Jozan-kei, boasting of a leading hot spring resort in Hokkaido, lies in a mountainous region about 30 kilometers to the southwest of the heart of Sapporo City, Hokkaido. High-temperature hot soring water gushes out from the bottom and banks of the Toyohira flowing across this resort center. It's supposed that the Ainus, the native Japanese who used to inhabit over the northern part of the country, already knew this hot spring though, Jozan, who was a trainee monk from present Okayama Prefecture, is officially recognized as the discoverer of this hot spring. He energetically propelled the development of this area at his own expense from the mid-19th century. The director of "Hokkaido Kaitakushi", a regional office of the Government, named this resort "Jozan-kei" in honor of Jozan in 1871.
*"Kei" means gorge in English.
After much meandering, this area has become one of the largest hot spring resorts in Japan. Being easily accessed by car from Sapporo though, this resort had been focusing on group travelers for a long time. On the other hand, the group tours are gradually replaced with the private tours, that is, large-scale accommodations can't meet private customers' expectation. The revitalizing plans by the joint cooperation of government and the locals are on going now.
Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,