Category Archives: Onsen

The Perfect Spot for the Last Night of Your Trip to Japan: A Country Onsen Ryokan

Evening Shima Onsen

When you come to Japan, where would you like to go? Maybe to Tokyo, one of the biggest cities in the world. Or to Kyoto, full of ancient shrines and temples. Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan are major draws, and then there’s Mount Fuji…
This country is full of so many things to see and enjoy.

Overseas guests who stay with us here at Kashiwaya Ryokan in Shima Onsen tell us that they’ve come from Kyoto or that their next stop is Hiroshima, or that they’re on their way to Nagano to see the Snow Monkeys, or Matsumoto Castle. It’s amazing how many places they visit while they’re in Japan.

Visitors who have already enjoyed most of their trip tell us how glad they are to have arrived at such a quiet, relaxing place. They say they feel far away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world.

Winter snow

In fact, Shima Onsen has long been known as a place “to wash away the dust and dirt of the world,” where guests can relax, enjoy the healing waters, and take a break from their cares. Visitors from abroad usually don’t know about Shima Onsen’s reputation, but we don’t think it’s a coincidence that they feel the same way about it Japanese have felt for hundreds of years.

Onsen Town

Guests are delighted, of course, with our three private baths where tattoos are allowed, Japanese cuisine, Japanese-style accommodations and the service provided by our staff. We suspect, though, that their favorite part is the quiet of Shima Onsen, and its old-fashioned Japanese atmosphere.

Words we often hear from our guests are “relaxing,” “peaceful,” and “quiet.”

Here’s a suggestion for travelers: choose Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan for the last night of your trip to Japan. Read here about the experience of one of our satisfied customers.

Money well spent, perfect way to end my Japan trip.

Yukata

private onsen

Put on a cotton yukata, enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner in your room and soak to your heart’s content in our three private baths. Think back over the highlights of your trip as you rest up in this quiet country onsen. The next morning, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to head for the airport. We’d love for our guests to have a stay like this at Kashiwaya Ryokan in Shima Onsen.

Shima Onsen is in the northwest corner of Gunma Prefecture, a three-hour trip from Haneda and Narita airports. A morning shuttle bus will get you to either airport in plenty of time for evening flights.

Read this article for more details on airport access.

Wash off the dust of your travels at Shima Onsen, and head home in high spirits.
We’ll be looking forward to seeing you when you’re in Japan!

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

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Onsen Ryokan with Beds and Western Style Meals

western style single bed

Anyone who speaks English probably knows the proverb, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In Japanese we also have a very similar saying: 郷に入れば郷に従え(go ni ireba go ni shitagae). It means that if you enter a foreign country or region, it is wise to follow the customs and ways there.
I believe that travelling is about not only seeing new sights, but also learning more about another country and culture.
However, during a long journey you will naturally miss the customs of your home country. We Japanese sometimes visit Japanese restaurants abroad. I think this is because many of us become homesick while travelling. Of course, I also believe it is a benefit for international travellers to step out of their comfort zone and learn about other cultures. That’s why I highly recommend staying at a Japanese ryokan.

Japanese style room and Washoku
Japanese style room and Washoku

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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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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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Autumn leaves. The Japanese natural highlights, along with cherry-blossom viewing

Autumn leaves

Oku-shima area

Japan has distinctive four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter.

In addition, Japanese people have been strongly rooted to cherish the change of seasons.

It can be shown in Kigo of Haiku.

There is a way to express seasons, called “24 Seasons,” which has divided the four seasons further into 24 seasons.

We are really enjoying the change of seasons.

Although we can enjoy spring, summer, fall, and winter in Japan, among them, the highlights are cherry blossom viewing in spring and autumn leaves in fall.

Autumn leave season is a popular tourism season for both customers from overseas and from Japan, as well as cherry blossom season in spring.

The best season of autumn leaves starts from around mid-September at high altitude places and Hokkaido.
In Kyushu, you can enjoy it until mid-December.

Ochiai street

Shima Gawa river

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About Us, Kashiwaya Ltd. Company Overview

History of Kashiwaya

Kashiwaya Iryou

Along with Kashiwaya Café at Shima Onsen Town, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan is run by Kashiwaya Ltd., a small company operated by a family.

The founder is Masao Kashiwabara, my (Masuo Kashiwabara) grandfather.

Masao Kashiwabara, founder
According to historical documents, it is guessed that our ancestors moved from the current Shizuoka prefecture to Sawadamura-Kanobara, about 10km south from Shima Onsen, in the Age of Civil Wars or in the beginning of Edo period (End of 16th century or bigining of 17th century).

We can never know why our ancestors moved from such far Shizuoka prefecture to this countryside village in mountains.

In addition, it seems that our clan was used to be Shugenja (tempest) called Kashiwabara Shugen Daizoin until about Meiji Ishin(19th century).

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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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A Ryokan outside Tokyo, but Close to Tokyo

Evening at Onsen Ryokan

Overview

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.

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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.

Gomusounoyu
Gomusounoyu

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 >

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