After asking many of the Niseko area employees as to what natural onsen or hot spring I should try, Yukoro was hands down the number one choice. I got the feeling it was this way because it is the least expensive onsen within walking distance of the ski hill.
Hey, I’m on a budget too, if I can relax for less, this only deepens my relaxation! So, I took a 10 minute stroll downhill from the Seicomart to Yukoro. This facility offers two pools, one outdoor and one indoor for each gender. In the change area, you can lock your small personal belongings in a locker for 100 yen, and upon retrieval of your effects, you get your money back…what a great system! The shower area is equipped with 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner and body soap and there are hair dryers for use free of charge. The change area is quite small and it can be difficult to dress and undress without knocking elbows with your naked neighbor. This was especially true when I was there.
It was 3pm and it was busy, really busy. This circumstance made it a little more difficult to get into a state of relaxation, however the water was a fine temperature (a little hotter then most hot springs I have been to), and the outdoor pool was visually pleasing; steam rose from the pool surrounded by snow capped rocks and a gentle breeze blew fluffy snow onto my bare shoulders. I really felt like I was in Japan. Until the undoubtably Aussie voices interrupted my moment of meditation. I regained focus after concentrating on a small fountain trickling the piping hot spring water into the pool. That little stream provided some much needed white noise.
The chemical composition of the Yukoro spring is mainly sulphur, a compound that has been used as a beauty aid as far back as the Ancient Egyptians. Because sulphur is a building block for protein in our body, the primary beauty blessing it bestows upon the user is enhancing the health of the hair, skin, and nails. Well, you needn’t say anything more. What woman does not want shiny hair, flawless skin, and strong nails? Depending on if the application is external, as in an onsen, or internal, like eating garlic, the degree of results will vary. However, if you can soak long enough in the thermal bath, the effects of the sulphur rich waters start to enter your bloodstream through your skin.
Some people say it is perfectly fine to “take a sip” from an onsen in order to induce internal healing. Well, that may be so, but I do not recommend doing so from a public onsen. What I do recommend to quench your thirst is a bottle of milk (150 yen available at the front counter) after the onsen. This will help to hydrate you and replenish the sugars and fats in your body, relieving you of the "Oh my, I am going to pass out" feeling. I'm not a big milk drinker, but this stuff is delicious! There are three flavours to choose from, plain, fruit, or coffee. I had a sample of the fruit, but opted for the plain.
The next day I felt great, not only physically, but mentally as well. Someone even told me I looked younger - priceless!