Honoka onsen is a chain of "super" onsens. There are about seven establishments scattered around Sapporo. Check out their website at the bottom of this article for more information about each onsen. For now, I'm going to write about why this group of onsens is so good.
Honoka Onsens are especially great for a one day trip, although you can stay over night if you like. They have small rooms that are more like shoe boxes with paper thin walls and doors. I don't think you could even call them hotel rooms, more like dorms. They are cheap though, so if you are feeling particularly lazy, or that you are enjoying yourself so much, or you have drunk too much to drive, then it might be worth staying.
I love going here when there is literally nothing else to do on a weekend. For me, when it rains and I have been to the indoor leisure parks too many times, then this is a great alternative. What is better than relaxing? And Honoka does it so well. It's like staying at a onsen hotel without the staying. When you enter you put your shoes in the shoe box, pay at the counter and they give you a set of pajamas/room-wear, towels, and locker key with wrist band. The wrist band is also used to pay for anything you buy while on the premises. Then you get changed and leave everything in your locker and just hang out in your pajamas all day (or for as long as you want).
There are restaurants with some standard Japanese food at very reasonable prices. The food is average. There is also a chill out lounge with leather recliners and book shelves full of comics. This area is huge and you'll usually find a lot people napping or snoring away.
Honoka is also very family friendly. Kids love it! There is a play area with a few game machines and the odd slot machine for the gambling addicts.
The actual onsen has nice rotenburos (outdoor bath) and a lot of smaller baths inside, including a sauna, jacuzzi etc, basically what you would expect from an onsen with all the necessary wash products and grooming accessories. You really need nothing when you come here. Everything you need is under one giant roof.
There is also a stone bath area (no kids allowed), massage areas and even a hairdressers. Apart from the stone bath you wil have to pay for the extras. The prices are very reasonble. They vary from place to place but entry fees start at about 800 yen for adults and less for children. Then plus extra for food, drinks, massages, etc. You can stay as long as you want but usually 3 to 4 hours of chilling in the afternoon, grabbing some lunch, soaking in the tub, and having a nap is enough.
Visiting Honoka on a rainy afternoon is one of the most relaxing things I have ever done. Get lazy!
Check their website for locations and more information:
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