It’s been almost a year since my last update of Nagano Trip. I am so sorry for keeping you guys waiting this long. Now I am back with blog about “Hot Spring Village” where you can find and enjoy Hot Spring Marathon at every corner of the village.
Shibu Onsen (渋温泉)
For our last destination, I will take you far away from crowed city and bring you to the nature of Nagano Prefecture. Shibu Onsen (渋温泉) is small village, located near Mt.Japan Alps. with abundant source of hot spring.
In fact, you will come across this village first if you try to go to Snow Monkey Onsen (Jigokudani – 地獄谷). There are plenty of good quality Ryokan (Japanese Traditional Hostel) and Local Hot Springs, waiting us to visit and enjoy one of the best natures of the country.
As it is best known as Hot Spring Village, there are 9 local hot springs around the area, each one is believed to have different abilities to cure different deceases or sickness.
We will start from Tokyo Station and head to Nagano Station (Red Dot) by Hokuriku Shinkansen (Green Line). It takes around 1 hr. 30 minutes. (if you have any JR PASS, riding the bullet train will not be any problem for you)
Tokyo Station –> Nagano Station (Hokuriku Shinkansen) 1 hr. 30 minutes
Which Pass can you use?
Then, we will change to the Local Line at Nagano Station (JR PASS not available – 1,150 yen). We will take the Nagano Dentetsu Line (Red Line) to Yudanaka Station (湯田中).
Along the way, we have to change train once at Shinshunakano Station (信州中野). Don’t worry, it is still the same line.
Nagano Station –> Shinshunakano Station (信州中野) 40 minutes
Shinshunakano Station –> Yudanaka Station (湯田中) 15 minutes
*There is an Express Train which can save you some times.
Here’s a picture of Yudanaka Station. FYI, there is a Tourist Information Center and Taxi Company at this station.
After this, we have to walk around 2 km. to the village. If you are full of luggage, calling a taxi from the station should not cost more than 1500 yen/vehicle.
At the village
As I mentioned about 9 local onsens, the unique is that you will get Yukata Robe and Onsen Village Key once you book or stay in any ryokan of this village. The key allows you to enter any local hot spring as much as you want before 10 pm.
In front of each hot spring, there are stamps for you to collect on a towel once you finish using. You can buy the towel from any souvenir shop in the area or from your hotel as they use this gimmick to promote their village.
9 Local Hot Springs
Before we start, let’s get to know more about how to use onsen properly. There are some rules that you may not take it seriously but Japanese people do. So, check our blog out if you are new to this kind of thing.
Shibu Onsen is located close to the foundation of Japan Alps. Minerals has flourished the underground water which make it able to relief sickness and decease. Surprisingly, each hot springs is believed to have different effects to your body.
1. Hatsuyu （初湯）: This is the first hot spring of all. Because of appearance, this place seems to be spooky at first. However, it is believed by the locals that the water here contains minerals that is good for your digestive system.
2. Sasanoyu （笹湯）: If you have skin problem like itches, you may wanna spend time here.
3.Wata-no-yu (綿の湯): For those whose have wounds on your body, this one will help.
4. Take-no-yu (竹の湯): It sounds impossible but this one is believed to able to cure Gout.
5. Matsu-no-yu (松の湯): This one helpｓ relaxing you nerve system.
6. Mearai-no-oyu (目洗い湯）: Normally, Japanese people do not wash their face with hot spring water. However, this one is good for your facial skin. So, you can give it a try but please be careful not to let hot water scald your face.
7. Nanakuri-no-yu (七栗湯): If you have problem of Pins and Needles on your body, you would better try this onsen.
8. Shinmedaki-no-yu (神め抱の湯): This one is good for your internal organs.
9. Oyu (大湯): We finally come to the last hot spring which is the biggest of all. It is believed that it is the most powerful with ability to cure all deceases!!
At last, our trip is completed!! Thank you so much for joining a trip to Nagano with me. I really recommend you guys to check this place out. It is a well-balance trip with all the natures, cultures and relaxations. Let’s wander yourself away from the crowded city and visit Nagano. I can guarantee that it will be one of the best trips of all in Japan.
Visit my previous Nagano Series