Relax, Unwind & Indulge at Uruoikan Hot Spring
Around 10 minutes walk from Hotel Kokusai 21, Susobanakyo Hot Spring Uruoikan, more simply known just as ‘Uruoikan’, is Nagano City’s only natural ‘onsen’ (hot spring). Open every day of the year from 06:00 to 09:00 and 10:00 to 23:00, Uruoikan features multiple baths in both indoor and outdoor hot springs including hot, cold and spa baths.
They have a total of 5 different baths – 2 outdoor, 2 indoor and 1 foot bath. As is standard, the onsen is segregated by gender. Two outdoor onsen – called ‘Shiroiwa-no-Yu’ and ‘Ryusen-no-Yu’ – have different facilities attached to them and are rotated for use, allowing men and women to enjoy them on different days of the week. ‘Shiroiwa-no-Yu’ has a Korean-style sauna, a waterfall that streams down ones back, a whirlpool, and a mist sauna. The Shiroiwa-no-Yu baths are open to men and women on different days:
— Men: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, every second and fourth Sunday
— Women: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, every first, third, and fifth Sunday
‘Ryusen-no-Yu’ has a high-temperature sauna, a onsen with lying facilities, a waterfall that streams down ones back, a Korean-style sauna (for which you need a gown to wear, available against extra fee). The Ryusen-no-Yu baths are open to men and women on different days:
— Men: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, every first, third, and fifth Sunday
— Women: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, every second and fourth Sunday
The two outdoor baths are separate for men and women and the two indoor baths can be rent privately for an extra fee of JPY1500 for 60 minutes. Uruoikan has a restaurant on the second floor, open daily from 10:00 to 22:00. The restaurant overlooks the river and cliffs and offers Japanese favourites including ramen, soba and katsu curry. A small cafeteria and bakery are on the first floor, also serving coffee and ice cream. The cafeteria is open from 7:00 to 22:00.
To get there from Kokusai 21, exit via the lobby, cross the road and walk straight ahead. Within a couple of minutes you’ll come to another road, turn to your left and walk straight ahead until you see the hot spring on your left – around 10 minutes walk from the hotel.
Dip Into Japan’s Celebrated Onsen Culture
There are many reasons to fall in love with Japan and without a doubt, indulging in a natural hot spring is one of them! In Japanese, the world ‘onsen’ refers to natural hot springs that occur naturally throughout the country. To qualify as an onsen, it must be a naturally occurring source of hot water, mineral water or water vapour, with a subterranean source, a minimum temperature of 25C and at least one of nineteen mineral elements. There are thousands of onsen dotted across Japan, identified by the onsen symbol – ♨ – or the character for ‘hot water’, pronounced ‘yu’ – 湯. Onsen play a fundamental role in Japanese society, with many Japanese attending an onsen every week if not every day.
Onsen Etiquette: Do’s, Don’ts & Benefits
For many Japanese, onsen is a regular (if not daily) activity, something th…
For more information, see our ‘Onsen in Japan’ main page including everything you need to know to enjoy the hot springs, onsen etiquette, the benefits of onsen, where to find the best ones and more!