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Release | Misaki Tachibana

“Gomi Onsen”, the hydrogen carbon dioxide spring satisfies hot spring geeks

Freezing winter. 
 
Onsen, hot springs, warm your body which got chilled to the bone in this season.  
 
There is Gomi Onsen in Shimokawa Town Hokkaido, where it gets cold as minus 30 degrees in winter. Gomi Onsen’s component is hydrogen-carbon dioxide, which is very rare and every onsen geeks get interested in surely. 
 
Of course, many people who are not knowledgeable about hot springs visit Gomi Onsen to warm their bodies from in and outside of the town. 

 

“Gomi Onsen”, where young and old gather, uses woods produced in the town

Gomi onsen’s room is a high ceiling, and they use coniferous produced in Shimokawa Town such as fir and larch. 



 

The beginning of Gomi Onsen was when a man called Kanzaburo Gomi found the natural spring in 1905.  At first, it opened as a sanatorium and has been loved by people at that time.
 
After that, they closed and reconstructed the facility due to lack of successors and deterioration. They extended the building in 1998 and replaced the bath. That is the shape of Gomi Onsen today.
 
There is total of 17 rooms which guests can stay overnight. 8 Japanese rooms and 2 Western-style rooms in the main building and 7 Japanese rooms in the annex. 
 

▲Western-style room.
 

▲Japanese room’s capacity is three people. 
 
 
Also, the lounge today used to be the bath before reconstruction. It became really clean now, and people sit here and rest a while with drinks after bathing.
 



 
By the way, next to the lounge, there is…
 

▲People can sing at 100 yen per song. The room is quite big so even when people visit here with a big group can sing for a pocket of time. 

 
a Karaoke room! 
 
The room is often used by families who came back to the accommodation in the early evening or business people for beginning year drinking party or ending year drinking party. There are also people who use the room alone and sing a song after bathing and go home. 

 

The reason why the spring is called “spring for a heart” and “spring for beauty”

I have informed about the component of Gomi Onsen already. It’s a hydrogen-carbon dioxide spring. 
 
This hydrogen-carbon dioxide is said to have good effects listed below: 
 
  • For bathing: sensitivity to cold, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, neuralgia, muscle pain, joint pain, stiff shoulder, chronic digestive diseases, hemorrhoids, and skin diseases, etc. 
  • For drinking: chronic constipation, diabetes, chronic digestive diseases, gout, reflux esophagitis, and liver diseases, etc.
 
Did you get it? 
 
The effect on sensitivity to cold and chronic constipation is great for females! As it is said to have an excellent effect on skin diseases, the spring is sometimes called as “spring for beauty”.  
 
Also because it has a good effect on high blood pressure, it is called as “spring for a heart” as well. 
 



 
Hydrogen carbon dioxide spring contains sodium, magnesium, and calcium. The characteristic of spring is that the water looks a bit muddy because it contains calcium. 
 
Containing this three components is very rare. In Hokkaido, there are only two springs with the same component; the one in Shimokawa Town and Aibetsu Town. 
 



 
Gomi Onsen is actually a 14.5 degrees cold spring. They heat the spring with woody biomass boilers burning wood chips in Shimokawa Town and make it to an onsen. 
 
By the way, they put 26th of every month as “bathing day” and give a discount from adult 400 yen to 200 yen to everyone no matter where they came. The onsen gets more crowded than usual on this day.  
 
They also sell the three ticket books set for 10,000 yen for regular customers. Which is a great deal because usually, one ticket book comes with thirteen 400yen tickets the ticket books set costs 4,000 yen per a ticket book. That means 40 yen discount for each ticket. Try on “bathing day” and if you like the onsen and have easy access to here, it is a good idea to buy this ticket books set.

 

How to visit Gomi Onsen

Gomi Onsen is built at where natural spring exists, so it is not located in the town. 
 
Many elders visit Gomi Onsen for everyday bathing, so there is a bus following a circular route from Shimokawa Town. 
 

▲Find “Shimorin”, the mascot character of Shimokawa Town. 
 
 
Those who come from outside of the town often use Meishi Buses which go to Nayoro or Okoppe. So it is best to use the community bus which leaves and arrives at the bus terminal considering the transfer and timetable of the bus.
 
There is about one bus in 2 hours. Check the timetable from the link here. (There is only information in Japanese)

 

Visit Gomi Onsen to heal yourself

There is a dialect in Hokkaido “Shibareru” which means “it’s cold”. 
 
I am from Shizuoka Prefecture, so I did not quite understand the sense of “Shibareru” at first, but when snow falls, and the temperature keeps going below zero, I truly felt “ah yes, it is beyond cold. I feel like my body is squeezed from the coldness”.
 
Onsen is the best place to heal everyday fatigue and relax. 
 
Why don’t you visit Gomi Onsen in northern Hokkaido to not only warm the body but also enjoy the rare onsen component?

 

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