Togura Kamiyamada Onsen
A retro-flavored onsen resort with unspoiled scenery of “good old” Japan provides a perfect place to stroll around in nature and feel refreshed mentally and physically.
Located in Chikuma City, Nagano Prefecture, Togura Kamiyamada Onsen is a popular onsen resort where many visitors to Zenko-ji Temple, one of the most famous temples in Japan, drop in after visiting the temple. It has a 120-year-old history and is famous for “hot water for beautiful skin” due to the high-quality water coming directly from the spring source. This onsen resort has 30 accommodation facilities, including ryokan (Japanese-style hotels) and western-style hotels, along with six independent hot spring facilities and three footbath facilities, offering a place you can enjoy also as a day trip.
The alkaline sulfur spring water has a slight sulfur smell but is mild on the skin, so anyone from children to the elderly can enjoy it. The spring quality has unique characteristics; the area close to the Chikuma River has clear water with no color or light-green water, while the area near the mountains has water that contains more sulfur and forms yunohana (hot-spring mineral deposits resembling flowers).
You can enjoy a night tour visiting pubs and restaurants as well as a facility to play a shooting game. You can also enjoy traditional Japanese culture, including a live performance by geisha and you can also play parlor games with them.
The city has an area that is said to be Japan’s largest “apricot village.” The whole area is tinted in pink in early April. From mid-June to early July, visitors can enjoy picking apricots as well as making apricot jam and glazed apricots. A fireworks festival is held at the Chikuma River on August 7, which is the Star Festival day on the lunar calendar, every year. Since this area is surrounded by mountains, you can see the fireworks very closely and feel the big sound. In autumn, enjoy fruit picking, including apples and grapes, as well as viewing the leaves beautifully turning color to red and gold. In winter, relax in the onsen while gazing out at the surrounding mountains beautifully covered in snow.
Tokyo Sta. -> 1 hr 40 min by JR Hokuriku Shinkansen -> Ueda Sta. -> 15 min by Shinano Railway -> 5 min by taxi -> Togura Kamiyamada Onsen
Shinshu Chikuma Visitor Center
From the editor
The innkeeper of Kamesei Ryokan is Mr. Tyler Lynch from America. He helps English speaking visitors who don’t understand much Japanese to learn about the attractions of Togura Kamiyamada Onsen.
*The information herein is as of July 2018.