Shibu Onsen Area
Located between Yudanaka Onsen and the Jigokudani Monkey Park, Shibu Onsen boasts at 1300-year history and numerous guesthouses. Most have their own in-house onsen and many even have their own source, making their water and claimed healing properties unique to that guesthouse.
While Shibu is showing its age, its small laneways, historic buildings and nine ‘public’ bathhouses imbue the town with loads of charm. While most guesthouse also offer both dinner and breakfast, Shibu Onsen has some excellent restaurants and a couple of welcoming bars. Most famously, Shibu has nine ‘public’ onsen reserved for use by hotel guests and local residents – with each small bathhouse claiming unique healing properties.
From Shibu Onsen, guests can take the local bus – under 5 minutes – or walk – between 20 to 30 minutes – to the monkey park. Many guesthouses will also offer to transport guests to and from the park. Local buses also run to and from Shiga Kogen – Japan’s largest ski resort – and Joshinetsu Kogen National Park throughout the year.
Shibu Onsen boasts the greatest concentration of guesthouses in the wuder Yamanouchi Area. Always enjoyable, staying during the winter peak season, during the summer holidays and festivals, and for the autumn leaves are when Shibu really comes into its own.