After visiting quite a few of the onsens or hot springs in the Niseko area you start to look for the ones that are a real stand out; Yuki Chichibu Onsen is definitely one of the best. This is an onsen that is completely off the radar of most tourists as you need a car to get there as it is about 30 minutes drive from Hirafu but if you are lucky enough to make it here, it is worth the effort.
This onsen is best for the ladies as it has four different outdoor baths and one of them is a mud bath. It is probably the most fun you could have in an onsen as you grab handfuls of the mud and stone concoction found on the bottom of the bath and smear it all over yourself like you're getting a facial. You then perch on the edge of the bath and wait for it to dry before dropping back into the water and doing it all over again. Once you've had enough you can dip into the bath next to it to try and wash the mud off (you will need to have another wash inside as it does tend to cling to your skin). This tub is the main attraction of the onsen so it can get pretty busy especially when you can only fit about 5 people in it but a quick "sumimasen" (excuse me) and the Japanese ladies in the tub will try and make room for you.
The other outdoor baths are also really nice as you have 2 big round ones of differing temperatures with one being unbearably hot and one more comfortable. There is also a shallow lie down bath which is perfect for sitting in when you want to have more of your body out of the water. All of the outdoor baths have a really good view of the Chisenupuri Ski Area behind it which no longer operates but you might still see the army using it for training purposes. If you want to head inside you will find another 2 baths which have the same sulphurous, grey, murky water you will find in the outdoor baths. The men's side doesn't have as many baths as the ladies do but with 2 outdoor and 2 indoor baths with good views, it is still a great place to relax.
This onsen is owned by the community so it is not as flash as some of the bigger Niseko hotel onsens but it has only just been rebuilt so the whole building is brand new and it has almost everything you could need. Shampoo and body soap is supplied in the washing area as well as hair dryers in the changing room but anything else you might need you will have to bring with you. Lockers for small valuables are available near reception for a 100 yen coin that is returnable when you leave and baskets are supplied in the changing room for anything else. Yuki Chichibu Onsen has a lunch restaurant that serves basic Japanese meals like soba or curry and there is also a shop with souvenirs, local produce and vending machines. There is also a tatami mat resting area with cushions and tables for you to wait for the rest of your group or hangout with a beer and enjoy the view.
Yuki Chichibu Onsen is amazing and is located on Highway 66 in between Konbu Onsen and Goshiki Onsen. After the onsen why not check out the thermal lake Oyunama which is right next to the carpark and has the same sulphurous mud source as the water you just soaked in.