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Watching the Sea of Clouds From an Open-Air Bath in Niigata’s Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen!

Watching the Sea of Clouds From an Open-Air Bath in Niigata’s Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen!
Miki
Miki
Published

From the open-air bath of the Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel you can see a wide panorama which includes Niigata prefecture’s Tokamachi city and the surrounding terraced rice fields. As the name of the hotel suggests, you can actually enjoy a sea of clouds beneath you. In spring and autumn when the temperature amplitude changes a lot during the day the chance to see the sea of clouds is much higher. It’s one of a kind experience to watch them from an open-air bath! Let me introduce Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel where you can enjoy the mystical sea of clouds!

The best place to watch is in the open-air bath!

watching the sea of clouds from an open-air bath in niigata’s matsudai shibatoge onsen! | the best place to watch is in the open-air bath!

In Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel you can see the sea of clouds from everywhere – from the rooms, the lobby or the open-air bath. The best time is during sunrise. Once the sun goes up, the clouds gradually disappear, so they can be seen mostly during the morning. Especially the early morning dawn with its divine light is the ideal time to observe this natural wonder. 
The best place to watch is of course the open-air bath where you can warm up your body and soul. You’ll never forget this view in your life! Wake up a little earlier than usual and go to the open-air bath. 



However, please be aware that day trip guests cannot see the sea of clouds in the morning (the time for day trip visits is between 10 am and 8 pm in summer and 10 am and 7 pm in winter). If you stay overnight you can go to have a bath as early as 6 am and you’ll be able to see the natural miracle. This is a privilege for guests of the hotel only.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan

Will you see the clouds or not?... It depends on your luck

watching the sea of clouds from an open-air bath in niigata’s matsudai shibatoge onsen! | will you see the clouds or not?... it depends on your luck

The sea of clouds is a miraculous happening. In fact, they consist of the mist coming from Shibumi River which flows through Tokamachi city. The mist rises at night and gradually turns into clouds. By the morning the clouds are already quite thick and cover everything in white like a sea! This is why they’re called a sea of clouds. 



Whether you’ll see them or not depends on the weather and the season. Maybe it’s a good omen to see the clouds and this will make you excited about the future! In general they appear most often in spring and autumn, but sometimes in winter too. 



How to reach Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel: If you come by car, take Kanetsu Highway and get off at Muikamachi IC. Drive along National Route 253 for about an hour and you will reach Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel. The parking lot is free and has 70 spaces. The access by car is convenient.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan

There are many photo events and places to see the sea of clouds from!

watching the sea of clouds from an open-air bath in niigata’s matsudai shibatoge onsen! | there are many photo events and places to see the sea of clouds from!

As the sun rises high the clouds gradually disappear but you can still see them until around 9 am. For example, you can drink your morning coffee or read a newspaper and watch the sea of clouds. This experience is one of the highlights of Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel!

There are some photo spots in the corridor, but you can also go outside and wait to see the clouds undisturbed by the glass of the windows.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan

This hotel is only an hour away from Japan Sea so the food is fresh and delicious

watching the sea of clouds from an open-air bath in niigata’s matsudai shibatoge onsen! | this hotel is only an hour away from japan sea so the food is fresh and delicious

Niigata prefecture is known for delicious rice and fish. Matsudai Shibatoge Hotel is located just an hour away from Japan Sea, so the food here is always fresh and nice. The vegetables are picked in the morning and have a fresh rich taste. You’ll be served mountain plants and mushrooms that you’ve never seen before. Here you can taste natural food that is hard to find at other places.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan

Be sure to check the terraced rice fields along the slopes of the mountains

be sure to check the terraced rice fields along the slopes of the mountains

There are many terraced snow fields on the slopes of the mountains around Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel. When they’re covered by the soft white of the clouds they look mystical as if a divine being will come out of them! Ask the hotel staff if you want to take a photo of the rice fields. For a small fee they will guide you to the best photo spots. 


See our full list of recommended Hotels in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Niigata, Niigata (prefecture), Japan

About Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen’s hot spring

There are open-air baths as well as indoor baths in Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen hotel. From the open-air baths you can see as far as Mt Naeba in the distance.

The hot spring is rich in sodium chloride. It has a good moisturizing effect on the skin and you’ll feel just perfect after a bath. The temperature of the original source is only 27.3 degrees, so it’s warmed up. 


Matsudai Shibatoge Onsen’s hot spring is not a freely-flowing one, but instead uses circulation. Usually this means the water is used for many purposes which could be a demerit, but here it comes in contact with the clean air so much that it turns into a naturally filtered hot spring. It’s rich in minerals and very good for the health. But don’t stay too long in the water to avoid dizziness and too much pressure on the skin.



The best feature is the panorama view to the magnificent sea of clouds! Come here before sunrise, wait for the clouds and forget about stress upon seeing the wonderful view. This is the ideal relaxation for people with busy daily lives.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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