HOME Hokkaido Hokkaido Furano / Biei / Sounkyo Our hotel recommendations for Sounkyo Gorge: Where to stay if you want a bath with a view and delicious cuisine!
Our hotel recommendations for Sounkyo Gorge: 
Where to stay if you want a bath with a view and delicious cuisine!

Our hotel recommendations for Sounkyo Gorge:
Where to stay if you want a bath with a view and delicious cuisine!

Date published: 9 July 2018
Last updated: 11 July 2018

Sounkyo Onsen is one of the best known hot spring destinations in Hokkaido. Surrounded by the gorgeous natural surroundings of Daisetsuzan National Park, you can relax in a hot spring while enjoying the splendor of Hokkaido’s natural beauty: the serene greenery in the summer, and the changing colors of the leaves in fall. Fall starts earlier here than in the rest of Japan. In this article, we’re going to introduce you to four popular onsen hotels, each with their own distinct features and characteristics!

Sounkyo Choyotei: Panoramic views of nature in all her majesty

Sounkyo Choyotei: Panoramic views of nature in all her majesty

At Sounkyo Choyotei you can enjoy scenic views from your bath that are unique to Sounkyo Gorge. Soak yourself in hot spring waters and enjoy the magnificent panorama of Daisetsuzan National Park.

Choyozan - Mt. Choyo (photo) - set beneath the wide open skies provides a magnificent backdrop to the view. You can indulge yourself in a luxurious rotenburo (open air bath) with Mt. Choyo rising in front of you as you soak in the hot water. Experience the unique power and looming intensity of the steep rocks of Sounkyo Gorge. The male and female bathing areas are switched over in the morning and evening, so you can enjoy different views depending on the time of day. If you like hot spring bathing, then there's no greater hospitality that you can experience than this!

There are two spacious baths available for you to try: Kurodake, the large 40m long large public bath, made of glass, where you can enjoy magnificent views of the valley, or the soothing water of Keisatsu, with its relaxed atmosphere and subdued lighting. If you want to try a few different hot springs, then we suggest you take the hot spring shuttle bus (free) which travels round the affiliated Choyo resort hotels in the area and gives you the opportunity to bathe at each one.

Something else to enjoy at Choyotei is the cooking which makes full use of seasonal ingredients. In the buffet menu, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous spread of Japanese, Western and Chinese dishes with beautiful seasonal views of Sounkyo from the large windows in the restaurant. If you want to eat your meal in calmer and more relaxed surroundings, then we recommend Kitabanya. There’s also a private room available where you can sit round an irori (hearth) and relax informally.

Access is very convenient with a free shuttle bus running regularly from Sapporo station and Asahikawa station. Bookings close as soon as the bus is full, so we suggest you book early via the reservation form on the website. This is ideal for anyone who wants to spend a full day at Sounkyo Onsen.

■ Room rates: Please inquire
■ Number of rooms: 252 rooms
■ Baths: 3 large public baths (outdoor 1, indoor 2)
■ Check in from 3:00 PM; check out by 10:00 AM.
■ Languages: English spoken. English information on the website
■ Reservations: Telephone 01658-5-3241; online, https://www.choyotei.com/
■ Access: 25 minutes by car from Kamikawa Sounkyo IC

Hotel Taisetsu: the highest hotel in Sounkyo Onsen

Hotel Taisetsu: the highest hotel in Sounkyo Onsen

A striking hotel, standing at the highest elevation of all of the hotels in Sounkyo. Hotel Taisetsu is a popular hot spring inn with three large public baths and two outdoor baths.

You can enjoy the majesty of Daisetsuzan with stunning views from the Taisetsu no yu bathhouse (photo: above) on the 7th floor of the West Wing. On the first floor of the South Wing, you’ll find the impressive European-style large public bath, Chinita no yu (photo: below), with its luxurious and exotic décor. Relax and warm your body here.

On the third floor of the annex, Taisetsusanso, which has the feel of a snowy mountain lodge, is Keikoku Rotenburo Tenka no Yu (Open air bath with a view of the valley). Enjoy bracing views of the valley from your outdoor bath. It’s a simple sulfur spring, coming directly from the source, with water added to bring the temperature down – just right for soothing and comforting your tired body.

Between 3:00 and 5:00 PM, Tenka no Yu, the outdoor bath, can be reserved for private use for periods of 50 minutes (reservation required one day in advance). It costs 3,000 yen for groups of up to 5 people or 5,000 yen for more than 5 people. You can bathe like royalty in your own private spa with an amazing view. It’s a romantic experience. As well as this, the hotel also offers nine rooms with three different types of private bath. This is recommended for those who want to take a private bath with their families.

Between 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM you can also get a hot spring day pass (800 yen adults, 600 yen children). It’s a perfect place to stop at during a drive.

Kaiseki meals are served as well as the buffet to give you an opportunity to taste the full range of Hokkaido produce.

The hotel prides itself on the hot spring experience it offers here and its outstanding hospitality.

