Head further inland from Biei or Kamifurano, you will find the real onsen halfway up the Tokachi-dake Mountains in the southwestern part of Daisetsuzan National Park. Climbers, onsen enthusiasts, backcountry skiers and snowboarders come here all over the world.
Elevation 1280m (Hokkaido’s highest onsen resort)
01 ONSEN & SLEEPING
Tokachidake Onsen Ryounkaku
凌雲閣 / Tel 0167-39-4111 / Day bathing 8am-8pm (¥800) / www.ryounkaku.jp
At the upper end of the road to Tokachidake Onsen, Ryounkaku sits at 1280m, Hokkaido’s highest onsen accommodation. It has simple Japanese-style rooms, with shared facilities. The onsen has attractive roten-buro (open-air baths) with sweeping mountain views. Day-use bathing is available and there is a restaurant.
02 ONSEN & SLEEPING
吹上温泉保養センター白銀荘 / Day bathing 10am-10pm / ¥700/ kamifurano-hokkaido.com
In the style of a large wooden lodge, Fukiage Onsen Hakugin-so features amazingly large and handsome indoor baths, rocky open-air baths and mixed hot water pools (need to bring your own swimming suit). Day trippers can use the baths for ¥700 (10am-10pm).
There are budget bunk-bed dorms, a shared kitchen, a dining room and a shop. It is a good place to meet other hikers and snowboarders. It is often crowded throughout the year, book well ahead.
吹上露天の湯 / 24hrs / FREE
Northern Hokkaido’s most famous konyoku roten-buro (mixed open-air pools) surrounded by forest, Fukiage Roten-no-yu was setting for the Kita-no-Kuni-kara and the TV drama 1995. This free onsen can be used throughout the year, but there are no changing facilities and night-time lighting. Women should wear swimming suit before going.
Roten-no-yu is a 10-minute walk south of the Hakugin-so and walk down a slope from a car park. The municipal bus stop at the gateway of Fukiage Ikoi-no-Hiroba (吹上いこいの広場).
04 SCENIC VIEWPOINT
A few kilometers south of Shirogane Onsen or north of Fukiage Onsen, Bogakudai (at 930m) offers the best views of the Tokachi-dake Mountains and back across the hills to Biei. It can be easily accessible by car or a 70-minute hike on the Uguisu-dani Trail (うぐいす谷遊歩道) from Shirogane Onsen.
From Bogakudai, there are scenic trails to Tokachi-dake (4-hour hike), Biei-dake (4-hour hike) and Fukiage Onsen (1-hour hike).
Note: the road to Bogakudai from Fukiage Onsen closed during the winter (Oct-Apr), as well as Shirogane (Jan-Apr).
TOKACHIDAKE ONSEN MAP
From Kamifurano Station on the JR Furano Line, there are three municipal buses (上富良野町営バス十勝岳線) daily (except 1 Jan) to the Tokachidake Onsen Ryounkaku (十勝岳温泉凌雲閣: 45min / ¥500), stopping at Fukiage Onsen (吹上温泉: ikoi-no-hiroba near the roten-no-yu and Hakugin-so) and the Kamihoro-so (カミホロ荘), as well as Furanui Onsen and the Goto Sumio Museum of Art in Central Kamifurano.
Note: the road between the Hakugin-so and Bogakudai is closed from late October to early May.