Niseko is well known for being a great onsen area and after a hard day on the slope, there is nothing better than heading to one of the many onsens scattered around the area. If you are lucky enough to have access to a car then Yuki Chichibu is one of the best onsens in the area, especially for the ladies.
This onsen has just had a complete rebuild to a stand alone onsen as it was previously part of a hotel at the base of the Chisenupuri Ski Area; which has permanently closed but the community wanted to keep the onsen open, so built a new one so everything feels new and fresh.
Having been to many onsens in the Niseko area it often feels like men get the bigger and better baths but not at this onsen.
The ladies section at Yuki Chichibu is one of the best I’ve been to with 4 main outdoor baths including a mud bath. The mud bath is basically two small tubs, that can only fit about 5 people inside each one. One side is the mud side and one side is to rinse off when you’ve had enough fun. Applying the mud feels like when you go to the beach and rub sand all over yourself and letting it dry before applying more. It is so much fun that many don’t want to get back out of the bath again.
The other outdoor baths are just as good with 2 large round ones with great views of the old ski resort and mountains behind it. One bath is very hot and the other is more comfortable. A lie-down bath is also available which is great for when you’re too hot but still want to sit comfortably in the water. There are 2 baths indoors which are also nice but nothing special compared to the amazing ones outside.
The men’s section is still good despite missing the mud bath, as it has 2 outdoor baths and 2 indoor baths and the views are just as good too.
The type of water used in this onsen is sulfur which has been known to help relieve high blood pressure and joint pain. It is also ferruginous which is said to replenish the body’s iron levels. The water is fairly murky and grey and looks fairly similar to the thermal lake on the other side of the carpark. An important thing to note is that I would recommend a thorough wash afterwards as the mud and sulphur smell will try to cling on to you.
Yuki Chichibu Onsen is a community style onsen so it only has the basic amenities as opposed to the bigger onsens at the Niseko hotels. However, it still has almost everything you could need as shampoo and body soap is supplied. Small lockers are supplied upstairs for your valuables that require a 100 yen coin deposit and baskets are provided in the changing room for you to leave your clothes in. There is a resting area with tables and cushions which also has a great view.
The onsen also has a restaurant that is open for lunch which serves standard Japanese food like soba and curry at affordable prices, as well as a shopping area including a range of souvenirs, vending machines, and local produce.
Although this onsen doesn’t attract many tourists due to it only being accessible by private car or taxi, it is well worth the 30-minute drive from Hirafu and is a lot quieter than the onsens around the ski field.
Yuki Chichibu Website*Japanese Only