Because of its proximity to Sapporo, Jozankei is a more developed onsen town than many others in rural locations. But, it’s a convenient place to escape from the city to enjoy a relaxing experience. As well as its hot springs, Jozankei draws visitors in the fall due to its colorful foliage. Other attractions are the Iwato Kannondo—a Buddhist temple within a cave—and the Shiraito no Taki waterfall. Many travelers visit Jozankei independently, either as a day trip from Sapporo, or overnight, staying at a ryokan or hotel. Some guided tours of the Sapporo area also include time in Jozankei.
Things to know before you go
- Many baths sell day or half-day passes.
- You can find small foot baths around town for a quick pick-me-up.
- There’s a fee to enter the Iwato Kannondo temple.
- When visiting an onsen, follow the instructions on how to wash and bathe properly. Japanese etiquette around bathing is very strict.
- Most onsen divide their baths into male and female areas.
How to get there
Jozankei is 20 miles (32 kilometers) south-west of Sapporo, a car journey of about 50 minutes. If self-driving, take route number 230 the whole way. It’s also possible to get a bus from the Sapporo Station Bus Terminal. Buses depart several times an hour; look for #7 and #8.
When to get there
Onsen can be enjoyed at any time of year, but are particularly lovely in the colder winter months, when the hot waters will warm you up. The fall is also a good time to visit Jozankei, which has an abundance of trees that turn orange, red, and gold in season. In the Sapporo area, fall comes earlier than in southern parts of Japan, usually in late October and early November. If traveling at this time, be sure to book accommodation ahead of time, as the small town gets busy.
Travelers who take a liking to onsen bathing should also check out Hoheikyo Onsen. Just south of Jozankei, Hoheikyo Onsen has the largest open-air baths in Japan. They can accommodate up to 200 people, and are surrounded by beautiful trees, for a truly relaxing experience.
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- Hoheikyo Onsen
- Mt. Okura Observatory
- Mt. Moiwa (Moiwa-yama)
- Asahiyama Memorial Park (Asahiyama Kinen Koen)
- Maruyama Park (Maruyama Koen)
- Shiroi Koibito Park
- Toyohira River
- Odori Park (Odori Koen)
- Sapporo TV Tower
- Lake Shikotsu (Shikotsuko)
- Nopporo Forest Park (Nopporo Shinrin Koen)
- Chitose River (Chitose Gawa)
- Mt. Tarumae (Tarumae-zan)
- Sapporo Beer Hokkaido Brewery