Jozankei Nature Park in Winter (Day 2)

Last night, Haidee and I and Haidee’s sister stayed the night in a yurt at Jozankei Nature Park in the foothills of Sapporo City. Despite the interior of the yurt only being separated from the walls of snow surrounding it by a thin layer of canvas, it was a warm enough sleep. No doubt aided by the nice kerosene stove.

We woke to glorious weather.

So we wasted no time in making the most of it. While we were free to use the snowshoes we had hired the previous day, this morning we opted to try out their basic skinned skis (also hired for 100 yen each). It turned out they were hard work for the inexperienced.

But fun enough on the flatter parts.


Haidee and Kylee opted to return the skis and switch back to the snowshoes for the rest of the morning.

Whereas I soldiered on with the skis…

With mixed results.

Checkout at the Nature Park was at 11:30am, so we made it our goal to walk the 4km from the nature park to Yu no Hana Onsen (hot spring) (42.962724,141.158421) for lunch, a hot spring soak, and a free bus back to Makomanai Subway station.

The footpaths and roads were cleared for the most part…

But along the main road into Jozankei township, it was clear it had been a bumper season for snow.

Yu no Hana Onsen is not the most ‘traditional’ onsens in the area, but it is ‘authentic’ in the sense that it is a classic large-scale onsen. With a large food court upstairs and their multiple free shuttle buses into Sapporo, it is very convenient for trips to the Nature Park area.

We made it back to Makomanai Station at around 5pm, and caught the subway to Nakajima Park.

From Nakajima Park it was a quick 15 minute walk across the Toyohira River back to our apartment. With magnificent views down the river towards Mt. Tarumae.

A fantastic two days, with great weather and great company.

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