Release | nobu Kawashima
5 best foot bath around Kawayu Onsen and Lake Kussharo
There are few free foot baths around Kawayu Onsen and Lake Kussharo. Some of them are quite famous, and tourist buses stop, some of them are not so famous such as on the side of hotels or inside a JR station. I will introduce 5 best foot baths which are easy to visit. Those of you who are planning to travel around the area, you should stop by one of the foot baths below!
Everyone should visit here! “Foot bath in the Kawayu Onsen District”
The first foot bath is the one located on the side of the crossing of Kawayu Onsen District.
▲Foot bath in the Kawayu Onsen District. A local mother and a child were enjoying the foot bath.
The bath is located in Kawayu Enchi on the shore of the hot spring river. You can enjoy this foot bath when you take a walk around the neighborhood. Because it is located inside the onsen district, it is very easy to visit when you stay at a hotel! There are not only benches but also roofs so people can come and visit anytime in the year.
▲Look for the crossing with the sign of Kawayu Enchi and a clock. The foot bath is located at the back of the clock.
The characteristics of the water in Kawayu Onsen is strongly acidic with the smell of sulfur and hydrogen sulfide. This foot bath allows visitors to enjoy the famous onsen water, of course. Luxuriously, water flows directly from the hot spring source!
▲The water flows along rocks. Rocks change color to greenish white because of the ingredients in the hot spring. It proves that the water in the foot bath is real hot spring water.
By the way, it is said that the sulfur component in the hot spring water has bactericidal effects, vasodilatory effects, and whitening effects. Your legs may become more beautiful from the water!
However, you have to be aware that jewelry may change colors if it were touched by the hot spring water or steam from the hot spring water due to the onsen components.
▲People can also enjoy hand bath near foot bath.
Many local people visit here as well as tourists; the foot bath is like a meeting place for local people. It is not too easy to meet and interact with local people not in business for tourists when you are traveling. It might be a rare opportunity to feel the local atmosphere.
Free foot bath in onsen hotels no.1 “Kawayu Kanko Hotel’s foot bath”
The next foot bath is in “Kawayu Kanko Hotel” which is about three to five minutes on foot from the foot bath in Kawayu Onsen District. The bath is located on the property of the hotel but it is faced to the street, and anyone can use the bath without stopping by their lobby.
▲There is no roof but is a quite spacious bench around the foot bath.
You can enjoy the famous onsen bath with the strong smell as well as the foot bath in the Kawayu Onsen District.
▲The base of wooden pipe pouring hot spring water to the bath has changed its color to white because of the onsen components.
The water quality is so good that I wanted to bathe in my whole body! Unfortunately, this bath is only for foot, and you are not allowed to bathe even if you wear a bathing suit. If you feel like bathing, enjoy the day visit to the onsen inside the hotel.
▲I felt so relaxed as if I bathed my whole body in. My face looks so relaxed…
Free foot bath in onsen hotels no.2 “Kitafukurou’s foot bath”
The third foot bath is in the onsen hotel “Kitafukurou” which is about one to two minutes walk from Kawayu Kanko Hotel.
▲The foot bath is surrounded by a flower bed. A part of bench around the foot bath had small roofs.
The foot bath is located in hotel’s property between the building and parking. This bath faces the street, and anyone is free to use the bath.
▲Cute owls say welcome to visitors! The bath in front of the picture is hand bath, and the bath at the back of the sign is foot bath.
The bath here uses, of course, the famous Kawayu Onsen’s famous hot spring water also. It is too luxurious to bathe only feet into this high-quality onsen water! The bath is seriously good, and I wanted to stay here forever.
▲Small stones at the bottom of the bath felt so nice.
The foot bath inside JR Kawayu Onsen Station
People who are visiting Kawayu Onsen must check out this bath! There is a food bath inside JR Kawayu Onsen Station!
▲JR Kawayu Onsen looks like a lodge. The foot bath is on the right side of the entrance.
The foot bath is the property of the station, but people can enter both from platform and rotary in front of the station so people who are not going to get on the train also can use the foot bath.
▲The foot bath had doors and built firmly. I can’t believe it is free!
The water here is alkalinity containing sodium bicarbonate and salt, which is totally different from strong acidity water in Kawayu Onsen District. It is said that the onsen water here has effects to make your skin smooth, heat and moisture retention effects. You can feel your skin got smoother and moisturized, as well as the warmth of the body for a while after bathing here.
▲There are benches around the bath. Wall and roof are both firm so people can enjoy the foot bath even in mid-winter when snow is heavy.
The foot bath inside the station operates until 10:00 PM from the morning in May to October and until 6:00 PM in November to April. (As of 2017 summer) Why don’t you enjoy the foot bath at the end of your journey while waiting for the train? You can relax very much here that you have to be careful not accidentally to miss the train.
The standard foot bath “Sunayu” in Lake Kussharo, where you dig to enjoy the bath
Lastly, I will introduce “Sunayu” located on the shore of Lake Kussharo. This is the standard tourist spot where tourist busses constantly come and stop.
▲Sunayu is a perfect play space for kids! People sit on the bench to the right of the picture above, put their feet in the whole and enjoy the bath.
This is a magical place where hot spring water appears from the sand when you dig 10 to 20 centimeters near the shore. You can not always find water so it depends on luck if you can find the hot water or not. People come and go tend to use the same hole with hot water, and that hole becomes bigger and bigger gradually. Therefore, you may be able to find the hole with hot water without digging!?
▲Those of you who don’t want to dig or put your barefoot in the sand can use bathtub style foot bath. Enjoy the foot bath here together with amazing views of Lake Kussharo.
How did you think about foot baths around Kawayu Onsen and Lake Kussharo? All the places above are easy to find and easy to visit. And they are also great quality of water, too!
Enjoy the foot bath casually for a break during your road trip and a bonus experience while enjoying your stay at onsen hotels!
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima
* Some of the photos are borrowed from Lake Mashu Tourism Association
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