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Private onsen near Sapporo (within 1 hour)? 2019/1/6 02:56
Thank you, firstly, for taking time out to read this -- I genuinely appreciate it.

Would anyone be able to advise me about "private onsen" in Hokkaido (Sapporo area) and, specifically, those for a mixed-gender couple.

Basically, I am trying to surprise my girlfriend and am attempting to locate a "private onsen" that I could possibly book for a few hours that might have a nice snowy view -- we are staying in Sapporo during the festival week, just to add.

Because my partner is (a) shy and (b) plus size, then I'm trying to establish if it is even possible to rent/hire a "private onsen" for a few hours (1-3 hours, say) WITHOUT needing to book into a hotel or a ryokan (simply as we have accommodation booked elsewhere, though one without a private onsen).

I don't mind at all travelling up to an hour outside Sapporo to experience this (or perhaps even 1.5 hrs), but, due to my ignorance and lack of search skills, I am not even sure if renting a "private onsen" by the hour is possible? All I can find to date are ryokan rooms charging up to USD 520.00 for one night for this "private onsen" facility, and most of these are already booked out (which is entirely my fault for not being more quickly on to this given the festival period).

Any advice received would be greatly appreciated.

All the best,
by Simon Abrahams (guest)  

Re: Private onsen near Sapporo (within 1 hr)? 2019/1/6 18:51
I have to admit that I don’t know any of these onsen, but a search in Japanese brought up this page:
Scroll down and you will see a picture of each place where you can rent a “family onsen=kazoku buro “. It lists the price either per person or per time and has a link to their webpages.

They are all close to Sapporo. Some however only reachable by car (or at least that’s the short description in the access アクセス section. If you see car 車 written there you’d most likely need a car. If you see ... station ... 駅 then there is a train station somewhere close by. (Generally speaking. Unless it is 道の駅 in which case a rest station along a road is referenced).

Some of these places wil have inside onsen only. Others have outside onsen “rotenburo 露天風呂“.

Here an other page in Japanese水入らずで日帰り温泉!家族風呂&貸切風呂

Note that most of the pictures would seem from their public onsen, not the private ones!!! Eg the first one on that list: it is MAINLY a mixed onsen, but they do have a family onsen for rent. I couldn’t find out details but as it’s not written anywhere that it IS rotenburo I’d suspect it’s not.

Searching in English also this webpage came up. It seems to be all Hokkaido not Sapporo region only: some however might rent their private hot springs only to staying guests.

Reservation will be key and you might need help for that from your hotel. I’d suggest you pick a few and discuss them with the clerk at your first hotel in Japan and get their input and ask them to make a reservation for you.

Onsen experience is one of the nicest experiences in Japan. I am already looking forward to my next soak in about 2 weeks time. Incidentally I’ll also go to Sapporo for the snow festival this year and will look for nice soaks as well. I have however never tried these private onsen. But I get it that for couples on a trip bathing together is a great experience. I had that only in ryokans and once in a mixed rotenburo in Hachimantai area. Which was great. But I get it that for beginners or shy people in general mixed naked bathing might not sound attractive.

Btw, in the female only section there is really nothing to be shy about. In Japanese culture bathing together is so normal that you see all kind of bodies. From very thin to overweight, from baby to old granny who needs help walking around. But no one is really looking. Everyone is relaxing together. (It’s the same on the male side I figure) The only thing to be aware is that small boys and girls are allowed on both sides. As a women I don’t think this is odd as as a mother or aunt or kindergarten teacher ... you’d be used seeing naked small boys and girls. But maybe for men it can be a bit strange to share the tub with a naked 5 year old.

Enjoy your trip to Hokkaido and the soak!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Private onsen near Sapporo (within 1 hr)? 2019/1/6 20:54
Dear LikeBike,

I can’t thank you enough for replying and detailing such a comprehensive response ― I’m genuinely ever so grateful! I shall pore over this information this afternoon, and look forward to doing so. :)

Again, thank you so much for your generosity!

All the very best,

by Simon A (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Private onsen near Sapporo (within 1 hr)? 2019/1/7 04:06
You are welcome.

I found an other page with interesting options:

Look for 貸切 露天風呂which means private outdoor onsen. Or 貸切 温泉 or 家族温泉 which means private onsen (but very likely isn’t outdoors. Also look for 日帰りwhich means that you don’t need / can stay there. Literally it means “return in the day”.
Combined with 札幌 Sapporo you can also use it for your own google search.

But in general one has to admit that the rental onsen places are generally way less nice than the big gender separate ones.

Looking at all these nice pictures I want to soak immediately. ;-)
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Private onsen near Sapporo (within 1 hr)? 2019/1/7 04:30
This one might check all boxes;

If I understand correctly it would be 4500 yen for 2 people for 50 min. Plus you get the entrance to the normal onsen as well. If you like to try.
Access アクセス explanation and map:

Btw, if you depart (arrive) at New Chitose airport, it also sports an onsen in the airport itself with rotenburo. Unfortunately without views over the runway. And no, no private bathing facilities either.

by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Private onsen near Sapporo (within 1 hr)? 2019/1/9 04:44
Dear LikeBike,

Again, thank you SO MUCH for helping me out with your FANTASTIC research -- I am extremely grateful!

The Lake Shikotsu, Chitose, private onsen, as you correctly guessed :o), is certainly VERY appealing! And, from Google maps, seems reasonably close to Sapporo... and what a wonderful place it looks.

Genuinely, LikeBike, I am so grateful to you for these options! :o)

Warm regards,

by Simon A (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Private onsen near Sapporo (within 1 hour)? 2019/1/9 15:57
No problem. I hope you can find the ideal place and enjoy a good onsen experience. May it be the start to your (and your girlfriend’s ) love fore onsen.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

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