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Renowned as an Onsen district, the Shinetsu Shizenkyo is not limited in its hot spring options. It is highly recommended to tour Onsen village to try out the different bathhouses with different properties, as well as to enjoy the water in the open, surrounded by nature. We hope you can experience many facets of the region's splendor as you try out as many hot spring spots and find your very own favorite.
Baths are often segregated by gender into "男湯 - Otokoyu" male bath and "女湯 - Onnayu" female bath. Some places also have a "Rotenburo" outdoor bath.
In the changing room, remove all clothing. Place them in a provided basket on the shelves.
Take your small "Tenugui" towel into the bathing area with you. Use it at the washing stations to wash your body. Be sure to rinse off thoroughly.
Enjoy a soak in the bath ? sit back, relax, inhale the steam. However please note the following should never enter the bath water: your Tenugui, your hair, the provided basins. Tie your hair up and place items on the ledge.
Wring out your Tenugui and use it to roughly dry off before entering the changing room.
Please do not pull the plug in bathtubs in your accommodation facility.
With over 30 different natural hot spring sources, it is said that the first hot spring in the famous Nozawa Onsen Village was discovered at the beginning of the 8th Century. For those unaccustomed to the heat of the natural springs, the pay-to-go day-use onsen facility "Furusato no Yu" is highly recommended. If nakedness is a worry, the recently renovated "Nozawa Sparina", offers outdoor rotenburo which can be enjoyed in the comfort of a bathing costume. Explore the onsen village, relax at the footbaths in the mini onsen park "Yurari", or even buy raw eggs at the stalls and boil them yourself in the hot springs.
Access: 25 min by bus from JR Iiyama Station
With a history of approximately 1300 years, cobblestone streets lined with gift shops and eateries, visitors are welcomed by 9 hot spring options. It is said that buying a small Tenugui towel at an inn and collecting stamps at all 9 onsens can ward off misfortune. For those with time, enjoy the 9th "Ooyu" onsen for 500 yen. For those pressed for time, have a quick refreshing soak at the foot baths, "Nofutomaru" and "Kyusoku-dokoro Shingen".
Certified as National Tangible Cultural Heritage, an austere ryokan stands in Shibu Onsen, utilizing the architectural technologies of the early 1900s. Its four-storey wooden building is widely considered a technical feat, constructed only using traditional methods.
Another long-established onsen ryokan with a history of over 200 years is in Yudanaka Onsen, just 5 minute drive from Shibu Onsen, and has its part of the building recorded as National Tangible Cultural Heritage. In the wood-constructed building, the feeling of early 1900s Japanese decadence is palpable; the guestrooms boast private outdoor hot spring baths.
Access: 45 min on the Nagano Dentetsu Tokkyu from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station.
Shibu Onsen:10min by "Kanbayashi Onsen" Bus to "Shibu Onsen Iriguchi" or "Shibu Onsen Wago-bashi Teiryujo" bus stop.
Yudanaka Onsen:A short walk from Yudanaka Station.
Facing the picturesque Mt. Kosha, on fine days, the view from the outdoor hot spring spreads out North to include the Japan Alps. The winter landscape is particularly breathtaking. The wooden building also houses the facilities including an indoor bath, a cafeteria, and a gift shop selling local products.
Access: 15 min by taxi from JR Iiyama Station
Recreating the distinctive lifestyle of Edo-period Akiyamagou, the accommodation facilities feature "Irori" - traditional sunken fire places. Enjoy a soak in the Rotenburo while viewing Mt. Torikabutoyama. The autumn colour period and twilight are especially recommended, but due to snow, the outdoor baths are closed between the months of January to April.
Access: From JR Morimiyanohara Station, take the "Tsunan Iki" bus to Tsunan, the last stop; transfer onto "Wayama Onsen Iki" bus, 1.5 hrs to Uenohara bus stop; from there 15 min on foot.
At the foot of Mt Myoko and distinguished by its milky water, Tsubame Onsen is one of the best-kept secrets of Myoko. The two outdoor baths have always been free; boasting beautifully contrasting red maple against the milky water, "Ougon no Yu" lies a five minute walk from the onsen village; while a fifteen minute walk further along the gorge, "Kawara no Yu" is a mixed-gender bath offering spectacular valley views. The baths are closed due to snow between the months of November to May.
Access: 25 min by bus from Echigo Tokimeki Railway Sekiyama Station