Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Natural AC of the Riverbank! Enjoy the Cool Nature of Shima Onsen

Oku shima lake
Oku shima lake

For the past several years, Japan’s summers have been incredibly hot. In fact, from the end of the rainy season in late June through August, we often say “atsui desune” (“it’s hot, isn’t it”) instead of more standard greetings like “konnichiwa.”

Though the locals here think it’s quite warm in Shima Onsen, those who come visit from the hotter Kanto Plain area always tell us how cool it is here.

Part of the reason it’s so cool here has to do with our elevation (about 650 meters). However, an even bigger factor is the fact that the Shimagawa River, famous for its Shima Blue water, runs alongside the onsen town.

The water of Shimagawa River is cold even in summer, and the wind that blows from the river envelops Shima Onsen Town. It’s just like a natural air conditioner!

There are many areas near the river in Shima to enjoy the cool weather.

Ishigashiranosawa
Ishigashira no sawa

Ishigashira no Sawa is located across from Asahi Bridge, and its water runs into the Shimagawa River.

Ishigashira no Sawa is very close to Kashiwaya Ryokan, making it perfect for a morning or evening stroll. You can play in the water there, and there is also an abundance of fish that you can catch. If you are in the area now, you can enjoy the bamboo lanterns as well.

Shima’s Oketsu
Shima’s Oketsu (pot hole)

About 1.5 meters down-river from Kashiwaya you can see natural pools in the Shimagawa River called oketsu. Recently you can even see people swimming in these pools.

Shima Oohashi bridge
Shima Oohashi bridge

Continue reading

Shima Onsen’s Breath-taking Starry Night Sky

Oku Shima Lake
Oku Shima Lake

Step away from the lights of the central Shima Onsen area and National Highway 353 on a clear night, and you can see a beautiful night sky filled with stars and a beautiful moon.

The picture above was taken on a calm August night around 10pm at Okushima Lake, the northernmost point of Shima Onsen.

We were able to take a truly fantastic photograph of the starry night sky directly above the dam embankment where you can clearly see the Milky Way. But you don’t have to go that far to see a sight like this. Take a backroad near Kashiwaya Ryokan to get away from the streetlamps, and you can see a gorgeous night sky like that in the pictures below.

Both of these photos were taken at a location just a 3-minute walk from Kashiwaya Ryokan. Of course, the view of the night sky from our open-air baths is also excellent!

Mars
Mars
milky way
milky way

When you come visit Shima Onsen, why not try taking a picture of the gorgeous stars.

And don’t forget to share your pictures to Instagram if you take a good one!

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

kashiwaya_totop_banner