Local Train Station: Shin-Shimashima From Tokyo: From Tokyo's Shinjuku Station take the Limited Express on the JR Chuo Honsen Line. From Matsumoto take the Matsumoto Dentetsu Kamikochi Line to Shin-shimashima Station. Then take the Matsumoto Dentetsu bus to either Odakimae or to the Awanoyu Onsen Ryokan. Travel Time: From Tokyo to Matsumoto, 2 hrs 40 minutes. From Matsumotot to Shin-shimashima, 30 minutes. The bus to Odakimae is 40 minutes. To Awanoyu Onsen Ryokan, the bus ride is 55 minutes. Total travel time is approx. 5 hrs.
Price: Rates start at Y26,000 (including breakfast and dinner). Days Closed: None Day Visit Option: Y700 (10:30am - 1:30pm) Credit Cards: None accepted
Onsen Specifics: Two outdoor baths, one large mixed bath and a regular sized women-only bath. Two indoor baths, one for men, the other for women. Water Good For: Stomach ulcers, rheumatism, neuralgia, skin problems. Water Composition: Caladium, magnesium
Shirahone Onsen means white bone hot springs. The ryokan opened in 1912, and in spite of being remodeled in 1994, has kept most of it's original style. The ryokan is located in the upper part of town, so the views are especially good. Its huge outdoor pool is especially attractive, located among the trees. No need to worry about the color of the water (yes, it is white), as the color comes from the high amount of caladium and magnesium.
[Thanks to JNTO for use of the above photos.]
One onsen commentator says, "because this onsen is famous, maybe too famous, it is difficult to find any peace and quiet. So we visited on a weekday, in the early morning, in the winter, so there were no people. The outdoor baths were surrounded by snow. It was just beautiful."
Another writes, "The outdoor bath is huge and excellent, but the ryokan is not really worth staying in. Although the ryokan kas kept its original image and structure, the front door was automatic!"
[No one has commented on this onsen yet. Be the first by using the link below].