Nonaka Onsen Honkan, Meakan Onsen

The mineral water with strong smell of oil and sulfur is said to be the secret of the world’s oldest living man, Masazo Nonaka, who was the manager of a hot spring inn.

On the other hand, the same water caused some accidental poisonings

Cheap Walk-in

Nonaka Onsen Honkan used to be a youth hostel, and changed the business to a walk-in bathhouse in 2011.

If you are to have an overnight stay, make a reservation at the inn next to the building, Yama No Yado Nonaka Onsen.

The inn provides glorious mineral water too, but the bathhouse’s water is more aggressive.


The building is renovated around the entrance.

The fee for walk-in is only 200 yen.

Although it has just an indoor bath for each gender, it seems too cheap.


In the dressing room, there is a notice saying that you need to avoid long minutes of soaking due to the hydrogen sulfide poisoning.

Risk and Benefit

In fact, another inn next to the bathhouse closed the business because a soaker slipped into unconscious in 2014.


At the same tub, two soakers had died, probably due to hydrogen sulfide poisoning.

Because of this, the administrator has to take care of the air ventilation of the bathhouse, and soakers have to have a break frequently at the lobby.


In the meanwhile, it is not necessary to feel excessively worried, since Nonaka Onsen Honkan has large windows widely opened, and is designed suitable for the natural ventilation.

You will realize it when entering the bright bathroom.


Great amount of emerald green water is poured into the wooden tub.

The bathroom is filled with strong smell of oil and sulfur.


Other than the rustic chairs and washbowls, there is nothing.

The mineral water in the right side is relatively tepid, so you can use it for washing your body.

Two Outlets

The water in the tub is around 111 degrees F.

Water Outlet

The contained material brings about precipitation, which accompanies large deposits just like beaten egg.


Masazo Nonaka, who had been the manager of Nonaka Onsen is listed in Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living man (113 years old).

It goes without saying that hot spring water is the secret of the longevity, which proves authentic hot springs do both good and harm depending on the way of use.


Essentially, a hot spring has such dual nature, however people tend to give attention to the negative side when the accidental poisoning happens.

Artificially processed “safe” water indeed does not harm, but does not good for health at the same time.

Nonaka Onsen Honkan, Meakan Onsen, Hokkaido, Japan
Walk-inYES (7:00 AM – 7:00PM)
Official WebsiteNO

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Ken Springfield