot of Mount Nyuto, also known as Nyuto-San. Tsurunoyu Onsen is one of the oldest hot spring resorts of Nyuto Onsenkyo with the hot spring baths here dating back over 350 years and is well worth a visit when in Hokkaido.

2. Noboribetsu Onsen

Noboribetsu Onsen is one of the three most famous hot spring places in the entire northern island of Hokkaido. It is arguably the most famous and for good reason. Located in the north-eastern part of Muroran City and at the foot of the active Mount Hiyori, this onsen filters through more than 10,000 liters of hot spring water on a daily basis. It is believed that the name “Noboribetsu” is derived from the word “Nupurupetsu”, meaning “The white, muddy river” or “The thick colored river”. The onsen town is a popular tourist attraction in itself, due to its relatively large number of onsens available, as well as it's fun and exciting atmosphere to coincide with your opportunity to relax and bathe in one of the many onsens.

3. Jozankei Onsen

Found situated along the banks of the Toyohira River and a mere 50-minute drive away from Sapporo, is the Jozankei onsen. Originally founded in 1866, Jozankei onsen is one of Hokkaido’s best-known hot springs areas. This particular onsen boasts picturesque natural scenery and the autumn season brings a touch of magic to the area - with its bright crimson making it a popular favourite amongst tourists.

4. Takaragawa Onsen

Located in the region of Minakami Onsen in Gunma, Takaragawa is arguably one of the most beautiful and serene onsen baths that exist throughout Hokkaido. The onsens remote location and even all the facilities and services offered make it the perfect choice for couples in search of a romantic getaway for a day wanting to escape Tokyo for a few hours.

5. Yamashiro Onsen

Yamashiro Hot Spring is one of the most revered hot spring resorts in Kaga City. Located only a 2 hour and 20 minute train journey from both Osaka and Nagoya, this onsen is conveniently placed and for that reason is particularly popular. The respected nature of Yamashiro Onsen is due to its extensive history of over 1,300 years and the fact that it has retained much of its traditional culture. Yamashiro is believed to have originated and grown in popularity as a result of a bird healing its wounded wings in the springs, and its benefits becoming known to people across the country. It is the perfect place to visit to experience a traditional slice of Japanese culture.

6. Kinosaki Onsen

Arguably, one of the most beautiful onsen town’s that you will visit during a trip to Hokkaido, Kinosaki Onsen needs to be added to your travel itinerary. The town’s wonderfully-preserved architecture and authentic hot spring ambience along every street and alleyway will have you falling in love at first sight. Kinosaki Onsen has maintained its serene atmosphere and authentic old Japan allure for over 1300 years through its well-preserved architecture and onsen culture.

7. Arima Onsen

Arima Onsen is one of the oldest and the most famous hot spring towns to be found in Hokkaido. Founded 1300 years ago, it is renowned for being a spa resort where the Emperor and numerous nobles have visited. Many historical temples, shrines, and houses have been well preserved as well as western style hotels and facilities were built in the town. This mixture and balance of both Japanese tradition and western culture has contributed to the unique and exotic atmosphere of Arima and explains why it continues attracting visitors to the historical spa resort from all over the world year after year. You will understand exactly why Arima is one of the best and most beautiful onsen in Hokkaido upon visiting.

8. Tokachigawa Onsen

The Tokachigawa Onsen is a plant-derived hot spring highly popular for its high skin-moisturizing effect. Due to the combined minerals and sediments within this onsen, bathing here is recognised as being similar to a type of spa therapy which is offered in Germany - where a mixture of water mixed with dried and powdered peat is used. This particular onsen is widely known, and particularly popular with tourists visiting Hokkaido, as it was announced as an official Hokkaido Heritage Site. If you are in search of an onsen which will leave you feeling rejuvenated and will have your skin feeling smooth and silky, Tokachigawa onsen is the perfect onsen to visit.

9. Kamuiwakkayu Falls

Kamuiwakkayu Falls is a natural hot spring in Shiretoko National Park, Japan. It is on the Kamuiwakka River. Hot spring water flows from the side of Mt. Lozan - an active volcano, before merging with the freshwater river to create a unique outdoor onsen experience at one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Be aware when planning your trip to this stunning location that Kamuiwakkayu Falls are in fact closed from early November to early June due to heavy snowfall. Once you arrive at the river, you can expect to commence a short trek before reaching the first of the four falls. Here you can bask in the warmth of the pools at the falls base, while enjoying the picturesque woodland surroundings. It is no wonder that this onsen is so popular. Bears are often sited around this park, so listen carefully to the advice of the park rangers to ensure your safety.

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10. Toyako onsen

Toyako Onsen is a particularly popular hot spring for tourists, located in the resort town along the shore of Lake Toya, just at the foot of Mount Usu. Toyako Onsen (洞爺湖温泉) is a large hot-spring resort located in the south side of Lake Toya between Toya town and Sobetsu town, and is one of the 5 major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido.

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For any booking inquiries, contact Club Med directly. We will be able to advise and assist you with your ski and/or snowboard holiday in Hokkaido, Japan and help plan excursions to the beautiful onsens in the area - making your holiday experience stress-free from the get-go and as well as securing you the best holiday-package to fit your needs and budget.