9 Onsen in Hokkaido Where Men and Women Can Bathe Together

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On June 6, 2018
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the warm waters of the Kotan Onsen open-air bath. Teshikaga, Hokkaido. Photo by Jae

Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is a popular travel destination for thrill seekers and foodies alike. The annual average of over 500 centimeters of snow makes the island a haven for skiers and snowboarders, while specialties such as fresh seafood and Sapporo-style tangy miso ramen bring hungry visitors from around the world. Whether you’re the adventurous type or the hungry type — or somewhere in between — spend some of your down time at one of Hokkaido’s konyoku onsen, or mixed-gender hot spring.

Konyoku onsen have a rich history and culture. Sadly, more and more of these traditional baths are disappearing due to laws and lack of interest. But you can continue this relaxing and ancient tradition with your friends or lover! Here are nine mixed-gender hot springs in Hokkaido that are worth a visit!

1. Aidomari Onsen

Those who seek a decidedly non-touristy experience must pay a visit to Aidomari Onsen. This hot spring is located in a desolate area of Hokkaido, where kombu, or kelp, farming takes place. This onsen is in the open so swimsuits are required. Bathing season is from May to September, but inclement weather can cause the establishment to close for the day. With that, mixed gender bathing is only allowed from May to June because segregating huts are put over the bath during kombu harvesting season.

  • Admission: Free
  • Access: 2 ½ -hour drive from Abashiri
  • Address: Aidomari, Rausu-cho, Menashi-gun, Hokkaido
  • Map

2. Daiichi

#養老牛温泉 フクロウの鳴き声がしたけど遭遇できず🙀 #ボタニカル のやついい匂いでした♫ #女子かっ! ・ #北海道 #養老牛 #養老牛温泉だいいち #温泉 #政府公認 #そだねー #hokkaido #japan #spa #view #instagood #iphone8 #道東カメラ部

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If you fancy a more luxurious and quiet experience, Daiichi is the location for you. Located in a ryokan, or Japanese inn, you can access the baths with a day pass for ¥600 or stay the night for the whole experience. The rotemburo, or open air bath, is mixed-gender bathing with a beautiful view of the river. Daiichi also has separated bathing facilities, so if you don’t want to stay in the mixed hot spring for a long period of time, you can enjoy other baths (though they won’t be mixed).

  • Admission: ¥600 day pass (1-3 p.m. & 7-9 p.m.)
  • Access: 70 minutes by car from Kushiro City
  • Address: Yoroushi, Nakashibetsu, Shibetsu District, Hokkaido
  • Map

3. Fukiage Onsen Recreation Facility Shirogane

Looking outside from the hot spring bath at Shirogane.Photo by Hokkaido Tourism Organization/JNTO

Looking outside from the hot spring bath at Shirogane.

A popular destination for skiers and outdoors men and women, Shirogane not only offers cheap lodging, but lovely bathing as well! What better way to end a long day of snow sports with a long bath with friends or a partner? Swimwear is required for mixed bathing, which is great for shy bathers.

  • Admission: ¥600 (day pass) ¥2,600 lodging
  • Access: 20 minutes by car from JR Kamifurano station
  • Address: Sorachi-gun, Kamifurano-cho Tokachidake, Hokkaido
  • Map

4. Kotan

The warm waters of the Kotan Onsen open-air bath.

The warm waters of the Kotan Onsen open-air bath.

Kotan is located next to Lake Kussharo in northeastern Hokkaido, which gives visitors with a lovely view while soaking in the thermal waters. This spot is popular with both tourists and locals, providing you with a more “real” experience than most locations. Women wear bathing suits to this bath, while most men do not — though that does not mean that it is prohibited for men to wear swimsuits. Another beautiful thing about Kotan is that it is free!

  • Admission: Free
  • Access: About 20 minutes by car from Biruwa station
  • Address: Kussharo, Teshikaga-cho, Kawakami-gun, Hokkaido
  • Map

5. Mizunashikaihin

Minami Kaihama onsen.Photo by Soica2001

Minami Kaihama onsen.

