Tag Archives: onsen

Winter in Japan: Open-air Onsen, Scenic Snowscapes, Skiing and More!


As we’ve written before on our blog (see links below), the Japanese take pride in the distinct charm of each of the four seasons.

The cherry blossoms of spring and the dazzling autumn leaves, the electrifying buzz of the cicadas in summer and the calm, sheer white snow of winter beckoning you to come play!

Autumn Leaves

The winter season is upon us now, so you may be asking yourself: what is there to do here in Japan? Well, let us give you just a few ideas!

In winter, you can enjoy snowy landscapes stretching over a wide range in Japan, from Hokkaido in the far north to the more central Northern Kanto where Shima Onsen and our Kashiwaya Ryokan are located. Although it depends on the conditions in each region, generally the snow season is from December until March.

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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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Onsen town near Tokyo even Japan enthusiasts admire


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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Onsen Ryokan Equipped with Beds and Western Style Meals

Onsen Ryokan entrance

There is also a proverb in Japan, meaning “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

This proverb means that if you enter a land and an environment, it is wise to follow the customs and ways there.

Once you go on a trip, you can realize deeper the country’s culture if you do so.

That is what I believe.

However, during a long journey, you will miss your usual habits.

We Japanese also visit Japanese restaurants abroad. I think this is one of the reasons.

It is a benefit for foreign customers to know about Japanese culture by staying at Japanese ryokan.

On the other hand, some customers feel stress as the life at ryokan is totally different from their usual life.

This seems to be especially strong what comes to meals and beddings.

Some customers want to sleep In Futon and enjoy Washoku as they came so far to Japan.

But others want to sleep in a bed, which they are used to, and enjoy meals other than Washoku.

We Kashiwaya Ryokan basically provide Futon in a Japanese-style room and Washoku.

But we offer other choices, thus foreign customers are pleased about it.

First, concerning beddings,

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A Ryokan outside Tokyo, but Close to Tokyo

Evening at Onsen Ryokan


There are also a lot of ryokan in Tokyo but most of them do not equipped with onsen and meals.

So, it is hard to experience all the essences of ryokan (Japanese atmosphere, onsen, washoku) there.

Thus, I recommend you to stay at least one night at onsen ryokan that is close to Tokyo.

I have listed up some recommended onsen resorts, where you can enjoy ryokan close to Tokyo.


In Tokyo, there are a variety of accommodations from ultra-luxury hotels to capsule hotels.

The total number of rooms of accommodations is almost 150,000 rooms, combining hotels and ryokan.

In addition, construction and opening of new accommodations are coming up towards the Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo Shibuya night
Bright Lights, Big Tokyo

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That’s Why rural Onsen are Good! 3 Reasons to Recommend Countryside Onsen

If you are planning second time or third time Japan travel, why don’t you include a plan to rural (countryside) onsen, which are rarely listed on travel guidebooks?

Our Shima onsen is one of rural onsen, which have relatively good access from Tokyo; that is about 3 hours. We are sure you’ll satisfy with your travel.

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Enjoy various types of Onsen at Shima Onsen

Yuzuriha Footbath & Drinking Fountain
Yuzuriha Footbath & Drinking Fountain

At Shima Onsen, not only each ryokan has satisfying number of Onsen, but also there are various facilities at the Onsen town, where you can enjoy Onsen, such as foot bath, drinking fountain, and public bathhouse.

Footbath is just good for relaxing after walking.

There are Okinaya Footbath, Yamaguchi Foodbath, Yuzuriha Footbath & Drinking Fountain, and Hinatamiyakushi Footbath towards the back from Kashiwaya Ryokan.

Okinaya Footbath
Okinaya Footbath

Hinatamiyakushi Footbath
Hinatamiyakushi Footbath

In addition, there are facilities, where you can enjoy “drinking fountain (onsen)” that is one of Toji culture, such as Yuzuriha Footbath & Drinking Fountain and Shionoyu Drinking Fountain in the immediate vicinity of Kashiwaya cafe.

There are also three Onsen facilities, where you can enjoy one day trip for free from 9:00a.m. to 3:00p.m.; Kaminoyu, Kawaranoyu, and Gomusonoyu.

In addition, two facilities with charged but has rich equipments; Seiryunoyu and Koshikinoyu at the lakeside of Okushima Lake.


Please enjoy efficacy rich Shima Onsen in various types, which has been said to work on 40,000 diseases from ancient times.

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


Amenities of Onsen Ryokan

When Japanese travel abroad, we are surprised about what is written on guide book, that is “we should bring toothbrush and sleepwear, as most hotels do not provide them.” This is very surprising for Japanese, as “Oh? Really?” This is because Japanese accommodations almost always provide toothbrush and sleepwear (yukata).


Basic Amenities Provided at Onsen Ryokan

Well, let me introduce basic amenities provide in rooms of Japanese onsen ryokan.

・Electric kettle + tea set – You can enjoy tea (green tea) for free.
・Refrigerator – It is empty or filled with drinks (surcharge required).
・Towels – Most combination is face towel and bath towel.
・Toothbrush – It comes with toothpaste for one night.
・Yukata – Other than yukata, there could also be monk’s working clothes or pajamas.
・Body soap, hair shampoo – Sometimes equipped in a bath rather than in a room.
・Safe (strong box)

These are the basic amenities provided at general ryokan.

At Kashiwaya Ryokan, we also offer the following amenities.

