Esan Hot Spring
You'll love this strongly acidic spring, where soap doesn't lather up at all-it's positively addictive
(C) N43netThe romantic tourist city of Hakodate is located at the southern tip of Hokkaido and is famous for its beautiful views at night; if you drive about two hours east of the city, you'll reach the Kameda Peninsula, near the sea, where a tranquil vista spreads out before you. Dominating the landscape, and sending up clouds of smoke even now is the active volcano called Mount E (E-san). Although it is a relatively low mountain, standing just 618 m high, it is swathed in the glorious blooms of 600,000 azaleas in May, with splendid night-time views of the Tsugaru Strait in spring and fall, as well as stunning autumn leaves, and it is popular with locals as a fairly undemanding climb.
The hot spring at the foot of this mountain is called Esan Hot Spring and consists of just a single traditional hot spring inn called the Esan Onsen Ryokan. The hot spring here is characterized by warm water that is highly acidic. With a pH of 2.1, soap and shampoo do not lather up at all. Dip a towel in the burgundy-colored water and it will be dyed red. However, the secret of its popularity lies in the refreshing feeling you get after soaking in the bath, and it attracts many people who travel from far and wide, returning again and again.
Address: 117 Kashiwano-cho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Phone: 0138-85-2041 (Esan Onsen Ryokan)
Directions: (Train) 2 hours from Hakodate Station on the JR Hakodate Line (3 hours by train from the Shin-Chitose Airport) by the Hakodate Bus; alight at Esan-Tozanguchi. (Car) 1 hour 50 minutes from Hakodate urban area.