Enjoy a soak next to the ocean at Mizunashikaihin. This large stone bath is perfect for family outings, since there is copious amounts of space and swimwear is required. Mizunashikaihin is next to the ocean, so the time and tide affects its hours of use. Here is a link to the time tables for when bathing is allowed. Keep in mind that bathing outside of these hours is both prohibited and dangerous.

  • Admission: Free
  • Access: 12-minute drive from Hakodate City Hall
  • Address: Esanmisakicho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
  • Map

6. Onneto yu no Taki

#オンネトー湯の滝

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Are you looking to go on a short hike before having a steamy onsen experience? Onneto yu no Taki can give you exactly that. A short 1½  kilometer hike will lead you to a beautiful stone bath with a magnificent view of a hot waterfall. This cozy bath is free of charge and swimsuit friendly!

  • Admission: Free
  • Access: 110-minute car ride from Obihiro city
  • Address: Kamirawan, Ashoro, Ashoro District, Hokkaido
  • Map

7. Shikanoyu

Shikanoyu outdoor bath.Photo by Snake Head 1995

Shikanoyu outdoor bath.

Why not go to a konyoku onsen while camping? Shikanoyu is located about five minutes away from Shikaribetsu Gorge camp grounds, which cost only ¥250 per adult to stay the night! Being far away from many cities, this is a perfect destination for nature lovers. After you set up camp, follow the signs to the outdoor pool where you will find a lovely natural bath next to the Yuyanbetsu River. This is a very natural bath, so there is a chance that seaweed will find its way into the water — though this might just be extra skin treatment, right? Bathing suits are allowed at this location.

  • Admission: Free
  • Access: About three hours drive from Furano
  • Address: Kitaurimaku, Shikaoi, Kato District, Hokkaido
  • Map

8. Takimi no Yu

Three hot spring day. #kumanoyu #熊の湯 #sandannoyu #三段の湯 #kamuiwakkayunotaki #カムイワッカ湯の滝 #shiretoko #hokkaido #onsen

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These baths are truly a gift from Mother Nature. One small bath feeds into another, which then feeds into another, resulting in a total of three cozy pools. Because the baths are rather small, onsen goers tend to wear swimsuits, which makes it an appropriate destination for families. Enjoy this natural onsen in a wooded area for free and at any time of the day.

  • Admission: Free
  • Access: 1-hour 45-minute drive from Abashiri
  • Address: Onnebetsumura, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido
  • Map

9. Yu no Kaku

#川湯温泉 #湯の閣 池田屋 #youは何しに日本へ にも出てましたね。 珍しい混浴(冬季閉鎖)もありますがアブのいない季節に入りましょう。 3枚目の写真の貸切露天風呂がとても気に入りました。 貸切風呂はよくありますが、露天風呂を貸し切れるのは非常に珍しいのでは? 大浴場はこの温泉街の中では最も新しい。 #onsenjapan #源泉かけ流し #源泉掛け流し #温泉 #温泉♨ #溫泉 #溫泉♨ #おんせん #onsen #onsen♨ #温泉巡り #温泉めぐり #温泉旅行 #温泉旅行♨ #温泉地 #温泉街 #温泉宿 #温泉旅館 #溫泉旅館 #温泉ホテル

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Yu no Kaku is another spot situated close to beautiful Lake Kussharo. This hotel is known for its many beautiful baths — and it’s mixed gender rotenburo are no exception. Pay this location a visit after spending some time in the Akan National Park or stay for a night to further explore the surrounding areas. This is a bath in a hotel, so… bathing suits are not allowed.

  • Admission: ¥1,200 day pass (mixed bathing from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.)
  • Access: Seven-minute drive from Kawayu Onsen station
  • Address: 2-chome Kawayu Onsen Teshikaga Town, Kawakami-gun, Hokkaido
  • Map

Not in Hokkaido? Check out more than 20 other mixed-gender onsen in Japan. We will eventually be covering all of Japan, so watch out for our next article!

Do you know of any mixed-bathing onsen in Japan outside the Hokkaido region? Let us know in the comments!

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ALT in Gunma, explorer of the "inaka," lover of food and onsen.

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