Kiranoyu Onsen is a community onsen located in Niseko town which is approximately a 15-minute drive from Hirafu in the Niseko Ski Resort and Onsen Area. It is far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the ski town that in most cases, you may find yourself and only a few locals enjoying the hot baths.
The baths offer both Western and Japanese style baths that rotate on a daily basis between men and women depending on whether the date is an even or odd number. The Western side includes 2 indoor baths (1 regular, 1 jacuzzi), 1 outdoor bath, a sauna and a cold plunge pool. The Japanese side is fairly similar with the main difference being a cyprus bath instead of a jacuzzi.
The minerals at this onsen are Natrium chloride and Hydrogen carbonate which are said to be good for stiff and sore muscles which is just what you need after a day of skiing. Kiranoyu also has regular special baths like sake, beer or konbu. I was luckily enough to visit during the Wine Festival where they poured red wine into the outdoor baths and you could also enjoy wine tastings. The night I visited I had the wine bath to myself for 30 mins because that is how quiet it can be, even during special events.
If you are feeling a little apprehensive about being naked in front of strangers then you can rent a private onsen out for you and your friends or family. It is quite affordable at only 1000 yen for 30 mins plus the 500 yen entry fee per person and you can still use the rest of the onsen facilities afterwards.
After you are finished soaking up in the onsen, you can head to the relaxation area where you will find rows and rows of tatami mats and tables as well as coin-operated massage chairs. Vending machines are also available and the onsen also has a shop selling local produce and souvenirs as well as a restaurant.
The easiest way to access Kiranoyu onsen is by car but during the winter season there are a few buses like the Niseko Circuit Bus that stop there and the JR Niseko train station is across the street so you can access it by train as well.
The Onsen is open from 10 am – 9.30 pm (last entry 9 pm) and is closed on Wednesdays.