Free Hot Springs Around Lake Kussharo Free Hot Springs Around Lake Kussharo

Free Hot Springs Around Lake Kussharo


2017.11.27

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Free Hot Springs Around Lake Kussharo
  • Lake Kussharo, which sits at the heart of the Akan National Park has a circumference of 57 kilometers, making it the largest caldera lake in all of Japan, it is also the largest lake in Japan to completely freeze over in winter. The lake is a picturesque place in all seasons, attracting visitors from all over the country. An excellent way many choose to appreciate the lake’s views are from the comfort of an outdoor natural hot spring, of which there are plenty in the vicinity.

    Free Hot Springs Around Lake Kussharo

    Free Hot Springs Around Lake Kussharo

    As a result of being situated in a highly volcanic area, both the east and south sides of Lake Kussharo are particularly high in volcanic gases with a number of active sulfurous vents spewing gases and hot water, making for a number of natural hot springs, which are dotted along the perimeter of the banks. Here we will list three of our favorite, all located on the east side of the lake, just a few minutes drive from each other. What’s more, they are all free of charge to enter!

  • 02

    sunayu

    sunayu

    sunayu

    The first hot spring on the list is called sunayu. In Japanese suna is the word for sand and yu is the word for hot water/hot spring. The source of the hot spring here is deep beneath a bed of sand that stretches along a portion of the lakeside. Visitors can use their hands to dig a hole deep into the sand, they will eventually reach hot water, where they can dip their feet in and use it as an ashinoyu (hot spring for the feet). Benches are provided along the perimeter of the sand bank, meaning you can sit comfortably while dipping your toes in your freshly made foot spa, enjoying uninterrupted views of the lake in the process. Also on site at sunayu is a large and varied gift shop selling an assortment of Hokkaido gifts as well as drinks and snacks.

    Sunayu
    place
    Hokkaido Kawakamigunteshikagachou Kussharo Lake Sand
    phone
    0154842106
    opening-hour
    8:00-17:00[July-Aug.]8:00-18…
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  • 03

    Ikenoyu

    Ikenoyu

    Ikenoyu

    Ikenoyu is an open air lakeside bath with nice views of Lake Kussharo. As mentioned above, yu is the Japanese word for hot spring, and ike means pond. This hot spring has the appearance of a large round pond beside the lake, hence the name – it also has the murky appearance of a garden pond. It is gender mixed and unlike most other hot springs in Japan, visitors can choose to enter in bathing suits, although many of the locals like to bath here completely naked.

    Ikenoyu

    Ikenoyu

    There is a small hut that acts as a changing facility by the side of the bath, but once you’re in the water there is zero privacy from other bathers – this however is completely normal in Japan, and the locals won't be phased by your presence. If you do choose to enter this hot spring completely naked it is prohibited to then jump in the lake without first putting suitable swimwear on. You have been warned!

    Ike no Yu
    place
    Hokkaido Kawakamigunteshikagachou Kussharo Ikenohu
    phone
    0154822200
    opening-hour
    Open 24 hours
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  • 04

    Kotan Onsen

    Kotan Onsen

    Kotan Onsen

    This rustic bath is so close to Lake Kussharo that it gives bathers the sensation of bathing in the lake itself. Perched on the southeast side of the lake this small but quaint bath is split into men’s only and women’s only sections, albeit by a line of small rocks only.

    Kotan Onsen

    Kotan Onsen

    This bath is not only popular with the locals, but also with a community of white swans that flock to the lake each year from autumn through spring, they can often be seen sitting around the perimeter of the bath playfully flapping about on the shores of the lake. Similar to Ikenoyu, Kotan Onsen allows guests to enter with or without swimwear on, and the changing facilities are small and modest. This bath is a popular spot for both watching the sunset over the lake and also stargazing at night.

    Lake Kussharo can be accessed by taxi from Mashu Station in approximately 20 minutes. Most people tend to travel there by car though, there are plenty of options for free parking around the lake and at all of the hot spring baths mentioned above.

    Kotan Onsen
    rating

    4.5

    36 Reviews
    place
    Hokkaido Kawakami-gun Teshikaga Cho Kussharo Kotan
    phone
    0154822191
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