As the northernmost main island of Japan, Hokkaido is an extremely popular tourist destination, best known for its rolling scenic landscapes and untouched wilderness. In addition, known to be the home Hokkaido’s hot springs are famed all-around Japan also famous for being home to one of the best natural hot springs (onsen) in Japan. While there are plenty of natural hot baths that you can visit in the expansive vista of Hokkaido, nothing beats a splendid night in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) with the onsen right on-premise! To help you with your search for the perfect accommodation, this article will guide you to the best Hokkaido ryokans with onsens, categorized by regions for your convenience.
1. Noboribetsu Onsen
Located in southwestern Hokkaido, Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉) is Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resort town. Surrounded by a virgin forest 200 meters (656.2 feet) above sea level, Noboribetsu Onsen is the home of the best onsens in Hokkaido and the best ryokans in Noboribetsu. The area boasts nine different qualities of mineral-rich water, including sulfur, salt, and iron, which ranks it amongst the most exceptional hot springs in the world The resort town may be small, but with its variety of mineral-rich waters, you can definitely look forward to a relaxing time soaking in the onsens of any of the four wonderful ryokans listed below!
Located only a 10-minute walk to the food street and renowned Jigokudani (地獄谷) or “Hell Valley” in Noboribetsu, Noboribetsu Grand Hotel is a traditional Japanese inn with a modern touch. Guests will be delighted to find three out of the aforementioned nine types of natural hot spring water right in the comfort of the hotel. Enjoy a relaxing bath in the only full-scale dome-shaped Roman bath in Japan at Noboribetsu Grand Hotel, where you can bask in sunlight through the beautiful high-ceilinged structure. The open-air baths are also decorated with seasonal flowers in a Japanese garden setting, where you can relish a soak in nature filled with the pleasant sounds of gushing waterfalls and the fragrant aroma of cypress and greenery.
After a rejuvenating onsen experience, retreat to your warm and inviting room with contemporary furnishings. Depending on your preference, you may choose to stay in either a Western-style or a Japanese-style room, all featuring private bathrooms complete with a bathtub. Book an airy guest room with an open-air bath so you can unwind and luxuriate with the best private bathing experience!
Noboribetsu Grand Hotel
Address: Noboribetsu Onsen 154
Price: from 216 USD
Public Bath Restaurant Free parking Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays Physical distancing in dining areas Screens or physical barriers placed between staff and guests in appropriate areas Shops (on site) Sauna
Guests can book a private onsen in Hokkaido’s Takinoya Bekkan Tamanoyu, which makes this place extra special. This cozy hotel offers ryokan accommodations in the notable Noboribetsu resort town, just a 4-minute walk from the food street and Jigokudani. Guest rooms feature a minimalist design with traditional tatami mats, futons and chabudai dining tables that allow you to fully immerse in the nostalgic Japanese style. The ryokan is known for its cloudy white sulfurous hot spring waters, which is particularly beneficial for good health and beauty. Furthermore, at Takinoya, you will be able to tuck into traditional Japanese kaiseki breakfast and dinner, prepared with fresh local produce and char-grilled by the fireplace. So book a stay at Takinoya Bekkan Tamanoyu for an immersive Japanese experience!
Listed as one of the top picks in Noboribetsu, Dai-ichi Takimotokan is a grand ryokan hotel nestled in the secluded valley of Noboribetsu-Onsen. While the history of the hotel can be traced back to over 150 years ago, it is by no means a dated hotel. In fact, it has been continuously rebuilt and expanded to meet the growing visitor demands, with its Onsen Heaven being the biggest onsen complex in Hokkaido now.
With seven different baths on a vast 5,000-square-metre (53,819.6-square-foot) area, you will be able to truly enjoy a relaxing onsen stay with the varied healing effects as you dip your toe in the waters. In addition, Dai-ichi is also renowned for its refined Japanese cuisine made from the freshest Hokkaido produce, so be prepared to feast during the rejuvenating onsen stay!
Perhaps you feel like pampering yourself with a luxurious stay in an upscale ryokan hotel in the famous Noboribetsu. Then look no further, for Bourou Noguchi Noboribetsu could just be the perfect match as it strives to be a sanctuary for you to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Located just a minute’s walk from Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura history theme park, the sleek-looking ryokan hotel offers free shuttle bus service for guests from JR Sapporo Station and New Chitose Airport.
Throughout the property, its exquisite design featuring refined Western style with elegant Japanese touches will allow guests to relax in style. All guest rooms are spacious suite rooms with at least 50 square meters (538.2 square feet) of space, so you will find plenty of room to move about freely. Soak in the pampering milky-white sulfur spring baths, be it in the comfort of your room or at the large communal baths on site. To end the luxurious stay on a perfect note, there is a sumptuous Japanese-Western kaiseki cuisine to look forward to at Bourou Noguchi Noboribetsu. Savor delicious local delicacies made with fresh seasonal ingredients and prepared using the best cooking methods from both Japanese and French cuisine.
