One hour drive away from downtown Sapporo’s hustle and bustle, there located a traditional Japanese Ryokan – Nukumorino yado Furukawa (ぬくもりの宿 ふる川) in the famous Jozankei hot springs area. Jozankei onsen (hot springs) surrounded by beautiful nature and bubbling hot springs, is Sapporo’s mountain hide-away and attracts domestic and overseas tourists all year around.
Jozankei hot springs are “sodium chloride springs”, featuring its colorless and transparency, and mild amount of salt. It’s one of the most common spring qualities in Japan. When soak into it, you will find your body becomes warm from inside, that because the salt content sticks to your body preventing the sweat from evaporating. On the eighth floor of the ryokan, there are public baths separated into two sections, one for men and the other for ladies, and those two sections will switch everyday during 8:45-9:00pm, therefore all guests can enjoy both outdoor onsen with different view.
Unique from other onsen ryokan, Nukumorino yado Furukawa also facilitated Ganbanyoku, or rock bathing. Lying down on a bed of smooth heated slabs of rock embedded into a granite floor, you will feel the heat penetrates more deeply into the body’s core than the heat from a regular sauna. These rocks are not any rock, they are black silica originated only from Hokkaido. Known as “phantom ore” because of its rarity, black silica emits infrared rays, invisible rays of natural light, that help dilate blood vessels, break down toxins and boost immunity.
In this ryokan, one of the highlights is dinning on “kaiseki”, a traditional, multi-course dinner. Indeed, many Japanese think of a ryokan as a place to dine on kaiseki rather than as a type of accommodation. The feast dinner consist of 15 dishes, from “shiizakana” (appetizers served with Japanese sake) to “nabemono” (Japasese hot pot), all served with seasonal available at local market, such as red king crab, freshly caught from the Sea of Okhotsk north of Hokkaido, as well as Shiraoi Beef, a local wagyu produced in south-west Hokkaido. Not only the food, the tableware also reflects seasonal changes and local produces. Otaro carving glass, Taisetsugama clay plate, Asahikawa wood spoon….all proudly present Hokkaido’s rich culture on the table.
“Being the guests’s hometown”, as the ryokan’s slogan, Nukumorino yado Furukawa ryokan sincerely creates a peaceful paradise for the tired travellers. The “iyashi” (healing) ryokan warms your body, warms your stomach and even more warms your heart. I wish I will come back here someday soon.