(NOT TRANSLATE YET) Hike-in to Honzawa Onsen's Above-the-Clouds Bath
Nagano has more day-use onsens than any other prefecture. So it is fitting that there are some pretty unusual and unique onsen baths in Nagano. And everyone in Nagano loves to soak in onsens -- even the monkeys (c.f. the world-famous snow monkeys at Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park). There's even a book on Nagano's Top 100 Day-Use Hot Springs (https://www.createspace.com/4086253).
Japan's Highest Elevation Open-Air Onsen, Honzawa, requires a 1 hour hike to reach, but, oh, is it worth it!
Located in the upper reaches of Mt. Yatsugatake, Honzawa Onsen is reached by a 1+ hour hike. At 2,150 meter elevation, it is the highest outdoor bath in all of Japan. (The outdoor bath's name "Unjo no Yu" means "Above the Clouds".) And it is just a bath -- no changing room or anything. But the view of the adjacent sulphurous river and remote location add up to one of Nagano's most iconic onsen baths.
- Hours :
- Unjo no Yu outdoor bath: Sunrise to sunset.
Lodge's indoor baths: morning to 8pm
- Date(s) :
- Lodge operates year-round.
- Cost / Price of Admission :
- 600 yen for Unjo no Yu outdoor bath, 600-800 yen for Lodge's indoor baths.
- Reservations :
- Not required.
- # of Participants :
- Foreign Languages :
Unjo no Yu outdoor bath is mixed bathing with no changing rooms. 水着は大丈夫? Separate indoor baths available at the lodge.
tel : +81(0)263-93-2101 fax : +81(0)263-93-2339 Official site
- By Train
- From Matsumoto Matsumoto Electric Railway Kamikochi Line, By Car: From Saku Minami IC on the Chubu Odan Expwy, take Route 142 south 1.7km to Route 141 (Atobe signal) and turn right. Proceed south 20.7km and turn right on to Route 480 (Matsubarako intersection). Go up 8.8km to the junction with Route 299 and the road to Inagoyu and turn left (Inagoyu road). At 4.1km take the road to the right (posted "Honzawa 10km"). At 3.3km, you will reach a parking lot. Park here if 2WD and walk the dirt road (40 min. on foot) or if 4WD, continue on the dirt road to the gate and park. From there, it is 60~80 minutes on foot to Honzawa Lodge.
By Train: From Matsubarako Station on the JR Koumi Line, take bus to Inagoyu stop (2 per day, 15-20 min., operates mid-April to November). Ask to be dropped off at 'Honzawa Onsen Iriguchi' for the 40 + 60~80 walk mentioned above.
- By Car
- From Matsumoto IC,
- Inside the National Park, Umijiri, Minamimaki Village, Minamisaku-gun, Nagano Pref. 384-1301 390-1515
- Narai-juku Post Town : "Narai of a Thousand Houses" -- Longest Post Town in all of Japan.
- Shinano Wine (Winery Tour) : Third Generation Winery
- Izutsu Wine (Winery) : Winery with a View of the Northern Alps, Surrounded by Picturesque Vineyards
- Yokokawa Gorge : Picturesque Gorge Famous for Vibrant Spring and Fall Colors.
- Matsumoto Castle (National Treasure) : One of Japan's Finest Castles, With the Japanese Alps as a Backdrop
- Awanoyu in Shirahone Onsen : Relax in Awanoyu's Milky White Mineral Water in Famous Shirahone Onsen.
- Yumoto Saito-Ryokan in Shirahone : Grand, historical ryokan featuring Shirahone’s unique milky-white onsen water.
- Kamikochi Imperial Hotel : Built in 1933, Japan’s First Mountain Lodge.
- Tokusawa-en in Kamikochi : Base for Climbing the Northern Alps, or Rest Stop While Walking the Kamikochi Basin.
- Nishi-Itoya in Kamikochi : Foreigner-friendly lodge in the heart of the Kamikochi basin.
- Soba Tokkuriya : Handmade Japanese Cuisine in and Edo-era Post Town.
- Kita-Alps Bokujyo : Great-Tasting Dairy from Cows Growing in Azumino's Natural Wonder.
- Bistro Matsushima-tei : Historical Post Town Building Reborn as Italian.
- Soba Kurumaya : Classic Kiso Hand-made Soba Shop with a 300-Year History.
- Ajari Cafe : Home of the Popular Ajari Burger.
- Walking Kamikochi's Weston Loop : Stroll along the Base of the 2,000-Meter High Kamikochi Valley.
- Climb an Active Volcano in the Japanese Alps: Yakedake : Popular Day-Hike to a Dynamic Active Volcano from Kamikochi.
- Soba-Uchi (Making Buckwheat Noodles) at Soba Mecca Kaida Kogen : Make Soba Noodles by Hand in Kaida Kogen, Buckwheat Paradise at Mt. Ontake.
- Heritage Horseback Riding in Kiso : Horseback Riding on Kiso’s Own Breed of Horses.
- Hyakuso herbal medicine factory tour : Tour the Factory of Natural Herbal Medicine Maker Hyakuso.