Jozankei is a hot springs town about an hour out of Sapporo. It was originally founded in 1866 by the monk Kaiso Miisen Jozan, who opened a healing spa in the valley. He built a path through the mountains from Otaru so people could come and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs. The town was named in honour of this selfless monk , Jozankei means “the valley of Jozan”.
The onsen district has numerous hotels and ryokans. You can see the steam rising from the Toyohira River. The Tsukimi bridge , that crosses the river, features two pieces of public art. These statues depict Kappa, the town’s mascot a water goblin or water sprite.