“Souunkyo Onsen” is located on the National Route 39 between Asahikawa and Kitami City. It is nestled in a wild valley where you can enjoy nature while soaking in a wonderful hot spring.
Souunkyo Onsen is located in Japan’s largest national park “Daisetsuzan National Park”. it abounds in natural landscapes with beautiful valleys and waterfalls. The altitude is so high that you can enjoy early changing autumn leaves and some of the earliest skiing in Japan. In winter the main event of Souunkyo is held, the “Ice Fall Festival.” It is a popular activity where the freezing Sounkyo winter helps create ice artwork. There is something for all seasons. Year-round you can experience a fulfilling hot spring in natures playground. It is especially nice during the autumn/winter season.
Your skin softens after a fine hot spring experience!
“Souunkyo Onsen” is located in Kamikawa Town in northern Hokkaido. It is located in the middle of Asahikawa city and Kitami city. It is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes by car from Asahikawa city, and 3 hours by car from Sapporo city. There is also access by bus from Asahikawa station.
Sounkyo Onsen started with the discovery of a source for the first time in the late Edo period. Soon after entering the 1900’s, several other sources were discovered and gradually the number of hot springs increased. The name “Souunkyo” was given to the springs in 1921. Originally the name was derived from what was called Ainu language. The word means (a waterfall-rich river).
Souunkyo spring water is colorless, transparent and a little stimulating. It is a “simple hot spring”. There are also two kinds of “sulfur fountains.” It is a wonderful place to soak while looking at the beautiful valley. Soaking in the hot water can help relieve every day’ s tiredness. It is popular with women because it leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.
You barely notice the black-and-white convenience stores in this Western-style spa town!
There are about 15 hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts in this spa town. In the center of town is the “Canyon Mall” it is a popular Canadian mountain resort. It is beautifully renovated and creates a Western-style atmosphere that is distinct from other general spas in town.
There are two convenience stores in town and neither have a prominent electric light sign. They are decorated in black and white as not to distract from the beautiful scenery. There are often a few people taking pictures in front of these convenience stores with an unusual atmosphere.
The Public hot spring is wonderful!
There are specialized public hot springs for day trips and taking a bath when your accommodations in the spa town don’t have an onsen. The public hot spring “Kurodake no yu” is operated and managed by Kamikawa Town.
There is a public bathhouse on the 2nd floor, an outdoor bath and a sauna on the 3rd floor. It is a very beautiful, well cared for facility.
The view from the outdoor bath is perfect! It is very fulfilling, and the usage fee is only 600 yen.
At the restaurant “Beer Grill Canyon” on the first floor, dishes using local ingredients are very popular. You can try delicious dishes known under the popular name “Italian food in the mountains,” such as rainbow trout or Ezo deer dishes. These are not dishes you can readily see outside this spa town.
There is a free public parking lot in the vicinity, so it’s easy to access when driving!
How was this beautiful canyon surrounding Souunkyo formed?
If you look around Souunkyo Onsen, you can’t help but notice the cliffs surrounding the spa. You may wonder how this terrain was formed.
It occurred about thirty thousand years ago. it was born out of the eruption of Taisetsuzan mountain. The so-called “lava” was cooled by the Ishikari River, then eroded over time resulting in the present “columnar joint.”
Around the spa town, the landscape of “columnar joint” is distinctive. The scenery from “Okubo” located about 4 miles from the spa town of Kitami is particularly beautiful and you can see the huge rock wall that is around 600 feet in height.
Also, a number of waterfalls are running down to the cliff along the Ishikari river which lasts about 14 miles. Among them, “Meteor Falls” and “Galaxy Waterfalls” are splendid. They are both included in the list of the one hundred most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. If you visit Sounkyo, it is a spectacular scenery you will want to see.
Enjoy all four seasons at Souunkyo!
Souunkyo is located at the foot of the Daisetsuyama mountain range, which has the highest peak in Hokkaido. It offers a beautiful transition into the four seasons, and is known for having an “earlier autumn” than anything else.
Sounkyo is famous for being able to see the autumn leaves earlier than anywhere else in Japan. Starting with color from the top of the mountain, you can go down to to the ¾ waypoint and the ½ waypoint of Mt. Kurokake with the Kurodake Ropeway and lift located in the spa town. The changing autumn leaves are worth a visit!
The first snow is also early! At “Kurodake ski resort” you can enjoy skiing from November until May.
It is a wonderful place to visit during the winter season from late January to late March. Every year in March they hold the “Ice Fall Festival.” Huge ice waterfalls and art made of ice are beautiful. They light it up with 7 colors of light at night. On the weekend fireworks are also launched and colors light up the night sky. It is a winter event that has come to represent Sounkyo.
- When using the expressway, when you get off the Kamikawa Sounkyo exit, do not forget to check your fuel level. There are no gas stations around the Sounkyo Onsen.
- There is also a camping area when going to Asahikawa area about 4 miles from the spa town. In the summer camping is great
- From the outdoor bath of "Kurodake no yu," you can see the ice festival. Especially at night is beautiful!
You can look at both the Meteor and the Galaxy waterfalls at once, as shown in the photograph. To do so, go to the "Soubaku Dai. Walking in the forest for about 20 minutes from the parking lot you will come to the observatory. A painting-like scenery that can not be seen from the parking lot spreads out in front of you!
- Spot name(Ja)
- Souunkyo Kamikawa-cho Kamikawa-gun Hokkaido
- 01658-2-1811 (Sounkyo Tourism Association)
- Parking lot
- HP : http://www.sounkyo.net
- Souunkyo Kamikawa-cho Kamikawa-gun Hokkaido
- Adult: 600 yen (full 12 years and over)
Child: 300 yen (full 4 years old)
Infant: Free (under 4 years old)
- 10:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. (but admission is until 9:00 p.m. )
- Every Wednesday (November - April)
※Open during the ice-water festival day without rest
※Open from noon to October
- Parking lot