BEST ONSEN NISEKO
There are almost as many onsens in Niseko as there are places to ski. One is never far away from a hot spring to soothe the body from a day of skiing the Niseko’s powder snow. The quality of onsens available are closely tied to the history of Niseko.
In one group are the vintage onsens which were built to please the locals and Japanese tourists passing through. The quality of the water is exceptional – a consistent element in most onsens. First appearances can be off-putting as upgrades to facilities have been put off indefinitely. With little upside there is no business incentive to spend money so the designs often are at best outdated, and at worst in a state of deep deterioration. This group of onsens have almost always been run through multiple generations. Faced with a new mix of foreign clientele not accustomed to traditional onsen etiquette and styles they find their prospects fading. New money flowing into Niseko has all but guaranteed their demise. For those customers with cultural sensitivity or perhaps a greater sense of adventure – these present an exciting prospect to experience Niseko life as it was traditionally designed for. Specifically, the outdoor onsens can be exceptional. Fresh blankets of snow obscure the aging facilities, creating a beautiful setting with which to enjoy the air filled with falling snowflakes and soothing waters below. A few onsens that match the above criteria include the following:
A second group of onsens to consider are those that have been more recently built. Often, these can be found inside luxury hotels or new property developments and thereby represent a new vision of the onsen experience within Niseko. The range of designs is wide and includes contemporary Japanese, European and Asian styles. Of these the modern Japanese, not surprisingly, seem most at home. Big name Architects are another set that represent the onsen experience well – usually presented as a seamless extension of the building design itself. A few examples of this new style onsen are the following:
As fine as these new facilities can be there seems to be a missing element that leaves them a notch below the best of traditional Japanese onsens. Could it be the way a traditional onsen merges seamlessly with its natural surroundings? Stone from local grounds and bamboo from nearby forest feels effortless when compared to the refined modern materials of the global influences.
For the LUXNISEKO the Best Onsen Niseko is located in quiet An’nupuri Village also known as the Konbu Onsen District and offers the most authentic Japanese Ryokan experience in Niseko. There is something magical about ryokans that does not exist in other countries. Such is their charm that French Chef Alain Ducasse names them as one of his favourite places to stay. Each element of a guest’s experience has been considered in minute detail. A team of dedicated staff offers service that soothes and entertains the soul. A great ryokan can transport you away from the stresses of everyday life into a serene place. At the best onsen Niseko the philosophy is said to be ‘Mori no Tenky Buro’ which means the hotel allows guests to relax and become one with nature. This is manifested in several ways throughout the hotel.
Niseko Konbu Onsen Tsuruga Besso Moku-no-sho may seem a somewhat long and unusual name – Konbu Onsen literally means kelp hot springs. In the distant past the Ainu people – Hokkaido Natives – wrapped pieces of konbu kelp around trees to mark their path. A second theory behind the name is that a fisherman from Iwanai and a local farmer set up a large log wrapped in kelp to define the place as where goods from the sea and land exchanged hands. When going to this market, travellers would say “We’re going to konbu kelp” . Over time this it became known as the the place with this strange name.
The tasteful contemporary decor and warm ambience created needs to be experienced to fully appreciate. Private and open air Onsen rooms are available for reservation time periods of 50 minutes undisturbed. This translates to you and your guest sitting alone and staring into the snow draped forests and mountains beyond. Guests are left feeling refreshed, relaxed and revived. It is worth noting that it is the only private service offered in Niseko.
MOKU NO SHO offers a treasure trove of artwork throughout its premises. These include modern folding screens in the lobby, oriental lamps decorating the lounge, wood carvings from master craftsmen Masamitsu Takiguchi of Akan, and Ainu art known as inaw. The power of art leaves a deep imprint of that particular location in the thoughts and minds of the people viewing it.
Guestrooms offer an open and spacious living room and Japanese-style room where you can enjoy sitting on a large sofa or refreshing tatami mats. Guests will sure to be impressed by the sight of the Niseko forest unfold in front of the large windows. The luxurious VIP guestroom covers 97㎡ and features a living room, Japanese-style room and twin room. Other facilities include Japanese entertainment & conference rooms as well as massage. Ski shuttle service is offered daily and includes an exceptional degree of pampering.
Ranked #1 for Niseko Hotels this Ryokan offers a special localized experience unmatched elsewhere. Online guests rave about the beauty, cleanliness and memorable experience created here. It is perfectly suited for couples celebrating or on holiday as there is a tremendous amount of privacy.
Other options here include a dinner centres around an 8 course Kaiseki dinner creatively prepared each day to celebrate the season, the place and the moment. Ingredients are carefully sourced from Hokkaido and served with detailed emphasis on both aesthetics and taste. Matched with an extensive range of local sake and wine this meal creates an unforgettable memory.
ADDRESS: 393 Niseko, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 048-1511 Japan
WEBSITE: HOTEL MOKUNOSHO
HOURS: 3:00pm to 9:30am the following day