## Mountaintop hot springs in Japan's Northern Alps with skiing and hiking nearby
Once a secluded secret, Shin-Hotaka Onsen has become an onsen resort popular with hikers, skiers, and anyone seeking escape from Japan's busy cities. Unwind at this resort high in Japan's Northern Alps.
Shin-Hotaka Onsen is most easily accessed from JR Takayama Station.
From JR Takayama Station, Shin-Hotaka Onsen is one of five onsen towns connected by bus: Hirayu, Fukuji, Shin-Hirayu, Tochio, and Shin-Hotaka. Shin-Hotaka, the most remote of the five, sits at the highest elevation.
High on a plateau in the Northern Alps and deep in a white birch forest sits one of the most picturesque places to relax in Japan. Stay overnight in one of the many hotels with indoor and outdoor baths for guests or take a day trip and enjoy the many public baths available.
There are many notable baths at Shin-Hotaka Onsen. Suimeikan Karukaya boasts a mixed outdoor bath (swimwear required). Yarimikan Hotel gives visitors access to their riverside baths during the day.
Shin-Hotakanoyu has a bath as large as a swimming pool with pebbles strewn across the floor of the bath so you can massage the soles of your feet.
The nearby Shin-Hotaka Ropeway can take you even higher into the mountains. The ropeway is divided into two parts, with the second ropeway using a double-decker gondola.
The climb is over 1000 meters, and the upper station rests at an elevation of around 2150 meters. If you are an experienced hiker, you will enjoy having access to some serious trails that lead across the Alps and into Kamikochi Valley.