Hoheikyo Onsen is located about an hour away by bus or car from Sapporo City. It is a hot spring area where you can enjoy naturally heated spring water flowing directly up from the source. It’s said that the water in this area makes your skin beautiful.
Located amid the mountains, the facility is also known for their authentic Indian curry and jingisukan – a Japanese grilled mutton dish. During winter with heavy snow, they offer all-you-can-eat Indian food and jingisukan in a large snow igloo. Here we introduce the charm of Hoheikyo Onsen, which attracts curry and hot springs connoisseurs!
Enjoy the Seasonal Views From the Open-Air Hot Spring
Hoheikyo Onsen is a day-trip hot spring facility (bathing fee 1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for elementary school students) located near Jozankei Onsen, which is considered a retreat outside of Sapporo City.
It takes about 60 minutes from Sapporo Station by car, or about 70 minutes taking the Kappa Liner Bus that starts from Sapporo Station and goes through Jozankei Onsen area to reach Hoheikyo Onsen (one way 840 yen, requires reservations). There is also a fixed-route bus that goes to Hoheikyo Onsen (one way 840 yen) from Sapporo Station which takes about 90 minutes.
The highlight of Hoheikyo Onsen is the large open-air hot spring that is surrounded by nature and the hot spring water that flows directly from the source. The hot spring water also has the effect to make your skin beautiful. There are many residents of Sapporo who come here regularly to experience the atmosphere and the amazing hot spring. Not only does Hoheikyo Onsen attract customers from all over Japan but, in recent years the number of foreign tourists has increased.
This area gets heavy snow. About a third of the year, from the first half of December to early April, you can enjoy the open-air hot spring with a snowscape view.
Once spring is in the air you can view the cherry blossoms from the open-air hot spring, and in summer you can see the verdant scenery of the mountains. Autumn is the season when Hoheikyo Onsen is most thriving. The surrounding trees start to change colors and people come to view the autumn foliage, it is so popular that there is even a line of cars waiting outside.
3 Open-Air Hot Springs That’ll Make You Want to Take a Long Soak
There are two bathing areas at Hoheikyo Onsen on the second floor. To the entrance side of the building there is one indoor bathing area and one large open-air hot spring Muine Onsen, which could probably fit about 100 people.
At Yuyu Onsen there are two hidden spots where you can lie down. Make sure to look for the hidden spots when you get there. You might find some other hidden things exploring the baths.
The open-air baths temperature are set lower and is perfect for longer baths. You will forget the flow of time and want to spend the whole time soaking in the bath.
The hot spring to the front and back swaps between male and female daily, so your experience will vary on the day. The front side hot springs are male only on odd days and female only on even days, for the back side hot springs even days are for male and odd days are for females.
Silky Smooth Skin after a Bath: Additive-Free Hot Spring Water Direct from the Source, for Beautiful Skin
To prevent the water from oxidizing when it touches the air, the spring water pumped on Hoheikyo Onsen grounds is not stored in a water tank, but flows directly to the bathing areas.
The spring water is not heated or have water added to it, and the temperature is managed by controlling the amount of water in the tub. Since there is an abundance of spring water, the overflowed water is not reused by a circulation system. Also the water for the shower is from the hot spring. The facility offers hot spring water directly from the source without additives.
The water includes minerals such as sodium, calcium and hydrogen carbonate, which gives the water a slight filmy texture. The component in hydrogen carbonate has a quality to emulsify keratin and also wash away old skin oil, also it is said that the sodium helps moisturize your skin. This is the reason behind Hoheikyo Onsen being called the hot spring for beautiful skin, also people with skin conditions come here for bath treatments.
The fresh hot spring water is beneficial to the skin. After I got out of the bath, my skin was very smooth! It felt like a baby’s skin. You are sure to come back for more, once you experience it.
Indian Curry so Popular that People Visit just for the Curry
There are two types of curry, onion based and tomato based; both are handmade and use different blends of spices and herbs.
