Shibu Onsen - Japan Travel Guide - Japanspecialist

Shibu Onsen

Hot springs, relaxed accommodations and wild monkeys.

About Shibu Onsen
Shibu Onsen is a historic hot spring resort located northwest of Tokyo, not far from Nagano. The location is beautiful, in a valley on the Yokoyugawa River, and the city is famous for its baths - 'shibu' meaning elegant and 'onsen' being the Japanese word for hot springs.

Soak in the same hot springs as famous samurai and poets
For centuries, Shibu Onsen has been visited by people, including famous priests, samurai, and poets, all seeking refreshment and relaxation in the town's baths. Some of the many 'ryokan' (traditional inns) are over 400 years old. If you spend the night in Shibu Onsen, you must stay in a ryokan, where you sleep and eat in the traditional way, and of course, try the hot springs. Walk through town wearing 'yukata' and 'geta', traditional cotton kimono and wooden sandals, and visit the nine baths in town - it should bring good luck to try them all! The city's well-maintained old buildings create a relaxed and historic atmosphere. The classic Japanese food served at your ryokan is also an important part of the experience. Finally, sleeping on the braided tatami mats is something very special - they are both softer and warmer than you could imagine! The area also offers some of the country's best sake, and you can taste your favourite at the city's local sake distilleries.

Other attractions in Shibu Onsen
Visit the nearby Jigokudani Monkey Park, where wild Japanese snow monkeys enjoy the hot springs. It is now 50 years since the first monkey discovered how wonderful it is to bathe in the warm water. The monkeys have become accustomed to the many people who visit the place, and therefore you can see them quite closely. However, please note that they are not always there. Jigokudani means 'valley of hell' and has been named because it is full of steaming hot volcanic sources.

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