Local Train Station: Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi From Tokyo: From Ueno Station, take the JR shin tokkyu Kusatsu line and get off at Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi station. From there, take a bus toward Hanayashiki onsen, and get off at that stop (the last stop). The ryokan is a 10-minute walk away.
Travel Time: From Ueno to Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi station, 3 hrs 20 minutes. From Naganohara Kasatsu-guchi to Hanayashiki onsen, 35 minutes. Then, a ten-minute walk. Total travel time is approx. 4 hrs and 5 minutes.
Price: Rates start at Y10,000 (including breakfast and dinner). The ryokan has only 16 rooms. Days Closed: None Day Visit Option: Y500 (1:00pm - 2:30pm)
Onsen Specifics: Two outdoor baths, one for men and one for women. Two indoor baths, one for men and one for women. Two small family (mixed) baths. Water Good For: Nervous disorders, muscle pain, fatigue, joint pain. Water Composition: Sulfate sodium
Sekisei-kan Bekkan is another of those rare onsen in Japan where the water is fed directly from the source to the bathing springs. Here, 336 gallons of water rush into the baths every minute. The hot water comes from the source, circulates onece in the bath, then flows into the river nearby. Since the ryokan is located in a quiet location full of atmosphere, the ryokan attracts many repeat visitors.
The area has a number of free and natural outdoor onsen, so while staying at Sekisei-kan Bekkan, consider taking advantage of those other onsen nearby. Incidently, the biggest natural onsen in the vicinity is located in the middle of the adjacent river. A dam collects the hot water and creates a small pool.
Remember, when you stay at Sekisei-kan Bekkan, there is hiking and nature watching at your front door. Don't forget to enjoy the beauty all around you.
[Thanks to Mr. Nakanishi for use of the above photos.]
The ryokan's food is worth noting in that it's made up primarily of local produce. Also, if you fancy a room with a private bathroom, only two of the ryokan's rooms have private facilities -- so make your request for one early.
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