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Shibu Onsen (a‰·ò) is a historic and attractive hot spring town in Yamanouchi, which has retained a traditional atmosphere. Nestled in a small valley, Shibu Onsen is spread out on a gentle slope beside the Yokoyugawa River, with Yudanaka Onsen located below and the Jigokudani Monkey Park above.

During its long history, the area has been visited for its hot spring water by a lot of people, including priests, samurai and poets. Some of the ryokan (Japanese style inns) that line Shibu's narrow streets, date back over 400 years, adding greatly to Shibu's atmosphere. Guests of the ryokan are encouraged to take a stroll around town in the traditional onsen clothing of yukata robes and geta sandals.

One incentive to walk around the town is to make use of the public bath houses, of which there are nine. The public baths are locked and, except for one, accessible only to locals and overnight guests, who are provided with a master key by their ryokan. The bath houses are small and gender-separated, and the baths themselves are quite simple. The bath houses are numbered, but also have special names and cure different ailments.

It is said that good fortune comes to those who visit all nine bath houses. Special cloths are sold for collecting stamps from each bath house and make nice souvenirs. The stamps are found in front of each bath house. Although the bath house tour can be done only by overnight guests, the ninth and largest of the bath houses, the "Oyu" bath house, is also open to day trippers. The Oyu is located in the center of town, and its waters are quite hot.

When passing through Shibu, people can often be seen in the streets wearing their yukata, likely traveling between public baths. There are also sometimes other, uninvited guests roaming the streets who wear nothing at all. Rarely observing proper onsen etiquette, monkeys from the neighboring forests occasionally descend into the town in search of food. It is unlikely to encounter the monkeys in the bath houses though, as they seem to prefer their own bath at the nearby Jigokudani Monkey Park.

Getting there and around

One or two buses per hour travel from Yudanaka Station to Shibu Onsen (5 minutes, 210 yen one way). Alternatively, it takes about five minutes and 1000 yen by taxi or around 30 minutes on foot.

How to get to and around Yamanouchi

Hours and Fees

Oyu public bath (for daytrip visitors)

