Shiobara Onsen (塩原温泉) is a hot spring town, located along a forested valley twenty kilometers south of Mount Nasudake. Although Shiobara Onsen is fairly developed with several large hotels, it is surrounded by woods and mountains which lend it a decidedly rustic feel. The town's collection of hot spring baths, waterfalls and hiking trails help to contribute to the feeling of being close to nature.
Shiobara Onsen is also known for several pedestrian suspension bridges which span the river and offer nice views out over the water and surrounding forest. The scenery is particularly beautiful from late October to early November during the autumn leaf season.
Waterfalls and Suspension Bridges
Ratings: best of the best best of Japan outstanding
Hourly JR buses operate from Nasu-Shiobara Station via Nishi-Nasuno Station to Shiobara Onsen (65 minutes, 1190 yen). The buses are fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass and JR East Tohoku Area Pass.
There are also buses (25 minutes, 200 yen one way) between Shiobara Onsen and Kamimiyori Shiobaraonsenguchi Station along the Yagan Railway which provides connections to Nikko, Kinugawa Onsen and Aizu Wakamatsu. Note that neither the train nor the bus are covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
Alternatively, a rental car is convenient to get around. Rental outlets can be found at Nasu-Shiobara Station.