Princess Maya Festival; All the town is decorated with Tsurushibina and Hina dolls

Hina dolls

From mid-February to mid-March in each year, Mayahime Matsuri (Princess Maya Festival) is held at Shima Onsen. Ryokan and shops at the onsen resort are decorated with Tsurushibina (mobile dolls) and Hina dolls.

Since ancient times, there has been a tradition, called Hina Matsuri (Hina Festival) in Japan, where we wish for girls’ healthy growth.

Hina Matsuri is held on March 3 in every year.

Tsurisibina in Shima Onsen

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“ETC Card” is essential when using a rental car in Japan

ETC card

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.

When you travel by a rental car, you will utilize the highway network that covers every corner of Japan.

As highways in Japan are paid, it is recommended to obtain ETC( Electronic Toll Collection ) card, which is useful to pay the fee.

Concerning ETC card, refer to the following link.
http://www.go-etc.jp/english/index.html

How to obtain the ETC card; there is a rental service for short-term users.

As English is available, you can rent an ETC card for 324JPY per day (February 2016 currently) also at Toyota Rental Car that I recommended in the previous blog.

Just set the ETC card in a vehicle-mounted device, then it automatically calculate fees. So you just liquidate collectively when you return the car.

They often sell valuable ETC cards, which are season limited or region limited.
http://www.go-etc.jp/english/expressway/index.html

When you rent a car, rent an ETC card at the same time. Then enjoy the drive travel !

Related article:
Let’s go to Shima Onsen by a rental car! You’ll have more fun!
Drive trip in a car. Watch out road closures during winter.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
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Are people with tattoos allowed in onsen?

Kashiwaya Onsen

In Japan, people with tattoo are often rejected to take onsen. You must feel unreasonable in spite of taking all the trouble of visiting Japan to take onsen. Aren’t there any ways to take onsen even with tattoo?

In fact, at ryokan with private onsen and rooms with open bath, such as Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan, you can enjoy onsen in peace even with tattoo because there is no chance to have somebody sees your tattoo.

Differences in Perception of Tattoo in Japan and Abroad

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Do you know “Yaki Manju”? our favorite snack and sweets

Yaki Manju
Yaki Manju – Photo provided by Shima Onsen association

Description

“Yaki Manju” is very popular snack and sweets in Gunma, where Shima Onsen is located, but is not known outside of Gunma at all.

At Shima Onsen, you can enjoy Yaki Manju at “Shimamura,” which is located opposite side of Kashiwaya café, and “Ginsen Chaya,” a snack restaurant.

Please enjoy “Yaki Manju,” the regional sweets, which all Gunma people love.

※Yaki Manju (roasted sweet bun) is a sweet, having four buns without bean jam pierced with a skewer, putting sweet Miso sauce, and roasting over charcoal.

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Do you know “Yaki Manju”?
Of course you don’t, do you?

Shimamura Yaki Manju shop
Shimamura Yaki Manju shop at Shima Onsen

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Let’s go to Shima Onsen by a rental car! You’ll have more fun!

Shiga Kusatsu Skyline

Overview

If you’re good at driving a car, how about renting a car to go to an onsen resort near Tokyo?

There are often many attractive sightseeing spots around onsen resorts.

So if you use a rental car, you’ll be able to have more fun after arriving at an onsen resort.

It’s good to directly go to an onsen resort near Tokyo from Tokyo.
Another way is to go to a closet station by a train and rent a car from there.

The recommended rental car company is Toyota Rental Car, as it has a wide network and you can book in English.

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Mount Asama, Shima to Karuizawa

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Onsen town near Tokyo even Japan enthusiasts admire

Description

When saying onsen resort, people tend to imagine it to have left far from towns such as Tokyo. Yet, actually, there are a lot of highly original onsen resort and onsen ryokan near Tokyo environs, too.
There are more and more visitors who stay based at Tokyo Metropolitan area and stay at onsen ryokan in short trip in one night and two days. Onsen resorts near Tokyo, including out Shima onsen, are perfect for such needs.

Shima Onsen Town

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Let’s go to countryside in Japan! To Good Old Japan Away from Hustle

Let’s go to countryside in Japan!

Kuni village

In the past few years

visiting customers from overseas to Japan are increasing due to yen depreciation and the fact that national efforts to strengthen for tourism have been made.

The number has also significantly increased in this year (2015) compared to the last year.

It might break through the milestone of 20 million people.

In fact, in major tourist destination, such as Kyoto and Tokyo, so many foreign countries are there that it may seem to that there are more foreign customers and Japanese tourists.

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Meals at Kashiwaya Ryokan

There are varieties of fun at staying at Onsen Ryokan.

In particular, if it is your first time of staying at Onsen Ryokan, you will experience new things one after another and cannot help saying “Amazing!”

Natural environment at Onsen resort, atmosphere of Onsen town, buildings of inns, Japanese-style room, Onsen, and so much others.

Every one of them is a typical experience in Japan.

And one of the highlights is meals.
Example of meals

As you can see the “Washoku” has been registered as UNESCE intangible cultural heritage, Japanese traditional meals are valuable culture, which we can be proud in the world.

Although the dining style of dinner at Ryokan has been gradually changing, the main stream is “Kaiseki Ryori,” which is a course style meals used for parties and banquet, and its arranged styles by each inn.

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Ryokan that has Rooms with Private Onsen and Open-air Bath

Private open-air Onsen

Overview:

There are more ryokan that have guest rooms with private onsen and private open-air bath recently.

At those ryokan, you do not need to take onsen with other people.

So you can enjoy onsen even if you are from foreign countries, where you do not have habit to take a bath with other people.

Also, even if you have a tattoo, you can enjoy onsen without problems.

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