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Yamanouchi

    • Wafu-no Yado Masuya
      A tasteful, authentic ryokan with over 140 year history. Free shuttle to the Monkey Park. Savor the award winning dinner. 100% natural onsen and Free Wi-Fi.
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    • Yudanaka Seifu-so
      A traditional ryokan with wooden building by Yudanaka Station. Unique onsen - private, open-air, apple, leaf baths etc.
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    • Hotel Tsubakino
      Hotel Tsubakino is an onsen ryokan with traditional setting and modern comfort. Enjoy the majestic views of mountains while bathing in the open-air private onsen. 3 min from Yudanaka Station.
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Top rated in Yamanouchi
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    • Senjukaku
      Luxury
      Boasting open-air hot spring baths, a heated indoor pool and beautiful Japanese gardens, Senjukaku offers traditional Japanese-style accommodation that has a historic charm. Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is a 15-minute drive away. Offering mountain views, all rooms are fitted with traditional tatami (woven-straw) flooring and a low table with seating cushions. In-room amenities include a flat-screen TV and a fridge. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. While staying at Senjukaku Ryokan, guests can unwind at the spacious public bathing area or reserve one of the cosy family baths for private use. There is an art gallery space at the lobby, showcasing Japanese drawings. A gift shop is also available on site. The ryokan serves various seasonal Japanese dishes, prepared with organic vegetables and local beef. The property offers free pick-up shuttles from Yudanaka Station, an 8-minute drive away.
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    • Yudanaka Yasuragi
      Mid-range
      A small 6-room inn with Ryokan meals and cosy interiors, Yasuragi is just a few minutes drive to Jigokudani Monkey Park and an 8-minute walk from Yudanaka Train Station. Hot-spring baths are featured. Free WiFi is available throughout the property and free pick-up service from Yudanaka Station is provided. Yasuragi Innfs Japanese-style rooms have tatami (woven-straw) floors, futon beds and a flat-screen TV. Each room is air-conditioned. A fridge, an electric kettle and yukata robes are provided. All guests have access to the on-site hot spring public baths, and they can be reserved for private use. (please inquire at the front desk for more information.) Shiga-Kogen Ski Park and North Shiga Ski Park are both a 15-minute drive away. The property offers a free shuttle to nearby locations upon request, including Yudanaka Train Station. Parking is free. There is a convenience store right behind the inn.
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    • AIBIYA
      Budget-friendly
      Offering a barbecue and ski storage space, AIBIYA is located in Yamanouchi in the Nagano Region, 4.1 km from Jigokudani Monkey Park. Each room at this property features air-conditioning and heating, and low beds with individual lights. All rooms have a tatami (woven-straw) floor where guests can unwind and relax. Free WiFi is available throughout the entire property. Ryuoo Ski Park is 6 km from AIBIYA, while Hasuike Pond is 7 km away. A complimentary breakfast is served, consisting of bread, yogurt, seasonal fruits and coffee. Guests will also find a shop featuring local artworks on site.
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    • Yudanaka Tawaraya Ryokan
      Luxury
      A 5-minute walk from Yudanaka Train Station, Tawaraya offers Japanese-style accommodations with free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. Guests can relax in the indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths and wear colorful Japanese Yukata robes. Massages can be requested for an extra cost. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. A safety deposit box, a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags are included in each. Rooms come with a private toilet but bathrooms are shared with all other guests. An outdoor hot-spring bath can be reserved for private-use and guests can enjoy looking out into the traditional garden. Dry cleaning and daily newspaper services are available at the front desk. Local products can be purchased at the souvenir shop. Traditional multi-course meals featuring local ingredients are served for dinner and a Japanese set-menu for breakfast. All meals are served at the dining room. Tawaraya Ryokan is a 10-minute drive from Snow Monkey Park and a 15-minute walk from Heiwa Kannon. Shiga Kogen Ski Resort is a 30-minute drive away.
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    • Shibu Onsen Koishiya Ryokan
      Mid-range
      Located in the historical Shibu Onsen district, a‰·ò¬Î‰®—·ŠÙ offers both private and dormitory-style guest rooms as well as an on-site restaurant where local dishes, wines and craft beers are available. All rooms at a‰·ò¬Î‰®—·ŠÙ have air conditioning. There is no OnsenEBath in a‰·ò¬Î‰®—·ŠÙ, however, staying guests at a‰·ò¬Î‰®—·ŠÙ can enjoy 9 public baths in Shibu onsen(free). There are 2 shower rooms in a‰·ò¬Î‰®—·ŠÙ. At an additional fee, staying guests at a‰·ò¬Î‰®—·ŠÙ can enjoy exclusive evening entrance to Yoroduya's natural hot spring bath Momoyama Buro, which is registered as a tangible cultural property. The property provides shuttle services to and from Momoyama Buro and Jigokudani Monkey Park, which are under a 5-minute bus ride away. Pick up service from Yudanaka station is available between 15:00-17:30 for check in guest(free), booking in advance is essential.
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    • Suminoyu
      Mid-range
      Located in the Shibu hot-spring district, guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths at Suminoyu. Massages can be requested and a footbath is also available for extra relaxation. A free shuttle is offered from Yudanaka Train Station, which is a 10-minute drive away. The air-conditioned rooms have tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. A TV, fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags are provided in each. Rooms come with a private toilet but bathrooms are shared. Free Wi-Fi is accessible at the lobby and local products can be purchased at the gift shop. Luggage storage is available. Japanese dishes featuring local ingredients are available at the ryokan. Dinner is served in a private dining room. Suminoyu Inn is a 10-minute drive from Snow Monkey Park and a 25-minute drive from Shiga Kogen Ski Resort. Heiwa Kannon is a 15-minute walk away.
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    • Minshuku Miyama
      Budget-friendly
      Minshuku Miyama offers Japanese-style accommodations with free Wi-Fi. Guests can relax in the public outdoor hot-spring baths and wear Japanese Yukata robes. A free shuttle is available from Yudanaka Train Station, which is a 10-minute drive away and must be reserved at time of booking. The rooms feature heating facilities, tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. A fan, a TV and an electric kettle with green tea bags are included in each. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. A Japanese set menu is available at the dining room. Breakfast and dinner are served. Miyama Minshuku Inn is a 15-minute drive from Snow Monkey Park and a 10-minute drive from Heiwa Kannon. Shiga Kogen Ski Resort is a 20-minute drive away.
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    • Uotoshi Ryokan
      Budget-friendly
      Just a 6-minute walk from Yudanaka Train Station and a 30-minute drive from Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park, Uotoshi Ryokan offers cypress-wood hot-spring baths and Japanese-style rooms with kotatsu (heated tables). Free Wi-Fi is provided in all rooms. Guests can request a free demonstration of traditional Japanese archery (kyudo), and can try it themselves if desired. A free washing machine is available for guestsf use. Free wired internet is offered in the lobby. Rooms at Ryokan Uotoshi feature tatami (woven straw) floors and Japanese-style futon bedding. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. Yomase, Sun Valley and Maruike ski resorts are located within a 30-minute drive. Several public hot-spring baths are situated nearby. Breakfast and dinner are served at the hotel. Advance notice is required.
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    • Shimaya
      Mid-range
      Just 500 metres from Yudanaka Station, traditional inn Shimaya Ryokan is a family-run friendly accommodation featuring hot-spring baths and Japanese-style rooms with free Wi-Fi. It provides free shuttle services from the station and to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and other famous local spots. This hotel was selected as one of Top 25 B&Bs and Inns in Japan by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2013. Rooms are cosy and comfortable, featuring tatami-mat flooring and futon bedding. They are equipped with a TV, a fridge and a safe. Some rooms come with an en suite bathroom. Ryokan Shimaya is just steps away from a 24-hour convenience store. It is 6 km from Yomase Ski Resort. Free parking is available. Guests can leisurely soak in the spacious public hot spring bath or reserve baths for a private group. Meals can be served with advance reservation (extra charges apply). Japanese or American breakfast can be enjoyed at Shimayafs dining room. A traditional dinner with seasonal dishes can be served in the privacy of guests' rooms.
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    • Hotel Omodaka
      Mid-range
      Situated in Yamanouchi, within 3.9 km of Jigokudani Monkey Park and 11 km of Ryuoo Ski Park, Hotel Omodaka features accommodation with a shared lounge and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 3-star ryokan offers free shuttle service and luggage storage space. The ryokan offers a sauna and room service. A buffet, ? la carte or continental breakfast is available each morning at the property. The ryokan offers 3-star accommodation with a hot spring bath and children's playground. You can play table tennis at this 3-star ryokan. Suzaka City Zoo is 23 km from Hotel Omodaka, while Zenkoji Temple is 29 km from the property. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 104 km from the accommodation.
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