All posts by e_kashiwaya_editor

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 or JR 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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Private Onsen, room with an open-air bath / 6 different types of bath in Onsen Ryokan

PrivateOnsen
Our ‘Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan’ has three private onsen, all of which are open-air baths(Rotenburo), two rooms with their own private open-air onsen and large public inside onsen for both men and women.

Since anyone can enjoy a private onsen or a room with a private open-air bath(Rotenburo) without any restrictions or concerns, everyone from anywhere around the world can be satisfied with them.

Kashiwaya Ryokan is tattoo-friendly, so anyone can enjoy and participate. But if people would prefer some privacy, they can hire a private onsen or a room with a private open-air bath to further enjoy the experience.

Onsens are an integral part of Japanese culture, therefore, visiting and experiencing an onsen is a big purpose in coming to Japan for many people.
However, there are many different types of baths with different purposes and restrictions, so it may be confusing for tourists who are not used to our customs and culture.

open-air onsen
Kashiwaya’s Private Onsen

Today, I will talk about all different types of onsen.

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

Onsen rules

Today, we will be introducing the etiquette of visiting hot springs(Onsen) in Japan.

It is no exaggeration to say that Japan is known as the World No.1 hot spring country.
There are 2983 Onsen (hot spring) towns, and there are 27297 hot spring locations all over Japan.

There is a description about hot springs in Japan’s oldest history book, ‘Kojiki’, that was compiled in 700 A.D. From this we can tell that hot spring culture has been with Japanese people for a long time.

In the long history of Onsen, Japan’s own hot spring culture has changed, and in that culture, there are manners and etiquette that people follow to try not to cause any troubles for other hot spring users.

Let’s see the manners and etiquette of using hot springs in Japan with a little bit of jokes then!

Onsen etiquette and rules

Before that…
So many people are questioning whether they can go to hot springs in Japan if they have a tattoo.
We, ‘Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan’, are tattoo friendly. Therefore, anyone with or without tattoos can enjoy all of our hot springs. However, there can be no doubt that many hot spring places do not accept people with tattoos.
Please read the article ‘hot spring and tattoo’ for the further details.

Let’s see the manners and etiquette!

No swim suit

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Private Onsen Tsuki-no-yu Renovated !

Private Onsen Tsuki-no-yu
Visitors from Japan come looking for different things, from authentic Japanese food, cultural experiences, and shopping. Japanese hot springs, or onsen, are yet another popular activity for international tourists.

Though many tourists are interested in onsen, some are from countries that don’t have communal bathing customs. For these visitors, it may take a lot of courage to get naked and take a bath with your friends, let alone complete strangers!

Add to that the fact that most onsen aren’t tattoo friendly, and there are even more visitors who miss out on the opportunity to experience Japanese onsen. The reality is, there are historical reasons that people with tattoos have been banned from onsen in Japan. Despite the influx of international guests who have tattoos, many onsen still maintain this antiquated policy.

As you can see, this all makes for a terrible situation. Many visitors to Japan wish to experience Japan’s famed onsen, but they can’t because of superficial cultural problems. This is truly a shame.

We at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan have a strong reputation on sites such as Trip Advisor. This is due to our dedication to making onsen accessible to all guests. We have had a “Tattoo Friendly” policy for many years, and we have several private onsen baths that are free for guests to use: three private baths open to all guests, and 2 rooms that include their own private bath.

Many of our guests post photos on Instagram from our private onsen as well. Search #privateonsen and #kashiwayaryokan to see what we have to offer here!

Private Onsen Tsuki-no-yu

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The ALT Special Plan! The Perfect Way to Enjoy Japanese Culture and Onsen

Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan has begun a special deal just for ALT’s currently residing in Japan. With this special plan, you can save up to (Y)2,000 per guest, and you can use the discount as long as there is at least one ALT in your party! Feel free to bring along your visiting family and friends to experience traditional Japanese lodgings.

We at Kashiwaya Ryokan made this plan for two reasons. First we think it would be a shame if the ALT’s in our community and throughout Japan lived here without experiencing a traditional onsen ryokan, an important part of Japanese culture. Second, we guarantee the highest service so that you can thoroughly enjoy your stay in hopes that whenever you return home, whether to visit or to move back, you might share your experience with your friends and family.

Travelers choice 2018

Shima Onsen was once a popular place to come for the curative properties of its waters. Extended stays in onsen towns for health and rehabilitation (“toji” in Japanese) was the original purposes of hot springs in Japan. As such, this is an important part of onsen culture. The town is surrounded by natural beauty and is much the same as it was 50 years ago, giving this onsen resort a nostalgic “old Japan” feel.

Shima Onsen boasts the oldest onsen ryokan in Japan and the onsen temple Yakushido, both of which still stand today, not to mention the stunning natural beauty of the area. The vibrant blue of the rivers and lakes in the area are lovingly called “Shima Blue,” and if you’re lucky you might run into a wild Japanese serow (goat-antelope) or monkey.

shima onsen
‘Sekizenkan’ one of the model of ‘Spirited Away’
Shima Blue – Oku Shima Lake
Toji — Onsen Travel for Health (Health Benefits of Onsen)
Toji refers to a relatively long stay (usually more than one week) at an onsen for the purpose of medical treatment or recuperation. There are records of this type of medical treatment dating as far back as the Kamakura Period (12th-14th centuries), and they say that there are various health benefits to bathing in onsen waters.

Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan is a popular place to stay for international visitors, and was ranked #9 in a TripAdvisor ranking of ryokan popular amongst non-Japanese visitors.

These are just a few of the reasons for Kashiwaya Ryokan’s popularity.
• 3 free private onsen baths and 2 rooms with private open-air baths for guests who prefer privacy but still want to enjoy the hot spring water
• Traditional kaiseki meals
Guests with tattoos are welcome in all onsen baths
• Since we are a smaller ryokan with only 15 rooms, large groups don’t stay here, meaning it’s always quiet, peaceful, and relaxing
• All rooms are Japanese style rooms with tatami and futon to sleep on, allowing our international guests to enjoy an authentic Japanese experience

We hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity to stay at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

Kashiwaya Onsen Ryokan

10 Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Kanto 2019

autumn leaves

Contents:
Kanto’s Top 10 Locations for Fall Foliage
Shima Onsen Town and Autumn Leaves
Things to Keep in Mind for Autumn Leaves
area map

Introduction
Shima Onsen and the Kanto Region are full of fantastic spots for seeing the gorgeous autumn leaves. Though Tokyo is known as a bustling metropolis, there are actually many areas of Kanto that are filled with natural beauty.

The autumn foliage in Kanto is best seen between September and December, and we believe this is the next best season to visit Japan after the spring cherry blossom season. Now, allow us to introduce some of the best places to visit in Kanto during the fall. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy one of the most appealing aspects of Japan’s natural beauty!

Kanto’s Top 10 Locations for Fall Foliage

Let’s get right into it and start with our ranking of the 10 best places to see autumn leaves in Kanto.

#1: Shima Onsen / Shima River / Okushima Lake (Gunma Prefecture)

Shima Onsen
You’ll have to forgive us for putting Shima Onsen in the top spot. This is of course where our very own Kashiwaya Ryokan is located, but it isn’t an exaggeration to say that Shima Onsen is one of the best spots in Kanto for enjoying the gorgeous hues of fall. After all, we are located right in Joshin’etsu-kogen National Park.

There’s a lot to say about Shima Onsen, but we’ll get into that after we’ve finished the ranking. Continue reading

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

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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 >

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