There are many hot spring sources in Nagano prefecture. It's a real hot spring paradise there! I'll now introduce one secluded hot spring called "Taki no Yu" in Matsukawa Keikoku Onsen. It's hidden in the green mountains of Nagano and gender-mixed, making it a perfect spot for couples who wish to experience nature tourism and hot springs. You'll have a completely relaxing time listening to the sounds of Matsukawa River!
This secluded hot spring has been popular since the Edo period
The legend says that this hot spring was developed for the purpose of treating the wounded soldiers of Takeda Shingen after their battles. Actually, "Taki no Yu" is one of several such places in Nagano prefecture. Its history dates back to the Edo period. Originally it was quite popular and visited by many people, but then the number of visitors gradually decreased and this place turned into a secluded hot spring.
In 1967 it regained its past glory as a secret hot spring for Takeda Shingen and became again popular among hot spring fans from all over the country. The water is freely-flowing and with strong skin beautification effect. You can do a day trip and enter this hot spring for only 500 JPY! Those who have a JAF card (by Japan Automobile Federation) will receive eggs boiled in the hot spring!
Of course, there is also an accommodation facility next to this hot spring where you can even take your pets. This is an ideal place to spend a relaxing holiday.
"Taki no Yu" is located along Prefectural Route 66. You'll see a gate with a thatched roof saying "Natural open-air hot spring". But note that this gate is closed, so the actual entrance is a little further up the road.
Here we go to this top-class hot spring!
As you approach the open-air baths you'll smell the sulfur. There are two entrances to the bath, the right being for women and the left for men. After you open the door, you'll see a simple changing room equipped with lockers. You can safely leave your valuables there.
A 17-meter wide open-air bath whose water has skin-protection components
"Taki no Yu" is a long, 17-meter wide open-air bath. It's surrounded by rough rocks which create a peculiar wild atmosphere. Matsukawa River is right beside you. White steam comes out of the water which is not colorless and transparent, but slightly emerald blue. This hot spring is rich in metasilicic acid and is therefore called a natural skin lotion.
But the best feature is the amazing view! The lush green around you and the pleasant sounds of the river stream and the birds create a unique natural atmosphere. In autumn everything turns red and soaking in this bath is a fantastic experience.
As this bath is gender-mixed couples often come to use it. It's rather wide and not crowded at all, so you will still have undisturbed private and romantic time. Of course, you can soak in this hot spring alone too.
It's not allowed to enter naked, so please put a towel around your body (you can buy one at the front desk).
There are two different indoor baths too
The indoor baths are a hot one (the smaller) and a lukewarm one (the bigger). Those who can't stand too hot water should go to the other one which is about 40 degrees. There are big windows so you can see the nature outside while soaking in the bath.
Refresh your body with the hot water for drinking!
There are two taps in one of the corners. One has freely-flowing spring water for pouring on your body at the end of your bath, while the other is for drinking. It's cold, odorless and delicious! I recommend it after a bath.
You can dry your towel at the drying machine in the changing room. The machine is rather old and nostalgic, but it's great to be able to dry your towel.
I recommend "Taki no Yu" as a dating spot!
The large open-air bath in the wild nature feels supreme. "Taki no Yu" is worth visiting in all seasons so that you can see the changing surroundings. It's gender-mixed, has few people and is ideal for couples on a romantic "hot spring date".