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Release | nobu Kawashima

The fountain of onsen? Watch a tall column of water rising high up in the sky in Shikabe Town from a foot bath




Onsen water boiling high up to the sky with a loud sound like a fountain. There is a geyser with over 100 degrees boiling water in every 10 minutes at Shikabe Kanketsusen Park in Shikabe Town, a town in southern Hokkaido. You can enjoy the power of nature, the mystery of the earth while relaxing in the foot bath. 

 

What is geyser in Shikabe Town?

The geyser in Shikabe Town is said to be found in 1924 when people were test-digging hot spring source here. In 1999, Shikabe Kanketsusen Park was built around the geyser, and in spring of 2016, the whole park became a Michi No Eki (Roadside Station). Since then, the number of tourists increased to taste delicious food made by seaside moms and food cooked with onsen temperature and steam. 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉、噴き出す前▲The geyser before sending a tall column of hot spring water. 
 

The interesting thing here is that you can surely get to watch the tall column of water if you can wait for 10 minutes. All people, including those who do not have much time, can surely enjoy! 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉、噴き出し中▲When the geyser sends water, it will look like this! A National Road is behind the wall, so there is an artificial ceiling built to avoid hot spring water spill on the road. 
 
 
The wall behind the geyser is actually not a wall; it is a building called “Choubou No Yakata” (The house to view). 
There are panel displays and videos to explain what geyser is on the first floor, and you can see the column of water from the window. On the second floor, not only you can enjoy the energetic column of water closely but also the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. 
 
Let’s experience the power of geyser from the second floor! 

 

You can feel the gigantic power of hot spring water when you see closely! 

I used stairs to the second floor and looked the geyser from the window. 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉を上から眺めたところ▲When I see the geyser from the window, I saw a big circular fence. I could not believe that hot spring water comes out from here.
 

At the bottom of hot spring tube 26 meters underground, there is hot water about 103 degrees being not able to boil, because of water pressure. When the hot water rises gradually towards the area with less water pressure, it starts to boil. And the bubbles created at this time lowers the water pressure inside hot spring tube, making water boil hard. 
 
 
湯が出始める鹿部町の間歇泉を上から眺めたところ▲Steams started to come up. It is the sign that water is about to come out. 
 
 
As the amount of hot water increase, the water starts to boil hard inside the tube, and at a point, a column of boiling water comes out to the sky. 
 
 
湯が噴き出した鹿部町の間歇泉を上から眺めたところ▲The geyser looks like a fountain with a tall column of hot water. It is like the power of earth came out. 
 

鹿部町の間歇泉、アップ▲I took this photo of boiling water hitting the ceiling. The water is very powerful! I might get burnt if I was watching without window. 


鹿部町の間歇泉を横から眺めたところ▲As I took a look from a different angle, I was surprised at the height of the column. The column would reach about 15 meters, almost the same as 5th floor of a building if there were not the ceiling. 
 
 
The water gradually stops to come out after one minute. The amount of water coming out becomes less than the amount of water flow from spring, and the temperature of the hot water inside the top part of hot spring tube becomes under 100 degrees. 
 
And after few minutes, steam start to come out, and a column of boiling water comes out again. It continues 365 days without any break. 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉から眺める太平洋▲When you wait until the water comes out, take a look at the Pacific Ocean behind. You can see the coastline of Muroran and Mt. Usu, and Mt. Yotei, which are on the opposite shore, on a sunny day! 
 
 

Watch the geyser while relaxing in the foot bath. 

The viewpoint of this geyser is not only “Tenbou No Yakata”. 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉のベンチ▲There are benches in front of the geyser where you can see the water very closely.
 

It is very Shikabe Town-like, which is a hot spring town; another viewpoint is from the foot bath!
About 10 to 15 people can enjoy watching the geyser while relaxing at the foot bath at the same time! Towels are prepared for visitors, so you can enjoy the foot bath without bringing anything. 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉にある足湯▲There is a changing room for women so ladies can enjoy foot bath without worrying anything! 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉を足湯をしながら見学▲Watching geyser while relaxing in the foot bath. 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉にある足湯前の立札▲There is a board with descriptions about hot spring and driving, so people won’t get bored for 10 minutes to wait for the next water. 
 
 
By the way, the hot spring water quality is sodium and chloride spring. Visitors can expect moisturizing and warming effect from the spring, just like having a pack on your skin. The warmth of feet preserves well even on a cold day in winter. It is very comfortable. 
 
 
鹿部町の間歇泉、遠景▲When you look at this from a distance, it looks like a fountain, but it is a natural hot spring fountain comes from underground. You can feel the power of nature and mystery of the earth very closely at this geyser in Shikabe Town. 

 
Geyser is very rare to see in other parts of Japan. Why don’t you come here to watch geyser and relax at foot bath with delicious lunch, while you are driving the neighborhood? Shikabe Kanketsusen Park is only 40 minutes drive from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station, so highly recommended for those who use both Shinkansen and rental car! 

* In this article, “hot water” indicates high-temperature water underground, “boiling water” indicates high-temperature water on the ground.
  • The fountain of onsen? Watch a tall column of water rising high up in the sky in Shikabe Town from a foot bath
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