Nakanojo Biennale , Contemporary Art Exhibition

Nakanojo biennale

Nakanojo biennale

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.

Sawatari Onsen Art

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.

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Details Access to Shima Onsen : Approximately 3 Hours from Tokyo

Onsen Ryokan entrance

“Shima Onsen” is closer from Tokyo, where you can enjoy old-fashioned country taste of Japan. It is an Onsen resort, where we live.

Shima Onsen is located in Gunma Prefecture, which is at Kanto region in Honshu in Japan. It is located at approximately 150km in a straight line from Tokyo.

It will take about 3 hours by trains, a direct bus, cars, and so on to visit us.

Here is the detailed guide for the access.

Train and Local Bus

Train map to Shima Onsen

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Dinner Menu for Winter is now available.

There are lots of delicious vegetables in Gunma.

Including those vegetables, lots of prefecture’s and winter ingredients are combined, such as Gunma Ueno village pork & boar, Sakekasu of Kimusume, Okkirikomi.

Japanese Sake based plum liquor

2. Kashiwaya Original dish
Konnyaku & Hanamame

3. Small bowl
Walnut Tofu with soy sauce paste

4. Grilled dish (served later)
Grilled duck and Ebiimo taro with Jyukkoku Miso and magnolia leaf

5. Center Plate
Shima Onsen grill of seasonal vegetables with Kimusume Sakekasu(Sake lees) dip

6. Boiled Dish
Yuba and shrimp steamed bun,served with garlandchrysanthemum

7. Hot pot
Okkirikomi style hot-pot with Inobuta and Gunma Vegetables

8.Small dish
Monkfish liver steamed with sake

9. Boiled rice
Rice with Maitake mushroom

10. Soup (served later)
Japanese dashi soup with Spanish mackerel Manju

11. Pickled Vegetables

12. Dessert
Tsumagoi Yogurt Mousse, Wasanbon lusk and Rose wine flavored berry Sauce

Torioi Matsuri (Bird Catcher Festival) and Dondo Fire Festival

Torioi Matsuri

There are some traditional festivals that have spread around at Shima Onsen and around Nakanojo.

As for them, I will introduce at this blog gradually.

Today, I will write about “Torioi Matsuri” (Bird Catcher Festival) and ” Dondo Fire Festival “.

Torioi Matsuri (Bird Catcher Festival)

Torioi Matsuri is the biggest festival in this area which is held every year on January 14th mainly in the shopping district around Nakanojo station in 20 minutes by a car and bus from Shima onsen.

It is a heroic festival, where many big drum floats come out and young people walk around while making cheerful sound.

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Drive trip in a car. Watch out road closures during winter.

Drive in Winter

In my previous blog, I wrote an article to recommend using a rental car for traveling areas close to airports and major cities, such as onsen near Tokyo.

By using a rental car, you can travel more freely at the destination suburbs.

Gradually more and more foreign customers also visit our Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan by rental cars.

For such customers, watch road closures information during winter.

Our Shima Onsen is located in Gunma, which is next to Shibu-Yudanaka Onsen in Nagano famous with snow monkeys, Tochigi with Nikko, Niigata with Naeba Ski Resort and so on.

The boundaries between those prefectures often pass through mountain roads.

In addition, some of main roads are closed during winter due to snow.

Kashiwaya winter scene

Also on the other day, a customer tried to visit us by a rental car from Nagano side.

But he had to take significant detour as the planned road was closed during winter.

Since this kind of information is hardly transmitted to customers overseas, it will be a sudden problem when they try to visit us with GPS and maps.

Although you can obtain information in Japanese through Japan Road Traffic Information Center, it seems that they do not transmit the information in English.

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.

Related article:
Let’s go to Shima Onsen by a rental car! You’ll have more fun!
“ETC Card” is essential when using a rental car in Japan

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


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


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