The spa district of Jozankei 定山渓
Since the middle of the 19th century, Jozankei , a locality which belongs to the city of Sapporo, has prospered thanks to the hot springs or onsen discovered on its land. Located one hour from the center of Sapporo, it offers in addition to its waters access to a very beautiful nature, the district being surrounded by forests.
Japan's largest onsen district
The Jozankei spa district of Sapporo owes its spa status to the monk Mizumi Jozan, who discovered the springs in 1866 and decided to set up a spa there at the Toyohira River. His objective was to treat sick or injured individuals in these onsen , which established his reputation. Since then, the district has no less than 20 ryokans and welcomes around 2.4 million tourists each year , including open-air onsen and others located inside hostels.
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A prized water
The water from the local hot springs has several features considered curative. It contains many minerals such as sodium chloride, sodium sulphide or bicarbonate. This type of onsen is among the most popular in Japan, having the reputation of improving the purity of the skin and helping the healing of people suffering from anemia, burns or chronic fatigue . It is also possible to take foot baths in the neighborhood ashi-yu .
Walk beyond the sonsen
Beyond the onsen , Jozankei is also an opportunity to walk around. You can walk along the promenade on the bank of the Toyohira River or stroll among the various statues of kappa , the anthropomorphic turtles from Japanese folklore that are the animal symbol of the district. You will also be able to take a tour of the Iwato Kannon-dô temple , which includes 33 statues of the Buddhist deity of compassion Kannon, a temple which is dedicated to road workers who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
A fire-colored neighborhood
The Jonzakei district takes on a flamboyant color in autumn. Surrounded by mountains, the whole landscape takes on its new guise from mid-October , an exuberance of yellow, orange and red then covers Jozankei. The famous Japanese momiji (maple leaf) come into their own here.
To go further : Fall colors in Hokkaido
Address, timetable & access
TimetableFrom Sapporo Bus Station Terminal, take Jotetsu Bus 7 or 8 to Jozankei Onsen. 2 to 3 departures every hour (770 yen per ticket)