Amenities provided at Kashiwaya Ryokan

・Wi-Fi – Although this is not a thing, it is so useful. ※It is for free.
・Hair dryer
・Drawstring pouch – A convenient fabric pouch, useful when you go to the bath.
・Hairbrush and comb
・Shaving set
・Cotton and cotton swab
・Hair rubber band and shower cap
・Tabi – A kind of socks. We provide it only during cold season.
・Skin care products – Provided at women bathrooms.
・Bathrobe – Provided at rooms with private bath.
・Soap, shampoo, and conditioner set of THANN, the Asian luxury cosmetics brand – Provided at rooms with private bath.

Bus amenities are one of the pleasures of accommodation, as you can select various things at each ryokan and some ryokan provide their original amenities. In fact, I imagine that many customers enjoy amenities at home that are possible to be taken-away. (Please ask at each ryokan whether amenities can be taken away.)

Use amenities and built-in fixtures at ryokan effectively to enjoy your comfortable trip!

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


Onsen Ryokan Best for Couples | 3 Reasons Kashiwaya is Chosen

Onsen Ryokan Best for Couples To say couples, there are various couples, such as lovers who began the relationship recently, just married couples, and couples snuggled for years. Our Shima onsen Kashiwaya ryokan is recommended to couples and actually used by them the highest, and of course they are very pleased.

Reasons: 1. Private Onsen

Private Onsen

The greatest factor is, again, the 3 private onsen (open-air bath).

It is fun to chat, looking at seasonally changing mountains, such as cherry blossoms, fresh green, autumn leaves, and snows during day and the sky with full of stars during night and taking bath quietly can be also happy.

As we have a system that customers can take private onsen as many times as they want if it is vacant (do not forget to lock the door from inside at the time of use), so customers can enjoy it freely. I think this may be one of factors why couples love our ryokan.

3 onsen have individually different taste.

Kaede-no-yu (Maple) is a Japanese garden-style stone bath with maple and Sanbaseki, famous stone at Gunma).


Sakura-no-yu (Cherry blossom) is a bath using cypress for its frame also made at Gunma Prefecture.


Finally, Tsuki-no-yu (Moon) is a round bath tub type made of wood, using Takanomaki woods made at Kiso.


Reason 2. Meals


And, another thing couples enjoy is dinner provided at each guest room (Oheyasyoku dinner). So to speak, it is like a system to say even “in-room dining of full course”, sitting on a cushion on tatami Japanese-style room, you can enjoy a meal arranged in Gozen (a small table for a meal) called Daimyo (feudal load) Zen with only two people in private.

Daimyo (feudal load) Zen with only two people in private.
Daimyo (feudal load) Zen with only two people in private.

Reason 3. The pace, Shima Onsen

Town Work

In the sense on onsen for couples, our Shima onsen area itself is a perfect resort suitable for couples who want to spend a quiet time flowing leisurely.

When couples who spent such crowded places stay at Shima onsen, they can really relax and get refresh.

Thus, we recommend staying at a quiet resort where you can spend time by you two people alone, like our Shima onsen Kashiwaya ryokan when traveling long in Japan.

We guarantee you two people become more and more intimate!

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


How to Take an Onsen?|8 Rules & Manners of Japanese Onsen

Onsen Rules

No swim suit

Go Naked! No swim suit.
It is Japanese traditional culture of Japan, everyone goes into a bath together
Don’t be shameful!
Let’s enjoy together Onsen Bath!
If you will hesitate, don’t worry because we have three private open air baths.

Be Clean!

Be clean! Wash your XXX first.
Before entering the bathtub, it is customary to lightly wash your lower body outside the tub.
After that, you get in the bathtub and soak for a while.
Then you get out of the bathtub and scrub all over your body with soap.
When you have finished washing yourself, you get in the bathtub again and enjoy a good soak.

No Swimming

No running. No swimming.
You’d better walk slowly inside the bathroom because the floor may be very slippery because of ingredient of Onsen.
In addition, you never swim even if the bathtub is too big.
The major purpose of taking Onsen is not only to wash one’s body but also to rest and relax by soaking Onsen.

No Drunk Person

No drunk person inside the bathtub.
Usually, the temperature of Onsen is at least 40degrees (40℃).
So it is not good for your health for heavy drunk person to take or soak the bathtub.
To enjoy Onsen safely, please do not take the bath after drinking too much.

No glass inside the area.
As we all know, the people who take Onsen are all naked.
You never bring the dangerous or fragile things, like glass, inside the bathroom and locker room nether.

No Washing

No washing inside the bathtub.
There is a space provided for washing as well as a bathtub and shower.
Please wash your body and hair at the washing space.
And as we all know, you never wash your cloths inside the bathtub.

Watch Others<br /> when washing or showering

Watch others when washing or showering.
Many people would use and take Onsen at the same time.
You are not the only person to use it.
It is very important manner to take care other person around you.
Let’s share rest and relax time all together!

Don't Put Towel

Do not put towel inside the bathtub.
There are two major rules to take Onsen.
First, you should now allow your wash-towel or any soap into the bathtub.
Secondly, when you leave the bath, you do not drain the water.
These manners come from the fact that you are not the only person to use the bath water in the tub.

Wipe Before Entering Locker

Wipe your body before entering locker room.
To keep the locker room dry and clean, you would wipe yourself lightly with your wash-towel before entering there.
After wiping your body completely with your bath-towel in the locker room, you could wear “YUKATA”, bathing clothing, a kind of KIMONO.

thank you

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