Those who have been to a Japanese Hot Spring (or Onsen), can skip this part. Those who have never been to a Japanese Hot Spring, there are certain rules to follow.
When you book in you will be given a large towel and a small towel then you make your way to the bath.
First you enter the locker room area where you take off all your clothes, leave it in the locker (this place has large wicker baskets instead) then you make your way to the spa area with only the little towel you’ve been given.
Wash yourself thoroughly either in the shower (which has no curtains) or sit on the little stool and use the little bowls. (I say little, because they really are small??)
When you are squeaky clean you can enter the water. Before entering the water, it might be a good idea to throw the bath water over your body (using the little bowl by the side) to acclimatise your body to the water temperature which might be as high as 42degrees.
For those who have been to an onsen, this spa resort hotel offers several indoor baths to include a water massage bath and three outdoor ones. Outdoor you are surrounded by nature, trees and flowers and the open sky is your roof. When it rains (which it did), your have a warm body with a cool head, and believe it or not, it is the most comfortable feeling in the world. I could have stayed there all day.
If you want reflexology or a massage, you will need to make a booking.
Body soap, shampoo/conditioner, hair brush, hair dryer, some face lotions are available to use, so no need to bring your own.
We did not stay at the hotel but went for their ‘bath and buffet’ package.
After the bath, we had lunch with a top class choice of food, both Western and Japanese – everything was delicious.
We drove there, but there is a free shuttle bus from Sapporo to the hotel that leaves in the morning and returns to Sapporo in the afternoon, more than enough time for bath and buffet.
If you drive, the car park is free.
For those who don’t want to get into hot water in the nude with strangers, most hot spring resort hotels offer rooms with private bath, so no need to share with anyone else.
There is no mixed bathing, men and women bath separately. Phew, did I hear you say.
Most spa resort hotels are open to the public at certain times, so there’s no need to stay if you don’t want to.
The hotel kindly gave me permission to use the photos on their HP as you cannot take photos of the bath.