2. Lake Shikotsu Onsen
Many visitors who come to Hokkaido make a stop at its capital city - Sapporo, as it is a major transport hub in the prefecture. Located on the eastern shore of Shikotsu, the hot springs around the prominent lake, surrounded by virgin forests, is a popular hot spring area only an hour’s drive from the capital city. As such, Lake Shikotsu Onsen makes a convenient getaway for those who do not have the luxury of time. Discover these three ryokans in Shikotsu for a wonderful onsen time!
Opened in 1915, Marukoma Onsen Ryokan is the oldest hot spring on the shores of Lake Shikotsu, where one of the clearest water sources in the world lies. Relax in the traditional Japanese-style inn surrounded by picturesque views of Mount Eniwadake and a tranquil lake that will take your breath away.
The highlight of staying in this historic inn has to be its secluded open-air bath that is surrounded by nature and connected to the lake. Enjoy a natural hot spring gushing at your feet with the temperature and depth regulated by the waters from Lake Shikotsu. Or you can also soak in the large public bathhouse where an open-air bath and three indoor baths are located. Furthermore, Marukoma is renowned for its delectable Japanese cuisine, prepared with seasonal local ingredients for your most memorable meal in Hokkaido.
Shikotsuko Daiichi Hotel Suizantei is a cozy 29-room ryokan hotel situated next to Lake Shikotsu. The charming ryokan with a symbolic copper roof features large, comfortable rooms, furnished with either tatami floors and futon beds, or Western style with a sofa. Enjoy the blessings of nature in the open-air natural rock bath, or soak in the ancient Japanese cypress bath to let your troubles drift away. There is also an open-air bath which can be reserved for private use, and some rooms come with an open-air bath with a garden view for you to relish.
Nestled in the lush forest on the shores of the pristine Lake Shikotsu, Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa Mizu no Uta promises personalized and friendly service throughout your stay from the moment you step into its unique open-air lobby. Calm your spirit with the soothing sound of water flowing along the corridor leading to the guestroom wing. Footwear is not allowed in communal areas including the guest lounge, audio corner, and library, so guests can explore these areas barefoot and feel at home.
Besides the usual modern amenities such as a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom which you can find in every guest room, you will be delighted to find a massage chair and a coffee maker for your exclusive use in the spacious room! In addition, the hotel’s luxurious spa zone, comprising a variety of baths and saunas, boasts natural hot spring waters that are known to beautify the skin. Dining in the hotel is also a great pleasure as there is not only a wide array of food to indulge in, but they are also specially prepared to ensure the dishes are healthy and tasty. In short, staying at Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa Mizu no Uta will be an unforgettable lakeside retreat that you will not regret booking!
3. Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen
Just like Noboribetsu and Lake Shikotsu, Yunokawa Onsen is also one of Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resorts. Situated on the island’s southern tip, Yunokawa Onsen is not only close to Hakodate Airport but is also a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous ocean. Therefore, there is an array of onsen retreats in Yunokawa boasting splendid ocean views. Here are two of the best ryokans in Hokkaido with onsens in Yunokawa that you can head to.
One of the top onsen ryokans in Hakodate is Hakodate Hotel Banso, situated only a 7-minute drive from Hakodate Airport. The hotel is elegantly designed in traditional Japanese style with modern Western finishings such as an exquisite fireplace with a 5-meter (16.4-feet) tall copper plate ventilation hood at the reception lobby. Choose from the stylish Japanese or Western-style guest rooms where you can relax in comfort without your footwear. There are also different types of baths and saunas in the hotel where you can fully appreciate a calming onsen experience like no other. Of course, just like the other ryokan hotels in Hokkaido, expect to feast like a king or queen at Hakodate Hotel Banso, which serves a wide selection of fresh seafood unique to Hakodate and Hokkaido.
Imagine waking up to a mesmerizing view of the glorious ocean every morning. Or how about a warm soothing soak where you can admire gorgeous views of Shimokita Peninsula on the left and Tsugaru Peninsula on the right? If this sounds like the perfect holiday, then Heiseikan Shiosaitei is your best bet for a wonderful onsen stay in Hokkaido. The 4-star hotel stands right next to the sea, of which 22 guest rooms are fitted with open-air baths that command spectacular views of the ocean.
Even if you do not book a stay in a Japanese room with a private onsen tub, you will be able to see the entire ocean spread right before you through the panoramic glass windows of the large public bath on the hotel’s seventh floor. There is also a grand outdoor bath on its fourth floor, surrounded by a beautiful landscaped garden, which offers a comforting sense of serenity as you relax in the bath.
4. Noteworthy ryokans with onsen beyond the famous hot spring resorts
Being one of the largest prefectures in Japan, Hokkaido is home to countless onsen areas, which are not limited to just the three resorts listed above. Therefore, if you wish to get off the beaten tourist path, read this section to discover 6 stunning ryokans with onsens away from the famous hot spring resorts!
