Alongside a ravine, "Sapporo's back parlor" attracts many. Kappa, the water sprite, is a symbol of Jozankei.
Sapporo Jozankei Onsen area is more widely known to the locals for the hot springs that is attractive by the fact that it is close (a mere hour from the city centre) to visit on the spur of the moment. However, that is not the only reason one would visit this hot spring village. Jozankei is also a hub for tourists going over the Nakayama Pass to Lake Toya, and the town is lively throughout the year.
One should also not miss out on the beautiful nature the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is part of the area, offers as one travels down Route 230. There are many activities one can do throughout the year which include rafting or canoeing in the Toyohira River, horseback riding, fruit picking between spring to autumn, snowshoeing in winter and more.
Recommended areas of interest include the Hoheikyo Dam and Jozankei Dam known for their splendor during autumn, the Ainu Museum to learn about the native people to Hokkaido, and the Hakkenzan Winery where one can observe how wine is made while sampling it too. There are many bridges as well in the Jozankei Area from where you can observe the surrounding mountains in all their glory. The newest bridge is the Jozankei-Ohashi Bridge.
The Sapporo Kokusai Skiing Resort is also within the area and one can enjoy a hot soak in the hot springs in Jozankei after skiing, while returning to the city by the evening all within a day!
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 30 min from Haneda to New Chitose Airport. 35 min from the airport to Sapporo Station by JR Chitose Line (rapid train). 1h 20 min from Sapporo Station to Jozankei by Bus. or 1h 40 min from New Chitose Airport to Jozankei by Bus.
[Rail] 17h from Tokyo to Sapporo by sleeping car.
From Osaka :
[Air] 2h from Itami, or 1h 55 min from Kansai International Airport to Shin-Chitose Airport.