Shima Onsen 四万温泉
Relax and revive your body and mind
Being the first hot spring in Japan to receive accreditation for providing health benefits, you are sure to feel better after soaking here.
The onsen was created in 989
Shima means 40,000, referring to the number of ailments the hot spring water is said to heal
How to Get There
Shima Onsen is about three hours from Tokyo by train and bus.
From Tokyo, take the JR Joetsu/Hokuriku Shinkansen (50 minutes) to Takasaki . Change to the JR Agatsuma Line (55 minutes) to Nakanojo Station. From there, it's a 40-minute bus to Shima Onsen.
It's in the water
The water is soft and easy on the skin. It is said to have a beneficial effect on digestive diseases, nerve pain, and skin problems. If you are there for only a short time, take advantage of the free foot baths, public baths, and drinkable springs available in various places.
Other than the health benefits of the water, one of the more appealing aspects of Shima Onsen is the location's quiet, nostalgic charm. Deep in nature, you can enjoy the sound of gushing water and birds in the trees. This ambiance adds to the relaxing experience.
There are many unique ryokan and hotels to stay overnight at in Shima Onsen. However, one in particular, Sekizenkan ryokan, has drawn a lot of attention due to its connection to the Academy Award-winning animated movie "Spirited Away." This ryokan is Japan's oldest operational hot spring building, opening its doors in 1691, and served as a model for the famous film.
You can appreciate the ryokan from the bridge, or you can wander inside, bathe in the Romanesque-style baths, and try to imagine all of the historical figures who may have done the same.