Hot-spring footbath digging and dog & campervan accommodation form part of Marukome Onsen’s new plans
Marukoma Onsen Ryokan, a long-established hot-spring inn on the shores of Lake Shikotsu in the city of Chitose in central Hokkaido, has begun a service in which guests can use a rake to dig in the gravel on the shore of the lake near the hot spring, and enjoy a footbath in the hot spring water, as well as an accommodation plan for campervan users and their dogs. These new products were created based on feedback from the staff and guests, and the aim is to attract new customers by incorporating activity-based elements.
While digging for hot spring water along the lake shore, the staff noted that Marukoma Onsen is rare in that the hot water gushes out directly from the bottom of the bathtub. When they dug along the shore of Lake Shikotsu, hot spring water sprang out, which led to the new service. In November, guests were offered a free foot- and hand-bath service on a trial basis in a gravel area on the shore of the lake, approximately 100 meters from the inn. Approximately 30 people took part in the activity in one week, and some commented that “the food seems more delicious after you’ve been active.” Participants were asked to return the gravel to its original state after digging for the hot water.
The digging has been suspended due to snowfall, but is scheduled to resume next spring. “We hope that people will enjoy the special experience of digging for hot spring water, just as Sasaki Hatsutaro, the founder of the inn, did. We also want to explain the mechanism of how the hot spring water is produced, so that people will become more interested in Marukoma Onsen,” said Hiuke Kazuo, CEO of the company.
The idea for the campervan accommodation plan came from a regular customer, who owns a dog and wanted to stay with his whole family. One of the inn’s two free parking spaces can be used to park the vehicle in which the guests sleep. The plan is limited to one group per day, with a parking fee of 4,000 yen per vehicle and a bathing fee of 1,000 yen per person. Dinner (10,000 yen per person) and breakfast (1,500 yen per person) are also available as options.
“We would like to offer new services based on the concept of a ‘second home’ while taking advantage of Marukoma’s unique features of hot springs and scenery,” said Hiuke.
Marukoma Onsen Ryokan
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