A small town 60 minutes away from Sapporo by car; known for their hot springs (onsen).
Jozankei onsen was founded in 1866 by an ascetic
named Miizumi Jozan. He discovered the hot springs
(onsen) in the area and opened a healing spa by the
upper part of the Toyohira River. In order to develop
land, Miizumi Jozan cut through the forest and brought
the injured and sick to his healing spa. His continued
efforts inspired people to join him in constructing
and roads to the area. A small temple was built inside
cave called Iwato Kannondo. It is dedicated to the
Kannon, Buddha of compassion, and was chosen for
individuals who lost their lives while building the roads
Jozankei. There are a total of 33 Kannon statues in
temple for the souls of the workers and for other
protective purposes. The area’s growing reputation
spread and soon more people were starting to settle
around the hot springs. It was during the time when
mining and lumbering flourished and the amount of
people drastically increased. Restaurants and shops
started to pop up with the increase of population. In
the Jōzankei Railroad was opened for traffic from
Shiroishi area to current Minami-ku area. The
Railroad crossed 29.9km and helped the village thrive.
Now Jozankei is one of the best places to visit for
The enthusiastic efforts of Miizumi Jozan compelled the people to name the area Jozankei after him. On the 200th anniversary of Miizumi’s birth, the town opened the Jozankei Gensen Park. It is by the Tsukimi Bridge and open from 7am to 9pm. Admission to the park is free and has many onsen to visit. There are a few trails you can take to go up some of the mountains around Jozankei. You can go up Mount Hakkenzan, which has an altitude of 498m and rocks that over the top of the mountain. It was originally named Mount Kannoniwa-yama, but the rock formation at the summit resembled swords so the name was changed to Mount Hakkenzan, Eight Swords. The mountain can be seen from the national highway 230 on the way to the Jozankei Onsen. Another activity that is available is horseback riding at the foot of Mount Hakkenzan. There are various orchards around the base too that visitors can pick fruits. Just know that Jozankei is beautiful around October when the nature surrounding the town is colored with yellow, red and green leaves.
Hokkaido | Jozankei
Known for its highly desirable sodium chloride water, said to have healing properties.