- Day trips and overnight stays
- Sights and experiences near Kitami
- Shiobetsu Tsuru-Tsuru Onsen
- Ōe Honke
Nearby you will find Lake Saroma and the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as many resorts with natural hot springs which directly feed hot tubs and pools.
Onneyu Onsen is a charming hot springs village in Rubeshibe Town about 40 minutes by car from Kitami City. The village and hot springs are situated on the Muka River. The naturally-fed hot springs have attracted visitors seeking health and beauty benefits since 1899. Although lovely throughout the year, winter is a special season in the area which produces a magical white land of snow, fog, and mountainous landscapes.
The name "Onneyu" is derived from the Ainu language meaning "large hot spring," which accurately depicts the natural hot springs in the area. The minerals in Onneyu Onsen waters include sulfur and other alkaline compounds, which are renowned for softening the skin and improving its texture. There are actually three hot springs in Onneyu Onsen. In addition to the hot spring for which the village is named, Onneyu Onsen, there are also Taki-no-Yu Onsen and Ponyu Onsen.
You will find hot spring resorts in Onneyu Onsen, which offer luxurious overnight stays and spa experiences. Many of the onsens also offer day passes for those making day trips from Kitami or nearby communities.
Kitami may be a stopping point to get to Asahi-dake mountain and Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan's largest national park, also accessible from Asahikawa Airport. These areas offer many miles of back-country skiing and beautiful scenery. Be aware that the national park is only open for hiking during the summer months. It also boasts the longest skiing season in Japan, from November to early May. Also in the area are many onsens, which are welcomed by skiers following a long day on the slopes. In summer, camping and fishing are popular activities, enabling visitors to enjoy pleasant weather, wildflowers, and mountain landscapes.
• Address: 201 Rubeshibecho Takinoyu, Kitami, Hokkaido 091-0163, Japan
• Operating hours: Check-in individually at the onsen for day or overnight stays; breakfast served 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM and supper 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Shiobetsu Tsuru-Tsuru onsen is a ryokan with additional amenities, including outdoor and indoor hot springs, pools, and a bathhouse. It is a resort-like destination with on-site restaurants and buffet breakfast included in the price of the stay. The ryokan offers a combination of traditional Japanese rooms and western-style accommodations.
• Address: 466-1 Rubeshibecho Onneyuonsen, Kitami, Hokkaido 091-0170, Japan
• Operating hours: Check-in time 3:00 PM Check-out time 10:00 AM
A large, modern resort located in Kitami, Ōe Honke also offers golf packages for a nearby golf course. Ōe Honke has a bar and lounge on site and offers flat-screen televisions in its guest rooms. While a number of hotels and ryokan in the area are not pet-friendly, Ōe Honke is pet-friendly. Both indoor and outdoor hot springs and baths are available. The hotel is also within walking distance of several points of interest in Kitami, including the Kitami Mind Memorial Museum and Pierson Memorial Museum.
• Address: Sakaeura-306番地1 Tokorocho, Kitami, Hokkaido 093-0216, Japan
• Operating hours: Check-in time 3:00 PM Check-out time 11:00 AM
Located about 53 km (32 mi) from Kitami, Saromako Tsuruga Resort offers hot springs and luxurious accommodations along the shores of beautiful Lake Saroma, the largest lake in Hokkaido. In the winter, Lake Saroma becomes the "ice lake" with amazing winter views. The resort offers beautiful views of the lake and stunning sunsets, along with fine dining with seasonal foods from the local Okhotsk area. The resort has interior and exterior hot spring baths, which offer water with a high iron content which is reported to retain its natural heat well. The resort also has three on-site restaurants serving Japanese and French cuisine. The local seafood offered by the hotel is spectacular, including giant scallops, surf clam, and other delicious fruits of the sea.
Lake Saroma is a brackish lake, separated from the Sea of Okhotsk by a long sandbar. The cold waters, with their special mixture of seawater and freshwater, produce some of the most delicious seafood in Japan. Lake Saroma scallops are renowned for their size, flavor, and texture, and you will find several destinations in the area which specialize in scallop preparations, including fresh scallops in the shell and scallop sashimi.
Other delicious local specialties include Okhotsk Kitami salt yakisoba, a noodle dish with scallops, onions, and scallop extract. When in season, oysters from the region are not to be missed. Crab is another specialty of the area, coming from the cold winter waters. You can find snow crab, king crab, and horsehair crab dishes. Hokkaido has one of the largest harvests of horsehair crab in Japan. King crab, although rare, makes up some of the most coveted crab dishes. In Hokkaido, crab can be served boiled, grilled, or in a hot pot (shabu-shabu).
You will find some Kitami restaurants that allow you to buy fresh seafood and grill it on the spot, enjoying the freshest taste of the sea. Sushi in Kitami and around Lake Saroma represents some of the finest and freshest tastes in Japan. Some of the area specialties, in addition to scallops, include salmon roe, large coldwater shrimp, and sea urchin (uni).
Hokkaido is also known for its dairy products: this is why you may find butter in Sapporo ramen and similar dishes. You will find some of the freshest ice creams in Hokkaido: the milk is said to have a mild vanilla flavor. In addition to delicious fruit flavors, chocolate, and vanilla ice creams, you can enjoy bread, cheese, and chocolates made from Hokkaido's dairy products.
Beautiful in all seasons, a visit to eastern Hokkaido will allow you to experience natural wonders and many hot springs and relaxing resorts. You can find modern resorts as well as ryokan offering traditional stays and the experience of Hokkaido of the past.
If you would like a change from the area's world-renowned seafood, be aware that Kitami is also considered a "barbecue capital," with over 70 barbecue restaurants serving yakiniku or grilled meat. Hakodate ramen is one of Hokkaido's best-known dishes, made with sliced pork, bamboo shoots, spinach, and fresh green onions. Versions of the dish are available with both soba (buckwheat) and ramen noodles.
Throughout Hokkaido, you will find variations of ramen, which are heartier or lighter depending upon the severity of winter weather. An even richer type of ramen, Asahikawa ramen, combines fish and meat broth along with curly noodles, pork, green onions, bamboo shoots, and eggs. Sapporo ramen is miso-based ramen with complex flavors from pork, chicken, and seafood. Corn and butter can also be added, and you may find Sapporo ramen listed as "corn butter ramen" on some menus.
Although renowned as a winter skiing destination, there is ample natural beauty to enjoy throughout the year in Hokkaido. Shiretoko National Park is one of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is widely considered one of the nation's most beautiful parks.
You will reach the park, Kitami, and other eastern Hokkaido destinations through Memanbetsu Airport. This beautiful area in eastern Hokkaido is near many relaxing and charming wellness destinations and resorts, and lovely natural areas.
While Kitami is close to some of the most renowned ski areas in the world, you will find other delights at all times of the year in eastern Hokkaido, including rustic and sophisticated onsen and many choices of fresh, healthful seafood.
Use the JAL Japan Explorer Pass to visit eastern Hokkaido and explore throughout the region.
Embark on a thrilling Hokkaido adventure. Book hassle-free vacation packages, explore untouched nature, and capture unforgettable moments with expert guides.
Discover the fresh spring water from the mountains, the natural outdoor hot springs, and beautiful attractions when you visit this dream wellness destination - Hokkaido.
Offering gorgeous mountain and sea views, Kitami is a city on the island of Hokkaido in Japan located near Lake Saroma.