Nakanojo Biennale is a big contemporary art festival held once in two years at Shima Onsen and it’s around town, Nakanojo with a theme of “Celebration of Onsen + Home + Art.”
Pictures, sculptures, and photos are exhibited at everywhere at Shima Onsen town and Nakanojo town, such as no longer used old wooden school buildings.
In addition, there are various workshops and performances are held during the period.
In 2017, 154 groups of artists will be invited from September 9 to October 9.
It will require about three days and two nights to move by a car and enjoy thoroughly the arts widely exhibited at the city of around Nakanojo Station, onsen town of Shima Onsen and Sawatari Onsen, Kuni and Isama districts, which have been certified as the most beautiful villages in Japan.
The winter road closures, which seem to be related to customers to Shima Onsen, are the following two sectors.
Route 292, From mid-November to late April
It is a road, which passes from Shibu-Yudanaka Onsen in Nagano famous with snow monkeys to Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma, through Shiga Kogen.
Route 120, From late December to late April
It is a road, which passes from Nikko in Tochigi with Nikko to Katashina in Gunma, through Konsei Toge.
If you’re planning to drive to snowy places during winter, obtain winter road closure information in advance and act with spare time, such as by inquiring to hotels and ryokan you are planning to stay.
There are “Shimamura” of baked buns, “Workshop Mugendai (infinity)” where you can experience pottery, “Shionoyu Drinking Onsen Station” where you can enjoy drinking Onsen, ATM, free public parking, and so on, are around it.
At Kashiwaya Cafe, we provide Italian style coffee, using LAVAZZA beans.
Among coffee menu, “Onsen Mark Cappuccino” with a decoration of “Onsen Mark” on cappuccino is posted on various travel magazines and webs as a famous coffee at Kashiwaya Cafe.
In addition, we provide black teas of Ronnefeldt, the German bland. Cold fruit tea is also popular.
You can also enjoy wine and draft beer, including Shima Onsen Ale, the beer brewed at Shima Onsen.
We have also abundant lunch menu.
Our popular menu are “Kashiwaya Curry,” rice with curry which you can enjoy 2 kinds of taste at the same time, and “Italian Ramen,” with pasta noodle and ethnic taste soup.
Also, sandwich made with small baguette bread, pasta, Loco Moco using Onsen egg, and so on, are available.
In addition, our handmade sweets are also popular. Baked cheesecake, rare cheesecake, banana cakes, gateau chocolate, and so on, are available.
Kashiwaya Cafe uses a renewed building that was built in 1935 by Masao Kashiwabara, the founder of our company.
Many customers visit us many times, looking forward this shop atmosphere and the viewing from the second floor, which changes in four seasons.
Free WiFi is also available inside the shop.
At Shima Onsen Resort, other than Kashiwaya Cafe, there are various restaurants, where you can enjoy lunch, such as handmade Soba, popular grilled eel shop, pork cutlet, ramen, and so on.
Please stay several nights and enjoy various lunch!
Along with Kashiwaya Café at Shima Onsen Town, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan is run by Kashiwaya Ltd., a small company operated by a family.
The founder is Masao Kashiwabara, my (Masuo Kashiwabara) grandfather.
According to historical documents, it is guessed that our ancestors moved from the current Shizuoka prefecture to Sawadamura-Kanobara, about 10km south from Shima Onsen, in the Age of Civil Wars or in the beginning of Edo period (End of 16th century or bigining of 17th century).
We can never know why our ancestors moved from such far Shizuoka prefecture to this countryside village in mountains.
In addition, it seems that our clan was used to be Shugenja (tempest) called Kashiwabara Shugen Daizoin until about Meiji Ishin(19th century).
“Hanami” is Japanese traditional custom, which means to admire cherry blossoms.
It is not an exaggeration to say that all Japanese are looking forward to the time of cherry blossom.
We, living at Shima Onsen, are not an exception. We always talk about Ohanami when It comes to a cherry blossom season at Tokyo (late March), such as “When do cherry blossoms at Shima Onsen bloom?”, “Do they bloom beautiful this year also?”, “When should we do Ohanami this year? “, and so on.
There is no so-called “Ohanami attractions” at Shima Onsen, where all over the place is covered with cherry blossoms.
Instead, there are various kinds of cherry blossoms bloom in mountains, such as wild cherry trees, weeping cherry trees, Yoshino cherry trees, double cherries, and so on.
They dye mountains with pink dots and tell the arrival of spring to the mountain village.
You can view weeping cherry trees from private open-air baths of Kashiwaya Ryokan.
You can also enjoy Yoshino cherry trees planted on the front riverbanks from deck terraces.
In addition, you can enjoy double cherries at the Shima Onsen town.
The double cherries around “old Nakanojo Municipal third elementary school,” an old wooden school building that had been closed down, are very impressive.
A weeping cherry tree at “Rinshoji,” an old temple near Nakanojo Station which is the nearest station of Shima Onsen, has height of 16m and is spectacular.
It has been designated as a natural monument of the town.
The altitude of Shima Onsen is about 650m, so the flowering period of cherry blossoms is later than that of around Tokyo, even it is at the same Kanto region.
Weeping cherry tree at “Rinshoji” near Nakanojo Station is for about 15 days from April 10.
Within Shima Onsen, wild cherry tree, weeping cherry tree, and Yoshino cherry tree are about 25 days from April 20, and double cherries are about 10 days from May 5.
(The full bloom season changes depend on the weather of the year.)
Please enjoy cherry blossoms slowly at Shima Onsen!