Nakabusa Onsen is a secluded inn in the Northern Alps mountains which has a total of 36 hot spring sources, including some unused ones. 14 of them have been turned into pools with freely-flowing water. It takes more than 1 or 2 nights to explore them all. This is why I will present you my selection of the best 4 baths that you must definitely try.
"Goza no Yu", the oldest bath in Nakabusa Onsen
The hot spring pool you should definitely visit is “Goza no Yu”, the oldest one in Nakabusa Onsen. It has a simple shape and is similar to the public baths, but the constant freely-flowing water is a great pleasure for hot spring lovers. No more than 4 people can enter. The smell of wood and the long history of this place fascinate visitors. It’s said that the local feudal lord Matsumoto and Walter Weston loved this hot spring. Water type: Thermal sulfuric hot spring Temperature of the freely-flowing water: 94 degrees
"Shirataki no Yu" where you can enjoy the open nature
The second bath I want to introduce is “Shirataki no Yu”. Leave Nakabusa Onsen’s building and go a bit into the mountains to reach it. You’ll find a hut with a changing room amidst the nature and a nice hot water pool next to it. Here you can soak in the hot spring and enjoy the forest. It’s a gender-mixed bath which makes it ideal for couples and families who wish to relax in the nature. Water type: Thermal sulfuric hot spring Temperature of the freely-flowing water: 64.8 degrees
"Tsukimi no Yu", the highest open-air bath in Nakabusa Onsen
The next in the list is called “Tsukimi no Yu” and as its name suggests, it’s ideal for watching the moon and the starry sky. Enjoying the beautiful moon while soaking naked in a hot spring surrounded by open nature is a wonderful and relaxing experience. Water type: Thermal sulfuric hot spring Temperature of the freely-flowing hot spring: 88.6 degrees
There are other peculiar baths too!
Other interesting hot spring baths in Nakabusa Onsen include a big hot water pool in which you can swim naked and a bath with a giant rock in the center. Among those peculiar ones that I want to recommend is a bath which was made of a cut and chiseled out big tree. It’s called “Nekkofuro” and only one person can enter inside. It’s rare to use big trees for hot spring pools so the aroma of tree will definitely fascinate you and you can spend a long time in this bath. Water type: Thermal sulfuric hot spring Temperature of the freely-flowing hot spring: 95 degrees
Many of the 14 hot spring pools in Nakabusa Onsen are gender-mixed. In this article I introduced some historical ones and some open-nature baths where you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the sky above you. Some of them are closed in the evenings for cleaning so check in advance when to enter.
All the hot springs use freely-flowing water without any added temperature. While some of them are gender-mixed they’re still suitable for women, so everyone can freely enjoy the pleasure of soaking in a freely-flowing hot spring.
Address: Nagano prefecture, Azumino city, Hodaka-Ariake 7226 Telephone: 0263-77-1488 Hot springs type: Thermal sulfuric hot springs