Winkel Village - Hot bath, cold beer, great view. Oh Yeah!
A place where you can barbeque, soak in a hot bath, admire the snowy scenery, and enjoy a cold beer all at the same time?! Yes, please!
There’s two times that always make me want a nice cold beer: going to an onsen (natural hot spring bath) and barbecuing. Believe it or not, there is a place in Hokkaido where you can enjoy both activities with a nice cold beer at the same time while being surrounded by beautiful mountainous snow scapes.
This picture is the real things – not a photoshopped or superimposed composition. It was taken on the hot spring terrace of this magical place. There’s beer servers and a barbecue pit as well, so you can enjoy a nice glass of beer while you bath and barbecue.
You’ll only find this in Otaru’s Asarigawa Onsen area, in the Winkel Village. There are villas, campground facilities and condominiums like this, with a total of six rooms and an outdoor bath and barbecue terrace attached. From check in to check out you might find that you and your friends spend your entire visit enjoying the luxury of these terraces.
You don’t have to miss out on the barbecue or any fun with the group while your lounging in the bath here.
Below you can see the hot water flowing into the bath. Because of the high salt content of the natural spring water, the water stays hot. Even on a cold day you won’t feel chilly in this bath.
The beautiful snow-covered surroundings are sure to add to the warming effect of the bath.
There’s also a fireplace on the terrace to ease the bite of the winter cold a bit. It won’t warm the whole terrace, but it will certainly make it more comfortable to sit outside.
Standing outside while you barbecue might sound a bit cold for everyone other than those in the bath, but it actually isn’t bad at all!
The terrace is built onto the front of the condo, so when you want to warm up you can just step back inside for a minute.
It’s easy to warm up inside the cozy condo. Inside, you’ll also find a fully-equipped kitchen which makes it easy to prepare food during your visit.
After nightfall, the ski slopes on the adjacent mountain are lit with the glowing lights of the trails.
Day or night, the beer is at your fingertips to make bathing or barbecuing even more fun.
Beer servers and barbecue equipment can all be rented onsite. The staff will prepare everything for the barbecue, including food. Afterwards, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up either. Of course, you can bring your own food for the barbecue as well, but coming empty handed is not a problem.
Don’t forget, Otaru is famous for seafood and Genghis Khan (lamb and vegetable barbecue), so you and your friends can enjoy a truly delicious feast while you relax. And if you get tired, you can leave everything as it is and retire to bed. What a luxurious escape!
Beautiful winter scenery + outdoor hot spring + beer + barbecue = total indulgence
In fact, you might even feel a little guilty indulging in so much luxury, but it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.
(Photography / Season Lao)
(Research & Composition / Hokkaido Likers Writer – Nobuhiro Kawashima)