- November 06 2015
Enjoy The Japanese Tradition At Yudanaka Shibu Onsen
In Japan, there are places called Onsen Gai (a hot spring town) that have hot spring facilities, Japanese traditional style hotels as known as Ryokan, souvenir shops, restaurants, etc. You can also walk through the town with Japanese traditional clothes called Yukata. Onsen Gai makes your body and mind relaxed and refreshed!
Let us introduce one of the Onsen Gai called Yudanaka Shibu Onsen in Nagano Prefecture.
This Onsen Gai is close to Jigokudani, so people see snow monkeys in a bath in Jigokudani, then stay in Yudanaka Shibu Onsen.
Here are our recommended places in Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Gai!
1) Enjoy Onsen At Shibu Oyu
Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Gai contains 9 different qualities of Onsens. People believe that they’re dreaming when they take a bath in each Onsen and collect 9 stamps from all Onsens on their washcloths.
Completing 9 Onsens stamps is not so easy unless you stay in the Onsen Gai for a long time… If you need to choose one, we recommend Shibu Oyu.
Shibu Oyu is the only Onsen facility offering daily use (other facilities require you to stay at least a night) in Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Gai.
The fee is 500 yen and the facility is open from 10am to 4pm.
Ashi Yu (footbath) is available in front of the facility. If you don’t have enough time to put your whole body in a bath, don’t worry!
2) Visit Shibutakayakushi
You will see a long set of stairs with 78 steps behind the exit of Shibu Oyu.
What will you see at the top is the small shrine called Shibutakayakushi.
This shrine was built when the hot spring was welled up for its memorial purpose.
Very nostalgic view from the top.
3) Eat Onsen Tamago At Kokuya Ryokan!
Going down the stairs and Kokuya Ryokan is on your right. This Japanese traditional and luxury Ryokan has 400 years of history.
Onsen Tamago (hot spring eggs) are waiting for you at the edge of eaves of Kokuya Ryokan. Onsen Tamago is soft boiled eggs prepared in the hot spring.
50 yen per egg. Get one (or more?) from a basket and put money in the box (60% of its sales goes to charity). There is a trash bin for egg shells to prevent littering. Be careful, eggs are HOT!
Are you interested in Onsen Tamago? Please refer
4) Take A Look At Kanaguya
Kanaguya is another traditional style Ryokan which is located on the other side of Kokuya. Kanaguya has 250 years of history and the wooden building has been designated as a registered tangible cultual property in Japan. Have you watched the animated film Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki? Kanaguya’s building is just like the one in that movie!
If you are interested, of course you can make a reservation to stay! The Ryokan offers a back stage tour for guests (reservation required as well, so ask receptionists on your arrival).
5) Have Some Traditional Sweets? Get A Sweet Bean Bun!
In Onsen Gai, you often see places where Manju is sold. This is a Japanese traditional sweet which has sweet red bean paste in a bun, and Onsen Manju is steamed by hot spring water.
Bun is oh so soft! Don’t feel guilty even if you eat 2-3…!
6) Walking Around The Town
Wanna play table tennis?
Walking in the town at dusk makes you feel a bit nostalgic...
Feel like you are in the world of Spirited Away…?
Feel so relaxed taking a walk along the river after a bath!
Blessings from nature give you a very special moment...
It was such a pleasure to spend some time in Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Gai!
Go ahead and take time to soak yourself in a hot spring and get relaxed, and there’s so much more to see and do in this old traditional town!