A world away from the luxury chalets, bars and brand-name fashion stores of Hirafu Village, on the other side of the mountain lies Goshiki Onsen – the hidden hot spring.
Beyond the resort area boundaries and Mt Annupuri’s unpatrolled, weather-beaten western face, a timeless secret awaits. At 750m elevation, on a saddle deep between Mt Annupuri and the neighbouring peak of Iwaonupuri, a collection of rugged, age-wearied wooden structures lies almost entirely buried for most of winter by months of relentless, wind-driven snowfall.
“In stark contrast, inside you will find the warmth of a centuries-old Japanese tradition and sulfur-rich, turquoise hot spring baths.”
In stark contrast, inside these buildings you will find the warmth of a centuries-old Japanese tradition and sulfur-rich, turquoise hot spring baths. It’s not glamorous and it’s extremely rustic, but for those looking for a unique Japanese experience this is it.
From Hirafu it’s a 30-minute trip via one of two routes: the first a straight line from the Hirafu Welcome Centre up to the peak via a series of chairlifts and a short hike, and down the other side via a 10-minute descent; the other is by road, this route a little more than 20km, snaking around the mountain and up into the Annupuri range where the soothing waters of Goshiki Onsen await.
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (last entry 19:00)
*Map purposely not included for your adventure ;)