Otaru is a small harbor city in the western part of Hokkaido facing Ishikari Bay. Evoking a nostalgic mood with its old-fashioned architecture, the town makes a pleasant day trip from Sapporo as it is just 30 minutes away. If you are planning an overnight stay in this charming seaport town, do check out Ginrinso, one of Hokkaido’s most prestigious ryokans.
Having been established over 130 years ago, Ginrinso is set atop Cape Hiraiso, offering unrivaled relaxation in its gorgeous open-air bath with a breathtaking panoramic view of Ishikari Bay. Furthermore, exquisite French cuisine, as well as a remarkable selection of Japanese delicacies, are served at the classy Ginrinso Grill for ultimate dining pleasure. Together with heartwarming hospitality, it is of no surprise why Ginrinso remains as the premier choice for ryokan lovers of Hokkaido.
Kuramure is also located in the harbor city of Otaru, but tucked away on a hillside overlooking the Asari River. Due to its isolated location, you will be able to experience the traditional Japanese culture in complete peace. While Kuramure looks every bit like an old Japanese inn from the outside, you will be welcomed by a chic, minimalist looking space once you step into the ryokan. Appreciate the delicate touches of the traditional ikebana flower artistry complete with tatami mats and low tables.
There are only 19 suites in the ryokan, and each is fitted with a private onsen, fed by local hot springs which you can enjoy round the clock. In the evening, be treated to a tantalizing seasonal multi-course dinner consisting of Otaru’s freshest catch. As expected with any top-notch hotel, you will enjoy personalised service throughout your stay, and you may also make use of the complimentary hotel shuttle to and fro Otaruchikko Train Station by booking at least one day in advance.
Tucked away on the serene shores of Lake Akan, Akan Tsuruga Besso Hinanoza is a luxury ryokan hotel for an indulgent escapade, away from the hectic city life. There are 25 grand suites, each with a private open-air bath decorated with elegant Japanese traditional designs. In addition, there are two large public baths featuring stone tubs on the upper floors of the hotel available for guests’ use as well.
When you are not relaxing in the luxuriant onsen, take time to appreciate the artistic interiors, smell the natural fragrances of the wood furnishings, and feel the smoothness of the wooden floors on your bare feet. Top your luxurious retreat with a Michelin-quality multi-course dinner that seeks to appeal to all your five senses with the use of natural seasonal ingredients of local produce.
Also situated on the shores of Lake Akan, Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga is a stylish onsen ryokan with a total of 33 different hot spring baths. The first floor’s main bath area is known for its alluring open-air bath surrounded by a Japanese garden with sweeping views of Lake Akan and Mount Oakandake. There is also a rooftop open-air bath on the top floor which offers a fascinating bird’s eye view of the lake amidst the lush greenery. Pamper yourself with a spa treatment after a relaxing soak in the communal bath on the eighth floor.
In addition, you will be delighted at the huge selection of tantalizing dishes at the main Tenga buffet restaurant. There are over 100 Japanese, Chinese and Italian dishes as well as tasty desserts made using fresh local ingredients, which will please even the most discerning guest. At the end of a lovely day, retreat to your chic and comfortable room to complete the unforgettable experience at Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga.
Although Niseko has some of the best hotels to stay in, nestled in Hanazono woods in Niseko Resort, is Zaborin a secluded premier ryokan hotel for travelers willing to splurge for the best Japanese onsen experience. The low-key architecture and minimalist interiors complement the idyllic harmony of its surrounding nature. Unlike normal guest rooms in other ryokan properties, the 15 separate villas in Zaborin provide a greater privacy and roomy comfort. Furthermore, the contemporarily furnished villas are situated directly above the Zabo natural spring that is of excellent quality, so you can enjoy a relaxing soak in the luxurious private indoor and open-air onsen anytime you wish.
Last but not least, there is the ancient Jozankei Onsen, less than an hour’s drive from the south of Sapporo, which you can also visit for a whale of a time. Jozankei is not only the ideal place for a healing soak, but is also famous for its picturesque beauty. Shogetsu Grand Hotel is strategically positioned in the historical district just a stone’s throw away from the Jozankei Jinja-mae bus stop where you can take an express bus to and fro the JR Sapporo Station and New Chitose Airport.
In addition, it is the only hotel in Jozankei where you can immerse yourself in the splendid valley views right in the comfort of your room. All onsen baths in the hotel are fed with natural spring water directly from the source which will help relieve health ailments such as muscle aches, fatigue, and neuralgia.
A memorable Hokkaido holiday in a unique onsen ryokan
Hokkaido’s hot springs are famed all around Japan, and one of the best things to do when holidaying in Japan is to book yourself a stay in a traditional Japanese inn or a ryokan with an onsen for a unique experience. While there are many public onsens out there, having an onsen right in the ryokan you stay in is the best bet for superb accessibility and comfort. So check into one of these Hokkaido ryokans with onsens on your next trip for an awesome holiday!
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