The Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel is a fantastic Ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) located at the base of a mountain, right by a waterfall in the heart of Hokkaido, that I was excited to try. The main draw is the natural water Onsen directly from the source of the adjacent volcanic mountain range.
Located right next to the Shirogane Waterfall are two different bridges, with one offering stunning views over the waterfall. Sadly, I did not get the opportunity to see this due to circumstances. Of all the three Onsen hotels I stayed at on my trip to the Blue Pond and Farm Tomita, In Hokkaido, this was by far my favorite Onsen experience.
Overall, the stay was excellent, with fantastic, plentiful food. So much so I could not physically eat all the food presented, Although I thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast. The Onsen was also a fabulous experience, and my skin felt amazing the next day. Possibly this is because the Onsen doesn’t filter water; it comes directly from the source in the mountain range.
Although the rooms are basic, they are spacious with comfortable beds. However, there was no air conditioning. A fan was comfortable enough on the day we visited, but this might be an issue for some. This is a very authentic Japanese experience. In fact, I did not see any other non-Japanese person there during my whole stay.
Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Location and Access
The Yumoto Shirogane Onsen is located right next to the Shirogane Waterfall and is accessible by taxi, car, and bus. It is pretty close to the famous Shirogane Blue Pond.
Getting there we took a bus from the Shirogane Blue Pond. The following day we also departed by bus taking one in the opposite direction. One thing to note is that buses are few and far between, especially over the weekend. They’re also very timely. Be forewarned. Always be on time.
Booking the Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel
Booking the Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel can be tricky if you do not speak Japanese. We booked by phone this time, which requires a Japanese speaker. However, you can also book online via the hotels’ page.
However, be aware the hotels’ page does not feature any English or other language pages. So again, you will need a Japanese speaker to make a booking. When booking, we specifically requested Room 221, which is a suite.
Check-In & Check-Out Process
Check-in is very simple. You arrive, confirm your details on the form, and you are done. This was even simpler because we had already selected our room when making the reservation. This eliminated the discussion about what room we would like. There is no option to check in online; you do so in person at the hotel.
The Check-Out Process
Checking out was probably even more straightforward than checking in. We handed the key back, and that was it. We then stored our luggage behind the counter while grabbing breakfast. This reduced the short time we had to catch the first bus in the morning.
After breakfast, we grabbed our luggage and left. Unsurprisingly, the first bus showed up precisely on time, at 7:40 a.m. sharp!
Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel Style & Character
The hotel is centered around the waterfall since it is located right over it. Walking in, you find a large open lobby with a hotel shop open during the day; this has many interesting Hokkaido souvenirs on sale.
The property has some great views down the valley, and the main lobby has a large lounging space, which gets incredible light in the summer mornings.
Split over several levels, the lower level also has a large table and lounging space, which also gets fantastic light in the summer mornings. The hotel restaurant is located on the lower level.
Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel Room 221
Room 221 is the “special” room, a very spacious suite. Like most traditional Japanese hotels, there is a no-shoes rule, so you can only walk around your space barefoot.
The room is reasonably well-appointed but basic. There are separate twin beds, a TV and a large sofa. That being said, the beds were super comfortable, and I slept like a baby.
There was a small bathroom with a shower and sink with two faucets. There is no view since the windows are opaque. However, this was not bad since it gave you lots of privacy. And I loved the way light shone through them in the morning especially.
On the downside, there is no air conditioning. However, there are two heaters in this room for during the winter. Plus, the room lacked amenities like water bottles, toiletries, and such that you would associate with a Western-style hotel.
Hotel Dining Experience
Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel Dinner
I can only describe this as another Japanese-style feast that was utterly delicious. In keeping with the traditional style, foreigners should know no shoes are allowed in the restaurant space.
The spectacular dinner menu included:
- Raw fish changes to Crab
- Roast beef
- Wagyu raw beef over heat
- Shrimp and pickles.
A little later, a Miso soup and rice were served, and the feast ended with a Furano Melon, which again was utterly delicious.
Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel Breakfast
The breakfast was a buffet-style offering with lots of different options. The breakfast seating is in one of two separate rooms, offering spectacular views towards the waterfall in the morning.
Although there were so many choices, including coffee, juices, and all kinds of food, I only had ten minutes to eat, grab my bags, and catch the on-time Japanese bus.
Ultimately, I ended up rushing to take these pictures and eating.
Yumoto Shirogane Onsen / Spa
Layout and Changing Area
The Yumoto Shirogane Onsen has a male and female side and is located off the main hotel lobby to the left.
Walking in, a small curtain covers the hall to the changing areas. The setup is pretty much what you would expect in a Japanese changing room area with cubbies for slippers. There are no actual lockers but only bins for clothes, belongings, and towels.
There is a small wash area with a few sinks and beauty amenities.
Inside the Onsen, there are three pools. One is a cold bath, and two natural Onsens with rock formations on one side. There is also a tiny sauna. It is very humid inside the Onsen.
Both the Mens and Womens side, have an indoor and outdoor section.
In the men’s Onsen, the outdoor Onsen is on the lower level, on the same side as the waterfall. It has a direct view overlooking the bridges. The experience is super serene, with many different rock features within the Onsen and beautiful trees (including a red maple) that sit over the Onsen pool.
The women’s side has a higher, elevated Onsen under a straw hut and a view of the bridge and waterfall.
You can position yourself with multiple fantastic viewing angles, with light coming in from all directions. I especially loved the light in the morning, passing through the beautiful red maple tree, my favorite feature, and the steam from the Onsen.
What’s unique about this Onsen is that the water is pure from the ground, completely unfiltered and untreated. This is incredible. The water is brownish and has tons of particle matter floating, making it cloudy. Finding one of the water release points with my feet was incredibly extra hot!
I must confess that my skin felt amazing after two sessions here! It’s better than the other hot springs I visited.
Overall, the Yumoto Shirogane Onsen is fantastic for what it is. The Roykan location is fabulous, offering spectacular views. With its location at the foot of the Tokachi-dake mountain range and a natural water Onsen directly from the source, there is nothing not to like about the Onsen.
Of the three hotels we stayed at on this trip, this is by far my favorite, and I would head here again in a heartbeat. The Onsen offers a great experience; after two sessions here, my skin felt amazing! It’s better than the other hot springs visited. If you want a very traditional Japanese Onsen experience, you can not go wrong with Yumoto Shirogane Onsen Hotel.
- Natural Hot Springs Onsen with unfiltered water.
- Warm and welcoming service
- Plentiful, delicious food.
- Comfortable beds
- Spacious rooms.
- Did I mention the amazing Onsen? My skin felt incredible for the next few days.
- This is a traditional hotel, which some visitors from outside Japan may find intimidating.
- No Air Conditioner – less critical in Hokkaido, where heat is more precious.
- The views from the room are poor but not required either – the waterfall is just around the corner!