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Yudanaka Shibu Onsen: A scenic onsen town loved by a prominent haiku poet


UpdateJune 25, 2021
ReleaseSeptember 25, 2017

Located in Yamanouchi Town, Shimotakai County, Nagano Prefecture, the Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Town which opened more than 1,350 years ago, has many Japanese-style ryokan hotels along the Yokoyu, Kakuma, and Yomase rivers at the base of Shiga Kogen Plateau, and is known as an onsen town related to Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), one of the most prominent haiku poets in the Edo period (1603-1867).

Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen According to a document, a monk called Chiyu discovered this onsen about 1,350 years ago and named it “Yo-kairei.” Since “kairei” refers to longevity, Yudanaka Onsen is considered to be good for longevity and has been attracting people since ancient days. You can find spring sources here and there in the town. It is said that Kobayashi Issa was so impressed to see the abundant amount of high-quality hot spring water that was gushing out that he created a poem and the name of “Yudanaka” came from a part of the poem.

Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen
Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Town has nine onsen areas, including Yudanaka Onsen, Shin Yudanaka Onsen, Shibu Onsen, Andai Onsen, Jigokudani Onsen, Honami Onsen, Hoshikawa Onsen, Kakuma Onsen, and Kanbayashi Onsen. Since each of the areas has its own hot spring sources, they have different types of hot springs, including one containing sodium chloride and one containing low levels of minerals, allowing visitors to enjoy a variety of onsen. By purchasing a “Yumeguri Onsen Tegata” pass, you can take a bath at three of 12 member ryokan hotels of the Yudanaka Onsen Kanko Kyokai (Tourism Association) or use it for member shops and selected facilities (600 yen for hotel guests, 1,200 yen for drop-in visitors).

Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen Near the onsen town, the Shiga and Kita-Shiga Kogen plateaus have one of the greatest natural environments in Japan. At Shiga Kogen, you can enjoy not only skiing in winter but also various activities, such as trekking, canyoning, and SUP, throughout the year. The ropeway on Kita-Shiga Plateau is said to be one of the biggest in the world. Under optimum conditions, you may be able to see not only a great panoramic view but also a sea of clouds and the sunset.

Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen In about 30 minutes on foot along the mountain trail from Yudanaka Onsen, you will arrive at Jigokudani Yaen-koen, which is famous for the “snow monkeys” soaking in an open-air onsen bath. Serving as a place where you can observe the very interesting ecology of Japanese macaques, which is known to be the only monkey species that takes onsen, this park attracts people from all over the world.

Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen Enjoy this very attractive area while healing your body and mind at Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Town.

Tokyo Sta. -> 80 min by Hokuriku Shinakansen -> Nagano Sta. -> 50min by Nagano Electric Railway the limited express train A -> Yudanaka Sta,

Yudanaka Onsen Ryokan Association

*The information herein is as of May 2021.