Tokachigawa Onsen is located in the center of the vast Tokachi Plain that takes up 10% of the total area of Hokkaido, and is a major hot spring in eastern Hokkaido, with about 600,000 visitors per year. This onsen is also said to have once been known as the “moor of healing” by the Ainu people, and development on its began in earnest from the beginning of the Showa Period. It was selected by Hokkaido Heritage in 2004.
The main characteristic of this onsen would have to be its title of “moor onsen”, where its water quality is combined with lots of plant-based organic matter.
In ancient times, the plantlife growing along the banks of the Tokachigawa River such as reeds etc. gradually accumulated over many years, and through the waters of the onsen gushing up through the layer of lignite this left behind, this has resulted in an onsen which includes a large amount of plant-based organic matter, a rarity even by global standards.
There are plenty of hotels and ryokan at Tokachigawa Onsen, so you can enjoy the moor onsen to its fullest. Most of these places allow single-day entry to the hot springs without an overnight stay. We also recommend touring around several different onsen.
Tokachigawa Onsen Basic Information
- See Map
Tokyo (Haneda) to Tokachi-Obihiro Airport
Then by car to Otofuke-Obihiro IC, and on for approx. 25 mins. to Tokachigawa Onsen
●From within Hokkaido
Go from Sapporo Station by the Super Ozora Tokachi to Obihiro Station, the go by car to the Otofuke-Obihiro IC and on for approx. 25 mins. to Tokachigawa Onsen
Go from Kushiro Station by the Super Ozora to Obihiro Station, then go by car to the Otofuke-Obihiro IC and on for approx. 25 mins. to Tokachigawa Onsen
●From within Hokkaido
From Sapporo Station, take the inter-city express bus Potato-Liner to Obihiro Station, (some services available to Tokachigawa Onsen), then go via Otofuke-Obihiro IC, taking approx. 25 mins. to get to Tokachigawa Onsen
Go from Shin-Chitose Airport by inter-city express bus Tokachi Milky-Liner to Obihiro Station, then go via Otofuke-Obihiro IC, taking approx. 25 mins. to get to Tokachigawa Onsen
- The “moor” in “moor onsen” refers to the German word for “marsh (peatland)”. Featuring a large amount of plant-based organic material, and possessing qualities which make skin silky and smooth, it is also referred to as “The Waters of Beauty”, and has qualities which are rare even on a global scale.
In the vicinity of the Tokachigawa Onsen there are many different places where you can experience nature at its finest. For example, in Tokachigaoka Park to the north of the onsen town is the Tokachigaoka Observatory, where you can look out over the whole of the Tokachi Plain and enjoy scenery which changes with the seasons. It also features the Tokachigawa Onsen Nature Center, a place worth visiting to enjoy nature to the fullest by taking part in hot-air ballooning, the Tokachigawa canoe tour, and snowmobiling etc.
The scenery of the Tokachi Plain in winter is also popular. The way the white mist over the Tokachi River resembles a dragon gives it its name “The Cloud Dragon”.
From December to March, which covers the period from winter to the beginning of spring in Japan, you can see the flight of the swans over the Tokachigawa riverbank. Also, the fantastic sound and light show “Sairinka” held in Tokachigaoka Park is a very popular major event.