Posted in Hokkaido, Japan

[HOKKAIDO DAY 04 & 05 : JOZANKEI HOT SPRINGS]

We were initially planning on staying 2 days in Niseko, and 2 days at Jozankei. However, after looking at the writeups and things to do online, we figured it will be quite a packed trip that way. So, we omitted Niseko and decided on the lesser known Jozankei Hotsprings town instead. It was a very good choice, as the trip was extremely relaxing, and had things for everyone to do! We splurged on the hotel (Sankeien), it was not the cheapest in the town, but also not the most expensive! I booked it online directly from the hotel, and it helped that I had a Japanese literate friend who talked through all the packages and it’s contents with me before we booked it online. A list of all the available hotels can be viewed on their tourist page HERE. Best thing about this hotel (and most of the hotspring hotels), is that Dinner and Breakfast (and sometimes even lunch!) is included in the price of the hotel. So we had our dream of having a full set dinner (like the ones shown on Japan Hour!) served to us in the room. An experience!! Plus the hotsprings were very very good and totally refreshing.

We took a bus to Jozankei. The journey is quite long, about 90minutes in total, but it was only 1 bus and no change. We packed quite a bit of snacks so the girls were good!
Waiting for our first bus from the bus station at Sapporo train station.
Love how this shot captured what it was like on the trip, the girls running around, us trying to figure out what to do next! haha!
We arrived to a beautiful sunny day at Jozankei. It really was a resort town, mostly filled with hotels and not much else🙂
Translates to : ” Hot Spring “
Boiling eggs in the hotsprings. Tastes so good!
Happy G with the cooked eggs
The view from the foot of our hotel. The river and mountainscape was so picturesque.
Little Kappa figurines (local folklore) that doted the town.
Epitaph
Girls with the taxidermied deer at the local visitor’s centre. Love G’s rosy rosy cheeks.
Enroute to a children’s snow park as recommended by the tourist centre. The wind was really cold walking across this large bridge!
The fun of making snow balls continue. The snow was super powdery, so it was really easy to make big big snowballs!
Another view of the river, our hotel is the dark brown one in the far distance. We walked to most places in Jozankei, it was surprisingly pretty manageable with the girls, even with the snow and wind!
At the children’s snow park. Kongkong with his 2 princesses.
Pretty girl… she looks so big here!
A proud K with the snowman / bunny we made together. Yes, we were the only ones (again!) at the snow park.
This is where we went… it’s a small park, mostly for sledding, although the girls didn’t quite like the sledding bit and we just did snowman making. And G did snow sliding…
We found a really good Soba restaurant (recommended by our Hotel) just round the corner. It really was very yummy!
V & G in their matching jumpers
Beautifully presented Soba
After a hearty lunch, we walked around town and there were all these open air hotsprings for foot soaking. Love the expressions on the girls!
Cute shot of the pink toesies
We took more touristy shots around town
Finally the room was ready and we checked in. The girls of course had to change straight into the complimentary Yukatas.
Kawaii overload!
It got dark pretty fast after that, so we headed for the hotsprings for a soak and it was back in time for dinner in our room!
Even though we had 2 rooms, we opted to have dinner together in one room. The tables were all arranged for us when we got back from the hotsprings, this was all the food all laid out!
Somehow G ended up with an adult’s meal, but she still liked it!

Incidentally, the night that we were in Jozankei, was the night that earthquakes shook central Tokyo and also some parts of Hokkaido. Cocooned in the mountains, we hardly felt a thing! Except when we turned on the TV and realised something must have happened from all the emergency news reports.

The view that greeted us the next day! Blizzard!!!
Chilled coffee in the snow!
There wasn’t much to do and we didn’t want to head back to Sapporo so early, so we went to the kids park again.
Yes, I made that snowball from scratch! And snowman making is hardwork so no jackets required!
Silly G wanted us to pelt her with snowballs! She was having so much fun!
We made lots of snow angels too….
Cooling down and drying up after playing in the snow. This is the little service hut next to the kids park. So warm and welcoming, it had a central burner, which is where G’s jeans is drying off!
We went back to Soba the 2nd day… it was so good!
Dropped by the shrine before checking out of the hotel
Us in front of the hotel
V took some nice pix of me while the kids play in the snow
Modelling my winter wear!

Jozankei was really unforgettable. We were really glad to have made it there and also to have spent an overnight trip. It is definitely worth visiting if you’re in Sapporo, even for a daytrip.

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