It must be far more difficult than expected to maintain a hot spring inn in the harsh climate of Hokkaido.
As a guest, you will root for the owner and employees.
Kanno Onsen, which opened in 1911 in the far east of Daisetsuzan National Park, had been closed for six years.
Due to the aging of the buildings, decrease in visitors, and the previous owner’s illness, they suspended the business in 2008, and went bankrupt in 2011.
Katsumi Denki, Ltd., one of the local electric constructors did the acquisition, and finally in 2014 its affiliate company, Shikaoi Hot Springs, Ltd. revived the hot springs inn.
The bathhouse in the right side was almost re-built except for some parts.
The guest room building in the left side remains after the full renovation.
Right after the revival, there were beautiful stair steps in front of the bathhouse; however, it disappeared probably due to the severe typhoon damage in 2016.
This is the standard guest room.
The room is quite comfortable even though in the remoted area.
Except for a private open-air bath, all bathrooms are gender-separated (Inankle and Unukal in the bathhouse).
These are in service on a day-by-day rotating basis, and switch at every 8PM.
For this reason, overnight stay is recommended in order to experience all the bathrooms.
Kanno Onsen has many sources of hot springs, and provides different water into different tubs, so that hot springs maniacs should be busy all the night.
On the day Inakkle is available, you can use Icorobokka too.
Among all hot springs here, only Icorobokka’s water gushes straight out of the ground.
No.5 spring is used and the water temperature is 133 degrees F.
In summer, it becomes too hot to dip in, so that heat exchangers are equipped in order not to thin down the spring water.
You cannot talk about Kanno Onsen without experiencing Icorobokka’s perfect water.
The smaller bathroom in the bathhouse is named Inankle, which consists of both indoor and semi-outdoor baths.
The right tub is Inankleanner, which uses the mixture of No.4 and 11 springs and the water temperature is 120 degrees F.
The left tub is Inankleannor, which uses No.1 spring and the water temperature is 126 degrees F.
Inankleannor is located in front of large windows, so that you will enjoy the beautiful greenish water in the sunshine.
As for the semi-outdoor space, the right tub is Shurokuko, and the left tub is Shrokumei.
Shunrokuko uses No.8 spring and the water temperature is 113 degrees F.
The water had strong metallic smell.
Shurokumei should have used the same spring water as Inankleannor, but when I was there, it was empty due to the past typhoon damage.
The larger bathroom is named Inankle, which consists of only indoor baths.
The right tub is Unukalanner, which uses the mixture of No.10 and 12 springs, and the water temperature is 115 degrees F.
The left tub is Unukalannor, which uses No.5 spring and the water temperature is 133 degrees F.
The water input was limited, but it was too hot to dip in when I was there.
The bathrooms were extremely clean and looked new, but the mineral deposits began to adhere to the floor and tubs.
You are in the fortunate position of seeing the future aging caused by spring water.
Move down the atmospheric stairs.
Then you will reach the space of Namikiri where many parts before the renovation remain.
The front tub is Namikiri, which uses opaque No.3 spring and the water temperature is 122 degrees F.
The rear tub is Shirokanipe, which uses No.7 spring, and the water temperature is 108 degrees F.
It is so small that the water keeps the freshest condition.
Looking up the stairway from Namikiri, you will see another stairs in the right side.
Hot springs water is flowing down on the surface.
At the upstream, there is Konkanipe, which uses No.2 spring, and the water temperature is 118 degrees F.
It is two-people sized and the hot water waterfalls from above the stonewall.
Inside the wooden tub, two different spring water is mixed.
The wild landscape is the enchantment of this private open-air bath.
Having a view of a waterfall, I realized the inn was located in the dangerous place in case of rainstorm.
I cannot stop appreciating both the current owner, who achieved the revival and renovation, and employees working hard at such remoted area.
The inn is over 100 years old, and as an exception, they are doing the business in the national forests.
Therefore, if the business permit expired after the bankruptcy of the previous owner, no one could take over the great hot springs.
When visiting as a guest, you will root for the owner and employees who managed to extend the history, and maintain it in the harsh climate.
|Shikaribetsukyo Kanno Onsen, Shikaoi, Hokkaido, Japan|
|Walk-in||YES (Summer 12PM-7PM)|
|Lodging||YES (Online Booking Available)|