New Chitose Airport Onsen isn’t just convenient and gorgeous, it’s an amazingly cheap place to spend the night too!

Japan’s hot springs, or onsen, as they’re called locally, are truly one of the greatest, and most relaxing, travel pleasures the country has to offer. However, if you’ve come all the way to Japan and are hoping to see as much of the country as you can, you might be having trouble finding time to squeeze in a soak as you hop about from one part of the country to another.

But there’s an onsen that fits in perfectly with a packed itinerary, because it’s literally connected to one of Japan’s most important travel hubs. New Chitose Airport, near Sapporo, is the primary gateway to Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido…and it’s also home to a beautiful hot spring.

Located in the domestic terminal building, the straightforwardly named New Chitose Airport Onsen’s stately entrance is found on the fourth floor. You can check carry-on sized bags at the reception counter, and you also get a personal locker in which to store valuables.

For maximum relaxation, you’re also loaned, free of charge, a lightweight yukata kimono or jinbei (similar to a yukata, but with a separate top and shorts), with several colors/patterns to choose from.

The facility has both indoor and outdoor baths, but even if you’re inside, the design allows for lots of natural light while still giving you plenty of privacy.

If you’re feeling thirsty or hungry once you’re out of the tub and dried off, water and three types of green tea are offered free of charge. The onsen also has a casual restaurant serving noodles, rice balls, edamame, and other snacks, as well as beer, sake, shochu, and soft drinks for additional charges.

▼ The self-serve tea/water dispenser

▼ Instead of paying directly at the restaurant, the staff scans the bar code on your locker key wristband when you make a purchase, and you settle the bill when leaving the onsen.

Admission to the onsen is 1,500 yen (US$13) for adults, with kids costing 800 yen (for those in elementary school) or 600 yen (for ages 3 to 5). That price gives you use of the facility from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., but should you arrive after 1 a.m., your entrance fee allows you to stay until 9 a.m. the next morning. This makes New Chitose Airport Onsen a great place to spend the night if you’re catching an early flight out to another part of Japan the next day, especially since the overnight pack includes a complimentary breakfast!

High rollers willing to pay an additional fee can stay in a hotel-style private guestroom…

…but for no additional cost beyond your standard 1,500-yen admission, you can snag one of the reclining chairs in the quiet relaxation rooms, which are equipped with personal TV monitors and terrycloth blankets. There’s even a women-only room for ladies who don’t feel comfortable doing off in an area accessible by male guests.

After a long hot spring bath and a tasty meal, we had no trouble dosing off, and slept like babies until the next morning when an announcement over the P.A. system told us that breakfast was ready.

We’ve been to onsen both awesome and tranquil. Heck, we’ve even been to an onsen that can reconfigure itself in response to your prayers. But we’ve never been to an onsen that’s as convenient for busy travelers as this, so if you’re passing through Hokkaido on your Japanese journey, make sure you stop by New Chitose’s hot spring.

Onsen information
New Chitose Airport Onsen / 新千歳空港温泉
New Chitose Airport Domestic Terminal 4th floor / 場所:新千歳空港 国内線ターミナルビル4F

Top image: New Chitose Airport Onsen
Insert images: SoraNews24, New Chitose Airport Onsen (1, 2)
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