Set on the upper stream of Toyohira-gawa in the northern part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Jozankei (定山渓) is Sapporo’s closest onsen resort surrounded by forested mountains. It is well worth a day trip or an overnight from Sapporo for a relaxing.
Highlights Hoheikyo Onsen, Hoheikyo Dam (especially in autumn), Jozan Gensen Park, Iwato Kannon-do
Tourist Information Jozankei Tourist Information Center (定山渓観光案内所): In front of Jozankei Jinja-mae bus stop, 3-222 Jozankei-onsen-higashi / 9am-5pm / jozankei.jp
One-day Hot Spring Package (温泉日帰りパック: Adult ¥2200, child ¥1100 / www.jotetsu.co.jp/bus/global): A cut-price package including Jotetsu Bus unlimited one-day pass and a day bathing ticket for one facility in Koganeyu, Jozankei or Hoheikyo. It sells Sapporo Station bus terminal ticket office (7.30am-6pm) at stop 12, tourist information center at Sapporo Station and on board. Kappa Liner also can be used.
Jozan Gensen Park
定山源泉公園 / 3 Jozankei-onsen-higashi, Minami-ku / 7am-9pm / FREE
This onsen was founded by the priest Miizumi Jozan in 1866. The Ginsen Park has a free ashi-yu (footbath) and te-yu (handbath) near Tsukimi-bashi bridge on Toyohira-gawa.
岩戸観音堂 / 4 Jozankei-onsen-nishi, Minami-ku / 7am-8pm / Cave adult ¥300, child ¥100
Iwato Kannon-do temple is dedicated to died Jozankei-Otaru road construction workers and enshrines 33 statues of kannon (buddhist merciful of deity) in the 120m-long artificial cave drilled in 1936. There is a free open-air ashi-yu (footbath) beside the temple.
二見吊橋 / 3 Jozankei-onsen-higashi, Minami-ku / 24hrs
The upstream of Toyohira-gawa, you will find Futami Tsuribashi suspension bridge overlooking Kappa-buchi gorge. It is lit up in the evening from June to October.
04 JOZANKEI: DAY BATHING
ホテル鹿の湯 / 3-32 Jozankei-onsen-nishi, Minami-ku / ¥880 / 1-9pm / Closed none scheduled / shikanoyu.co.jp/shikanoyu/
Jozankei’s most hotels open their attractive baths for nonguests around ¥1000. We recommend going to the riverside Hotel Shikanoyu with large-scale baths overlooking the river.
05 HOHEIKYO: DAY BATHING
豊平峡温泉 / Tel 011-598-2410 / 608-2 Jozankei, Minami-ku / 10am-10.30pm / ¥1000 / www.hoheikyo.co.jp
Sapporo’s best onsen with 100% free-flowing hot sulfur spring, the large-scale open-air bath has good views of the mountains and starry sky. Indian cuisine is speciality of this place. It is also offering canoeing and snowshoeing tours a group of two or more people.
06 SCENIC DAM
豊平峡ダム / 840 Jozankei, Minami-ku / 8.45am-4pm May-3 Nov / www.houheikyou.jp/english
This 102.5m-high arch dam is situated in the deep valley of Toyohira-gawa and a picturesque place for viewing the autumn leaves. The car park is about 3km south of Hoheikyo Onsen. From June to September, two free shuttle buses run from Jozankei Tourist Association to Hoheikyo. From where, the hybrid electric bus (return ¥640) runs to the dam.
07 AINU CULTURE
Sapporo Pirika Kotan
サッポロピリカコタン / 27 Koganeyu, Minami-ku / 9am-5pm / Closed Mon, holiday, last Tue of month / Admission ¥200 / www.city.sapporo.jp/shimin/pirka-kotan/en
The Ainu culture promotion center Sapporo Pirika Kotan (meaning ‘beautiful village’) houses 300 restored collection of Ainu tools and you can touch them. An open-air garden has reconstructed traditional houses.
08 KOGANEYU: DAY BATHING
湯元小金湯 / 25 Koganeyu, Minami-ku / 10am-11pm / ¥750 / koganeyu.jp
Opposite the Pirika Kotan, this stylish onsen has cozy indoor and open-air baths with cleanness good sulfer spring. After soaking, you can take a rest at the Japanese-style restaurant or self-service cafe. Four free shuttle buses run from Makomanai subway station, departing at the airport shuttle bus stop.
From Sapporo Station bus terminal stop 12, Jotetsu Bus 8 runs to Jozankei (70min / ¥790) via Koganeyu. Jotetsu Bus 7 (6 daily / 1.5hrs) and the comfy Kappa Liner (かっぱライナー: 7 daily / 70min / reserved-seat) continues to Hoheikyo Onsen (¥960) via Jozankei.
Four daily Donan Bus runs between Jozankei and Toyako Onsen (2hrs) on Route 230. Compulsory reservation.