Many of us enjoy travelling all around the world, and there’s one drink you can find just about anywhere you go. That’s right – beer!
I myself never miss a chance to try the local beer, no matter what country I’m in.
In Japan, Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, and Suntory are the four biggest breweries, and the most popular beers among them are, of course, Kirin Ichiban Shibori and Asahi Super Dry.
But here at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan, we have much more than your standard beers; on top of Kirin and Asahi, you can enjoy Yebisu on tap or “Shima Onsen Ale,” our very own locally brewed beer and the feature of today’s blog post.
As the name implies, Shima Onsen Ales are ale-style beers made in Shima Onsen.
Shima Onsen Ale brews the following 3 beers, listed from palest to darkest:
– Blond Maya Hime
– Amber Oketsu
– Stout Yoru no Otozure
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.
“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!
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.
It is a town with altitude of 300 to 2000m and is a small mountain village with about 17,000 inhabitants.
In addition, Kuni and Isama district of Nakanojo have been certified to be one of “the most beautiful villages in Japan” by The Most Beautiful Villages Union in Japan.
“The Most Beautiful Villages Union in Japan” is playing a part of “The most beautiful villages Union in the World,” which began in France in 1982 and Is joined by France, France, Italy, Belgium, Canada, and Japan. Continue reading →
My friend took me to Shima Onsen but truthfully speaking, I’ve had an aversion to onsens before I came here. I’ve had this image in my head that the properties of an onsen bath would make my skin itch and my hair dry. Because I have sensitive skin, I thought that it wouldn’t be suitable for my body. But I think Shima Onsen suits me – it’s completely different from other onsens.
With regard to the baths, I was able to go to the open air baths immediately from my room. I was surprised that you can have these large, open air baths to yourself. Moreover, you can bathe any number of times so I bathed after I arrived at the ryokan and then again after I ate my meal.
A very tender steak was served during dinner. It was delicious – so good that I almost regret thinking that one would expect an onsen inn to serve Japanese food.
The checkout time was a late 12:00 pm so I had enough time in the morning to prepare to leave. For lunch I went to Kashiwaya Cafe and I also sampled some of the famous manju buns at a nearby manju shop. Location-wise there are lots of things to do and the onsen town itself is a pleasant place to be.
Despite bathing in the onsens, my hair didn’t become dry not did my skin itch. I also slept very well – proof that I was able to relax.
Age：27 years old
★Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
Thank you very much for staying at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan during your trip for the summer.