A hot spring river trail to fully enjoy four seasons.

Rare hot spring with a high bactericidal effect Steam bath surrounded by the scent of sulfur

Sustainable Point

Conserving nature is not the only sustainable effort. Improving the existing environment in a way that does not damage the nature and providing it to everyone traveling, these are also great efforts for sustainability.

Kawayu Onsen, located between Lake Mashu and Lake Kussharo, is a sulfur spring with a high bactericidal effect. In addition, since it is a hot spring town with a declaration of “100% fresh hot spring water “, Kawayu Onsen is a unique area where high quality hot springs are provided at any facility. There is a 110-meter long river called Onsen River where hot spring flows. However, it was just a view object from open-air baths of some facilities. For the purpose of making this river more attractive and enjoyable spot, Kawayu Regional management Association started a clean-up project.

This project, started in this COVID-19, greatly improved the landscape. To make this river more attractive, a new program “Steam Bath Walk” was also born to walk in the river with rented boots, which has contributed to the tourism of Kawayu Onsen. In winter, steam of the hot springs freezes on the branches of trees, and the “frost fog” shines white in the sunlight, and the large amount of steam rises along the river like fog at night. These fantastic sceneries are now viewable thanks to this clean-up project. It is an important role of tourists in sustainable tourism to visit regardless of the season and find various faces of the destination.
Case Studies
(The following article contents were written in the winter of 2020.)
Strongly acidic hot spring that melts iron nails
Kawayu Onsen is a strong acid hot spring, which is rare in Japan. The acid contained in the hot spring water is strong enough to melt iron nails in about two weeks. What is even more unusual is that Kawayu Onsen has declared “100% fresh hot spring water.” The high-quality and fresh medicinal hot spring is provided at any facility in this town.
The hot spring water has been proved
to have a high bactericidal effect.
In November 2020, an experiment to demonstrate the sterilization effect of hot spring water in Kawayu Onsen was conducted with the cooperation of Professor Otsuka of Sapporo International University and local residents. After soaking the hands in hot spring water and fresh water for 5 minutes each and letting them air dry, a sample of residual bacteria was investigated on the medium plate. The results were amazing. Almost all the bacteria on the hands of those who soaked in the hot spring water had disappeared.
A walking trail to enjoy a steam bath walk is
now completed.
The Onsen River runs through the hotels in the Kawayu Onsen district. A walking trail of about 110 meters (360 ft) that walks along this river was constructed. It lets you walk in the warm river with rented boots and experience the sulfur spring on the steam bath walk. While bathing in the steam of a strong acid hot spring, enjoy the scenery of the four seasons unique to Kawayu Onsen.
From January to March, fantastic views that can be only seen on Steam Bath Walk
In Steam Bath Walk, various beautiful seasonal sceneries decorating the trail such as cherry blossoms in spring, greenery that flourishes in summer, and autumn leaves can be seen. Among them, winter is the only opportunity to encounter the mysterious beauty of the river. In the early morning below freezing, steam of the hot spring freezes on the branches of the tree and forms “frost fog”, and it shines beautifully in the sunlight. At night, a large amount of steam rises along the river and drifts in the sky like fog. This fantastic atmosphere is a gift only for those who visit here in winter.
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