Located in Nagano Prefecture in the Honshu mainland of Japan, Shibu Onsen is a hot spring resort with a 1,300 year history. Cobblestone lanes are surrounded by traditional wooden ryokan (Japanese inns), a quaint setting attractive to many visitors. You will feel the atmosphere of a Japanese onsen village while strolling on these streets in your yukata (light cotton kimono) and geta (clogs). There are many inns equipped with their own spring sources and distinctive baths in Shibu, where hot spring water flows out in abundance. Wi-Fi is also free for guests to use at all the ryokan in the town area. Shibu Onsen has nine public bath houses used by local citizens on a daily basis. You can try out each one, all of which have different water sources and medical effects. It is traditionally said that good fortune, such as protection from evil, safe child delivery and upraising as well as perpetual youth and longevity, comes to those who do the entire bath house tour by visiting all nine. Footbaths are also recommended for those lacking in time. There are two footbaths in the town: Nofutomaru and Kyusoku-dokoro Shingen.
Jigokudani Yaen-koen (Monkey Park), famous for wild snow monkeys bathing in its hot springs, is about 2.5 km away from Shibu Onsen. The monkeys in the park are onsen lovers and like to bathe in any season. You can easily access the park all year round as there are buses running in winter when the streets are deeply covered by snow and the footing is poor. A 30-minute drive will take you to Shiga Highlands, located in the center of Joshinetsu National Park. You can enjoy trekking and hiking in summer here and skiing in winter. The snow resort area is also known as one of the sites of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano.
Access Tokyo Station → Nagano Station: about 1 hour and 20 minutes by Nagano Shinkansen bullet train Nagano Station → Yudanaka Station: about 50 minutes by Nagano Electric Railway Limited Express Yudanaka Station → Shibu Onsen: about 7 minutes by taxi or buses bound for Kanbayashi Get off at “Shibu Onsen Iriguchi” or “Shibu Onsen Wagobashi Teiryujo” bus stop. Inquiry Yamanouchi Tourism Federation http://www.info-yamanouchi.net/english/ebesa-tour/ Shigakogen Tourist Association http://www.shigakogen.gr.jp/