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Kotobuki Onsen 7

The Niseko region's top local onsen (hot springs)

While many of us have dreamt of enjoying a hot spring with soft snow falling on our heads; few get to turn their dreams into reality...

With over 250 onsen areas (or hot springs as we often call them), the most in Japan, Hokkaido is the place to visit if you're ready to make this dream come true.

On Instagram Niseko's luxury hotel onsen like The Vale Niseko and Intuition often steal the show - with spectacular views over Yotei - but hotel onsen aren't the only option around greater Niseko. We strongly recommend trying a variety of onsen while you stay in Hokkaido to make the most of your trip - especially these "local" options.

Below we list our top non-hotel onsen within 30 minutes of Niseko United that offer more "traditional" style. From town-run natural onsen in the mountains to pools in the middle of farmland - we have you covered.

Before you go:

There are some things you should be aware of when visiting a traditional style Japanese hot spring or sento.

  • Most of Niseko's local onsen require a car or taxi to access - as they are located in the townships nearby and away from train stations. Book through our Guest Services team.
  • Japanese onsen require you to wear no clothes (get naked) - but don't worry it's not as scary as you think.
  • You'll need to follow a number of rules designed to make the experience enjoyable for all - most onsen have these rules in English - but just in case they don't - copying the locals is a safe bet.
  • Most onsen are gender segregated - however Japanese families sometimes bring their children under 5 with them - and other options have "mixed bathing".
  • Many have food venues attached - but not all - make sure you plan where you'll eat afterwards.

Our Top 6 Local Onsen

6. Kogane Onsen:

The rustic Kogane Onsen is a seasonal public onsen located in Rankoshi-cho not far from Niseko. It operates from May to October and offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience a hot spring bath in a picturesque natural setting. The onsen features an iconic outdoor bath with mixed bathing (but a walled gender separate entrance) allowing guests to enjoy the warm waters while surrounded by the beauty of Hokkaido's nature. The fact it closes in winter is the only reason we haven't ranked this higher - as this really is a true hot spring experience.

5. Goshiki Onsen:

Located high in the mountains Goshiki Onsen is classic Japanese onsen located near the Mt Annupuri trailhead. It offers a serene and natural setting in the mountains with snow sticking around long after the season ends (great if you're visiting in spring). The unique feature of this onsen is its five different types of hot springs, each known for its distinct mineral composition and therapeutic properties. This one really could be higher - but it has more of an old-school/quiet vibe so we'll put it as number 5. Accessible by taxi.

4. Kyogoku Onsen:

Kyogoku onsen is the classic "town onsen" - more modern than the others on our list but pretty basic. Located around 30 minutes from Niseko Hirafu this onsen serves the local Kyogoku community. We're actually not sure why we're sharing out little secret - but for just 1,000 yen you can enjoy a meal before or after your soak with options like Japanese curry or ramen INCLUDED. Their kitchen takes last orders around 6.30pm. It's a favorite amongst seasonal staff and local Japanese families - which is why we're putting it as number 4.

3. Kotobuki Onsen (Rusutsu)

With spectacular views over Rusutsu Resort towards Mt Isola this recently built onsen offers one of the classiest experiences in Hokkaido. It is located right next to The Vale Rusutsu and opens all year (except for some shoulder periods before and after the season when the Resort closes). This onsen is open to the public - it is not attached to any hotel - but is located inside the Rusutsu Ski Resort complex.

2. Kira No Yu:

Kira No Yu is a popular public onsen situated in Niseko-cho (the town, not the ski area). It features indoor and outdoor baths with a peaceful ambiance, allowing visitors to unwind and soak in natural hot spring water. The onsen also offers private bathing options for those seeking a more intimate experience - but as you'll need to book in Japanese you might want to ask a friend - or our concierge team - to help. We've ranked this high as we love the private bath option - but please respect the rules and etiquette of onsen even if you're on your own.

1. Yukichichibu:

Worth the 30 minute drive and #1 place! Located in the winding mountains past Niseko Annupuri, Yukichichibu offers a true Japanese (volcanic) natural onsen experience. From the first sulfuric smells to the actual venting gas coming from Otama Numa - you'll be surrounded by an out-of-this-world powder snow experience in winter. With eight different bathing pools and a mud bath option for the ladies this onsen is renowned for its benefits to your skin. Note: Due to the water content we do not recommend this for guests with infants or young children with sensitive skin.

Disagree with our list? Feel free to let us know on Instagram or Facebook - we might even change it if you can convince us we're wrong.

Our best hotel onsen

If you're looking for something more private (or close to your room) a number of our hotels and chalets in-house. Most if not all of these options are for guests of the hotel only.

  • The Vale Niseko - Right next to the Family Run of Grand Hirafu this hotel features public and in-room onsen options.
  • Intuition Niseko - Experience the joy of our Yotei facing penthouse onsen - or visit the hotels onsen for in-house guests.
  • Niseko Kyo - With onsen in every parent room Niseko Kyo offers Hirafu's most luxurious ski-in ski-out rooms.
  • Hanaridge Wing Residence - With 40 square metres of indoor and outdoor onsen this is one of Niseko's most exlusive chalets. Yotei views
  • Yuki Sugi at Intuition - Features an indoor onsen with bathroom separate to any of the 5 rooms - located close to Hirafu's Family Run in the Intuition Estate.
Amon Bradshaw

Amon Bradshaw

Amon is our Japan Marketing Manager - having joined the team in late 2022 after 5 years experience in the Australian ski and tourism industry - Amon enjoys hiking, camping and snowboarding badly.

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