If there was one onsen not to miss when you visit Niseko it’s Yukichichibu Onsen.
What sets this Onsen apart is that it is fed by boiling hot groundwater bubbling to the Surface in large pond just above the Onsen making it a tourist attraction in it’s own right as well as an amazing Onsen experience.
The smell of Sulphur instantly hits you and and the natural pond makes for some great photos. Just don’t get to close as the temperature here can fluctuate widely and occasionally dangerously which is why locals don’t swim directly in the pools.
The Onsen water here has a very high mud and mineral content so this is an onsen that matches it’s onsight ramen. Thick, soupy and rich.
The Women’s Onsen also features a ” Mud bath ” where you can get a tub sized mad bath from the natural clay that is found all around the Onsen.
* Yukichichibu is open is open from 10:00 am (12:00 in winter) to 8:00 pm (please enter by 7:00 pm).
* The Onsight restaurant is open from noon to 6:00 pm (last order is 5:00 pm).
*Usually closed Every Tuesday (excluding holidays, year-end and New Year holidays, and Golden Week
Onsen entry at the time of writing is 700 Yen for an adult ticket. Pro tip: Make sure you have a 100 yen coin spare for the coin lockers and remember to take one small face towel and one large towel.
For further information and pricing head over to the official website here
If you are new to Onsen’s check out guide for US personal to Onsens here
Getting to Yukichichibu
For Yukichichibu you really do need a car with good snow tyres and it’s definitely a good idea if you have some snow driving experience. Take it real easy on the way back down to. Going downhill is where Niseko see’s most of it’s snow driving accidents.
From Hirafu you want to take route 66 like you are heading to Annupurri and then keep you going for about 25 minutes head past the Niseko Grand Hotel and then when you hit a T intersection and follow the road up the steep range heading up the Panoramo Line.
This is not the trip to do in bad weather or after recent snowstorm so make sure you check with a local if in doubt. There is a carpark adjacent to the Onsen and NisekoML recommends you do a quick sightseeing tour of the natural pond just above the Onsen before you start your Onsen.
Yukichichibu is not a great tattoo option as it’s got a very traditional vibe. If you are heavily tattooed you may be advised to give this one a miss and instead check out the Niseko Grande hotel