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Onsen (Hot Spring)
The Japanese-style hot spring is called an onsen. Waters must be naturally heated and sufficiently mineral rich in order to be qualified as onsen. A dip into these waters is therapeutic and incredibly relaxing, especially after rafting, cycling or having other outdoor activities. You can even time your onsen visit to coincide with a sunset over Yotei to complete your day with a magical moment!
Which onsen should you visit?
Not sure which onsens to visit? Vacation Niseko has come up with a detailed list of our favorites:
This is crucial information to read before entering a Japanese hot spring. If you have done any research on onsen you probably know that you are not allowed to wear any swimsuits. You must bathe in the nude. But that is not it! There are many unspoken rules and expectations at a Japanese onsen that should be followed. Make sure you brush up on your onsen etiquette.
Follow the below guidelines to make sure your onsen experience is an awesome one!
- Don’t bring your swimwear
All onsen are nude - this means no swimwear allowed! No worries though, onsen are separated by gender, with completely separate bathing areas for men and women. Only a few onsen, usually very basic and rural, offer mixed pools. Some onsen also have private family pools that can be rented exclusively for your group.
- Bring two towels
While most onsen rent towels out at the front desk, you’re welcome to bring your own. In addition to your normal towel, bring a smaller facecloth-like towel. This is your ‘modesty’ towel for walking between pools. When you're in the water, don’t submerge your towel - let it rest on your forehead or put it to the side.
- Wash up!
All onsen require the guest to clean themselves thoroughly at the wash basins before entering the water. This is an important cultural feature of onsen - the bathhouse aspect of an onsen is just as important as the hot spring itself.
- Hide your tattoo
Onsen traditionally refuse guests with tattoos due to their association with the Yakuza. However, due to the international nature of Niseko, this rule may not always be enforced in the region.
The Yumeguri Onsen Pass can be purchased for 1,970/2,200/1,470 yen. This provides 3 tickets that can be used at 15 different onsens in the Niseko Area. The pass is valid for 180 days so you can use the pass at 3 different onsens or you can visit a single onsen multiple times. This is the best value for those looking to explore Niseko's many different onsen! The pass is available at most michi no eki road stations, but the three most convenient locations in the Niseko area are the Ski Japan Hirafu Office, the Niseko View Plaza, and the Kutchan Information Center.
There are over 15 different onsen scattered across the Niseko region alone. Why not get The Yumeguri Onsen Pass to try a couple of different onsens during your stay in Niseko? Not sure which onsens to visit? Vacation Niseko has come up with a list of highly recommended onsens in Niseko region. Read on to find out more.
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