There are five levels of spiciness from the lowest level for children, sweet, medium, hot and very hot. You can choose the level of spiciness when you order. The standard spiciness here is medium. Unless you don’t like spicy food, you should still be able to enjoy the standard spiciness.
The curry comes with naan bread You can also get more naan (220 yen for one, 330 yen if you only order naan).
Both onion-based and tomato-based curries are spicy. However they are not too spicy and you can enjoy the delicious flavor of the curry. Also the combination of curry and naan is amazing! The chewy texture and the wheat flavor is great. The naan is delicious with curry or plain.
The onion-based curry is slightly mild due to the sweetness of the onion, and the tomato based curry has a slight sourness to it that gives just the right amount of kick.
For people who want curry and Indian food like Tandoori Chicken, there are set menus.
Hoheikyo Onsen ONSEN Shokudo豊平峡温泉 ONSEN食堂
- Address 608-2 Jozankei Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Hours: Indian Food 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM L.O., Jingisukan & Soba 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM L.O., 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM L.O.
Enjoy the Large Snow Igloo with Charcoal Grilled Jingisukan During Winter
From late January to mid-March a large snow igloo is made at Hoheikyo Onsen’ Second Parking Lot. How big is it? Well it’s this big!
You can enter freely and look around. Also you can enjoy charcoal grilled Jingisukan inside the snow igloo!
Entering the snow igloo, we were surprised at how securely it was made, and it was quite warm inside. It’s probably because it’s not effected by the wind blowing outside.
In the snow igloo they offer two types of meal plans.
1. All-You-Can Eat Charcoal Grill BBQ Plan 3,500 yen per person
90 minutes all-you-can eat Jingisukan (with vegetables) and Indian food (naan, Tandoori chicken, spareribs, seekh kebab), 1 onigiri (rice ball) per person
2. Kamakura Jingisukan Plan: 2,400 yen per person
Jingisukan (with vegetables) and 1 naan
*Both plans include hot spring fees, requires 4 or more people and reservation up to three days in advance
Since you are at Hoheikyo Onsen which is famous for Indian food, we recommend the all-you-can eat plan with Indian food.
The staff will manage the charcoal, so all you have to do is grill the meat when it arrives. Very simple!
The meat is marinated in a special sweet and spicy sauce, and is flavored perfectly so you don’t need dipping sauce when you eat it. You can’t taste or smell the distinct smell of mutton, and the meat is very tender! You can’t go wrong going with the all-you-can eat plan. It’s so good that it’s hard to stop eating.
Now, here is how you eat Hoheikyo Onsen’ Jingisukan. You wrap the Jingisukan with the naan.
Now you have a Jingisukan naan sandwich. The chewy naan and tender mutton really matches. Make sure to try it out, I am sure you will enjoy it and get hooked just like me! The Tandoori chicken is good as is, but it’s also good if you grill it for a bit and wrap it in naan.
The igloo has two entrances and even fans, so the smell of the smoke from the grill isn’t that noticeable. However even if the smell sticks, you are at a hot spring facility, so you can just wash it away.
You can also order the Jingisukan at the ONSEN Shokudo, and during summer they have the BBQ house outdoors that also serve Jingisukan.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to Hoheikyo Onsen, which is popular with hot spring and curry connoisseurs. Curry and hot springs seems like an odd match, but both of them are amazing.
If you are in Sapporo and have free time for half a day, we recommend heading over to Hoheikyo Onsen, which is 1 hour away one-way, and experience a hot spring that makes your skin beautiful and authentic Indian curry. If you visit during the winter, the experience of eating Jingisukan in a snow igloo will be something you won’t forget.
- Address 608-2 Jozankei Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Bathing Times: 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM (final admission 9:45 PM)
Bathing Fee: Adults 1,000 yen, children 500 yen
*All prices in the article include tax. The prices will change after autumn 2019 due to consumption tax revision.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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