■ Room rate: 1 night, 2 meals (evening and breakfast buffet, 1 room, 2 people: from 11,500 yen (Tax not included)
■ Number of rooms: 215 rooms
■ Baths: 3 large public baths (outdoor 2, indoor 1), 1 private reservation outdoor bath.
■ Check in from 3:00 PM; check out by 10:00 AM.
■ Languages: English and Chinese spoken. English and Chinese information on the website
■ Reservations: Telephone 0120-123-717; online, https://www.hotel-taisetsu.com/
■ Access: 25 minutes by car from Kamikawa Sounkyo IC

Sounkyo Kankou Hotel: Try the huge 330 sq. meter open-air bath!

Sounkyo Kankou Hotel is built on the banks of the Ishikari River. You can almost feel the magnificent nature of Sounkyo Gorge touching you.
The key feature here is Utari, the huge valley outdoor bath, the largest of its kind in Hokkaido.

The site itself measures around 660 sq. The open-air bath (photo) is made of rocks and stretches over 330 sq. meters, much larger than a standard bath of this type. It’s a dramatic sight. The waterfall comes down from the rocks from a height of around 6m, a thrill that catches you unawares. The Ishikari River flows down along the side. Enjoy the babbling sounds of the water changing according the season.

Another feature is the mixed-sex bathing with your own special yukata. The whole family can go in the same open-air bath. There are specially prepared yukata available in the male and female changing rooms, so you’ll be comfortable if you’re not used to taking your clothes off in the spa.

The buffet serves 50 different dishes, making full use of locally harvested seasonal ingredients. It’s a lavish spread, and the snow crab is all-you-can-eat. The chefs prepare the food in front of you. You can taste the different seasons of Hokkaido. Try freshly some made teppanyaki or fried tempura dishes. This hot spring hotel is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy an onsen with their families or as part of a group.

■ Room rate: 1 night, 2 meals. From 10,000 yen
■ Number of rooms: 242 rooms
■ Baths: 4 large public baths (outdoor 2, indoors 2)
■ Check in from 3:00 PM; check out by 10:00 AM.
■ Languages: English, Chinese spoken English information on the website
■ Reservations: Telephone 01658-5-3145; online, http://sounkyo-kankou.co.jp/
■ Access: 20 minutes by car from Kamikawa Sounkyo IC

Yumoto Ginsenkaku Hotel: A 1-minute walk to the Kurodake Ropeway

The Kurodake Ropeway (cable car) climbs up from the town (670m elevation) to the 5th station of Mt Kurodake (1300m elevation) in the space of only 7 minutes. It’s a must visit location if you want to enjoy majestic views of Daisetsuzan in all its finery. Yumoto Ginsenkaku Hotel is just a minute’s walk away from the Sounkyo Ropeway Station.

The main attraction of this hotel is its 100% natural hot spring that flows straight from the source. It’s a simple hot spring. There’s nothing here that will irritate your skin, and the waters feel soft and gentle. As well as the large public baths and the outdoor baths, there’s also a family bath available for private use and a footbath in front of the hotel. The footbath can be used free of charge by anyone who wants, so it’s a nice place to come when you’re sightseeing round here on the ropeway.

Left: Men’s outdoor bath. Upper right: Ladies' large public bath. Bottom right: Ashitsubo no yu: Free footbath in front of the hotel.

The hotel prides itself on using seasonal ingredients in its cuisine. It serves three kinds of nabe (hot-pot) dishes - yakuzen hinabe (firepot with medicinal herbs), yosenabe (chowder) and mizutaki (simmered in broth with dipping sauce) - as well as buffet meals or set meals featuring luxury ingredients. All meals have a “drink as much you like” option so you’ll always get a great deal.

Kurodake is an ideal mountain for novice climbers. Take the ropeway and the lift to the 7th Station of the mountain, and you can get from there to the top in about 90 minutes. If you stay at Yumoto Ginzenkaku, you won’t have to walk far to revive yourself in the onsen after your hike, or enjoy a delicious meal of seasonal ingredients. This is a great place to stay if you're planning on doing activities in Sounkyo.

  • Yumoto Ginsenkaku
    湯元 銀泉閣
    • Address 〒078-1701 北海道上川郡上川町層雲峡公園まち/〒078-1701 Hokkaido,Kamikawa District,Kamikawa,層雲峡温泉
    • Phone Number 01658-5-3003

    ■ Room rate: 5500 yen~12000 yen(Possible change. Check via phone or see the website for details.)
    ■ Number of rooms: 47 rooms
    ■ Baths: 2 bathrooms each for men and women (1 outdoor, 1 indoor), 1 bath for private reservations, 1 footbath.
    ■ Check in from 3:00 PM; check out by 10:00 AM.
    ■ Languages: English spoken (Reservations, hotel inquiries only)
    ■ Reservations: Telephone 01658-5-3003; online, http://breezbay-group.com/ginsenkaku/
    ■ Access: 25 minutes by car from Kamikawa Sounkyo IC

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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