Local Train Station: Bessho Onsen From Tokyo: From Tokyo Station, take the shinkansen to Ueda station. From Ueda station, take the local train on the Ueda Bessho line and get off at Bessho Onsen. From there, a shuttle can take you to the ryokan, or one can walk. Travel Time: Tokyo to Ueda, 1 hr 40 min. Ueda to Bessho Onsen, 30 min. Total travel time approx. 2 hrs 10 minutes.
Price: Rates start at Y15,000 (including breakfast and dinner). The ryokan has 20 rooms. Days Closed: None Day Visit Option: Y1,000 (11:00am - 9:00pm) Credit Cards: Yes
Onsen Specifics: Two indoor baths (one for men and one for women). Three outdoor baths (one for men, one for women, one mixed). Three smaller baths that be reserved -- perfect for families and couples. Water Good For: Skin problems, stomach problems, womens' problems, burns, skin problems, nervous disorders, diabetes, fatigue. Water Composition: Hydrogen sulfide
Kashiwaya Besso is almost 100 years old and has a storied history, the most prominant chapter being that it was a favorite retreat of two well-known Japanese authors, Yasunari Kawabata (a Nobel Prize winner) and Naoya Shiga. In fact, the rooms that these writers used have been preserved in their original style (but unfortunately are not rented out to guests). Even today, the ryokan remains a favorite with writers.
The inn has been recently upgraded, but the old main building is still in use.
One item that western visitors may find appealing -- all rooms have a private bath and toilet.
Also, guests can rent a cottage in the ryokan's garden, an azalia-filled, three acre-sized expanse.
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