Autumn leaves. The Japanese natural highlights, along with cherry-blossom viewing

Autumn leaves

Oku-shima area

Japan has distinctive four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter.

In addition, Japanese people have been strongly rooted to cherish the change of seasons.

It can be shown in Kigo of Haiku.

There is a way to express seasons, called “24 Seasons,” which has divided the four seasons further into 24 seasons.

We are really enjoying the change of seasons.

Although we can enjoy spring, summer, fall, and winter in Japan, among them, the highlights are cherry blossom viewing in spring and autumn leaves in fall.

Autumn leave season is a popular tourism season for both customers from overseas and from Japan, as well as cherry blossom season in spring.

The best season of autumn leaves starts from around mid-September at high altitude places and Hokkaido.
In Kyushu, you can enjoy it until mid-December.

Ochiai street

Shima Gawa river

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Shima Blue is the treasure of Shima Onsen, which we are proud of in the world

Shima Blue at Okushima lake

As you can know because it is inside Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, Shima Onsen is the treasure box with rich nature.

In addition, among the nature at Shima Onsen, we are proud of the color of the water of Shima Gawa River the most. We call it “Shima Blue.”

We cannot expressed it in words. Because it is amazing blue that can be seen only here, please visit it once.

Shima blue

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Japan Romantic Road: Would you like to travel countryside In Japan by a car?

Mount Asama, Shima to Karuizawa
Mount Asama, Shima Onsen to Karuizawa

Overview

If you have been visited Japan several times and are thinking to drive in Japan, Japan Romantic Road is recommended.

Japan romantic road
Japan romantic road

Japan Romantic Road is a rural road with the total length of 320 km (200 mile), which connects Nikko, Tochigi and Ueda, Nagano, through our Gunma.

Our Shima Onsen is located around the middle of the road.

There are many sightseeing spots, such as rural Japanese landscape, three national parks, lakes, mountains, Onsen, ruins, and much more.

If you would run through all the route, it will take at least 2 nights and 3 days.

But if you spend more time, you can much more enjoy rural Japan and highlands. So you will get more satisfied. Continue reading

Kashiwaya Cafe is a cafe at Shima Onsen Resort

Kashiwaya Cafe
We not only run Kashiwaya Ryokan but also Kashiwaya Cafe at Shima Onsen Resort.

Kashiwaya Cafe is located about the center of Shima Onsen resort.

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.

Onsen mark
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.

curry
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.

lunch menu
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!
enjoy bikes

Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Cafe
http://www.onsen-cafe.com
https://www.facebook.com/KashiwayaCafe/
4237-45, Nakanojo-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma, 377-0601
Hours 10:00 to 17:00 (Last order at 16:30)
Closed Thursdays, the 3rd Fridays

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Dinner Menu at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan

Dinner menu

The dinner menu is now early summer version.

Dinner at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan is Japanese Kaiseki style.

Mainly with Gunma Local Ingredients, our well-experienced cook mix Japanese traditional technique and new technique, which is beyond Japanese. Not only the taste, but also looking you can enjoy.

I will introduce dinner menu every time the version is changed at this blog.
Stay tuned!

For dinner menu in early summer in 2016, I combined Gunma made ingredients, such as vegetables and wheat pork, and a little early summer ingredients, such as Ayu and winter melon, resulting in gentle style.
Chef, Norihiko Sakamoto

Aperitif
Plum wine “Osakazuki”

Plum wine is made with Japanese Sake, “Osakazuki”, of brewery in the foothills of Mt. Haruna. Gunma is also one of the most producer of plums in East Japan.

Specialty
Hanamame (beans) and Sashimi Konjac handmade by the landlady

Hanamame, kojac
Well evaluated classic menu.
The key points are handmade and local Agatsuma production.

Appetizer
Cone Tofu

Corn Tofu
Soy milk is mixed with early Hokkaido corns and made to deep taste Tofu-yose.
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About Us, Kashiwaya Ltd. Company Overview

History of Kashiwaya

Kashiwaya Iryou

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.

Masao Kashiwabara, founder
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).

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Enjoy Hanami at Shima Onsen! When is the best time to see cherry blossoms here?

Sakura in Shima Onsen

“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.

Sakura 2015

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.

Sakura at Kashiwaya Ryokan

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.

Sakura at Shima Onsen town

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.

林昌寺のシダレサクラ

Nakanojo

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!

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Please Use These Images When You Get Lost from Tokyo to Shima Onsen

UsefulImages

When you go to Shima Onsen by the public transportation, you may get lost or cannot find way easily, even though you looked for the way in advance.

Then, here’s what you can utilize.

Download these images in advance then you’re ready!

Please utilize these images.

When you get on a highway bus, Shima Onsen-go, from Tokyo

Direct bus from Tokyo

When go to a bus stop from Tokyo Station.

I want to go to a highway bus stop in front of “Seven Eleven Nihonbashi 3 Chome Shop” on Tokyo Yaesu Street.

AT Tokyo station,Yaesu

Once you get on a bus (show this Image to a driver)

Dear a driver of Shima Onsen-go,
Thank you for driving a bus for our customer.
He/she is our customer.
He/she is getting off at Onsen-guchi.
Please take care of him/she.

Shima Onsen Go

When you take Shinkansen, JR Agatsuma Line, and a bus

Hokuriku Shinkansen

I’m heading to Kashiwaya Ryokan at Shima Onsen, Gunma.
I use Shinkansen to Takasaki Station.
From Takasaki Station to Nakanojo Station, I use JR Azuma Line.
I get on a bus bound for Shima Onsen and get off at Seiryu-no-yu bust stop.

From Tokyo by Shinkansen

When you take an express, Kusatsu-go, from Ueno

Limited Express Kusatsu

I’m heading to Kashiwaya Ryokan at Shima Onsen, Gunnma.
I use JR express “Kusatsu-go” from Ueno Station to Nakanojo Station.
I get on a bus bound for Shima Onsen and get off at Seiryu-no-yu bust stop.

From Tokyo by Express train

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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How to get the direct round trip bus from Tokyo

Direct bus from TokyoDirect bus bound for Shima Onsen departs at from near Tokyo Station. (Tokyo Yaesu street)

We have a package plan including this bus, dinner breakfast and bed.

Package with bus, dinner and breakfast

This is the bus information

1) Time schedule:

Tokyo to Shima Onsen
#1 9:00 12:30
#2 10:40 14:25 (during winter to spring )

Shima Onsen to Tokyo
#1 10:45 14:45(during winter to spring )
#2 13:45 17:30

2) Bus stop at Tokyo:

When you get on the bus with our bus package, you don’t need the tickets.

Please tell your name to the driver or show this image.

Shima Onsen Go

The map of the bus stop at Tokyo is below,

The bus stop is in front of Seven-Eleven Nihon-Bashi 3cyoume shop.

The address is
3 Chome-4-13 Nihonbashi,Chuo-ku Tokyo.

AT Tokyo station,Yaesu

Because that bus is the public bus, it will stay only a few minutes at the bus-stop.
So please wait with margin.