Shiobara Onsen () 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.

Public baths

The following is an incomplete list of hot spring baths that are open to the public. Many ryokan in the area also open up their baths to non-staying visitors during daytime for a small fee.

Fudo no Yu

Open irregularly

Iwa no Yu

Currently closed

Yuppo no Sato

Hours: 9:00 to 18:00 (until 17:00 Dec to Mar)
Closed: Thursdays (or Friday if Thursday is a holiday)
Admission: 200 yen

Waterfalls and Suspension Bridges

Ryuka Falls

Mikaeri Falls

Momijidani Suspension Bridge

Hours: 8:30 to 18:00 (until 16:00 November to March)
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 300 yen (round trip)

Nanatsuiwa Suspension Bridge

Other attractions

Emperor's Room Memorial Park

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 December to March)
Closed: Weds (or Thurs if Wed is a holiday, no closure Jul 20 to Aug 31)
Admission: 200 yen

Shiobara Onsen Visitor Center

Hours: 9:00 to 16:30
Closed: Tuesdays (or Wed if Tues is a holiday), Dec 29 to Jan 3
Admission: Free

Ratings:    best of the best    best of Japan    outstanding

Getting there and around

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, but not by other JR passes.

There are also buses (25 minutes, 200 yen one way, every 1-2 hours) 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.

How to get to and around Nasu-Shiobara