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Shibu Onsen, Nagano: Video Introduction

This video, titled "Walking Around Shibu Onsen Hot Spring" (渋温泉の街並 : Walking Around Shibu Onsen Hot Spring), was uploaded by "Anna Film Production."

The video features the streets of Shibu Onsen at night, accompanied by quiet music. Enjoy 9 minutes and 30 seconds of wonderful video that will make you feel as though you've traveled back in time.

Features of Shibu Onsen, a Hot Spring in Nagano Prefecture

Image of Shibu Onsen, Nagano Prefecture
Photo:Shibu Onsen, Nagano Prefecture

Shibu Onsen is a hot spring town located in Yamanouchi, Nagano, in Japan's Koshin'etsu region.
It is said to have been one of the models for the internationally acclaimed animated film Spirited Away. The world illuminated by streetlights is an otherworldly place with a retro atmosphere. The atmospheric buildings and alleys are also very impressive.

Shibu Onsen is a place where there are so many hot springs, that it's said that if you dig into the ground, hot water will start emerging immediately. It's also known as Gensen Oukoku (源泉王国, lit. "Kingdom of Hot Spring Sources") and boasts an abundance of hot springs with excellent quality, a rarity even in Nagano Prefecture. All ryokan and outdoor baths in Shibu feature 100% free-flowing hot-spring water. Each source has a different composition, with brownish, iron-rich water, cloudy water, greenish water, and clear, colorless water, allowing visitors to enjoy a variety of colors and hot spring qualities.

One of the attractions of Shibu Onsen is that visitors can both stay overnight or stop by during their travels for a one-day bathing experience and enjoy the footbaths.

Experience Pure Bliss With a Tour of 9 Popular Hot Springs

Image of Hatsuyu, Shibu Onsen
Photo:Hatsuyu, Shibu Onsen

Shibu Onsen has nine outdoor hot springs that are used by the locals. Here are the names and benefits of each.

No. 1 [Hatsuyu] Benefits: Good for the stomach
No. 2 [Sasa no yu] Benefits: Good for eczema
No. 3 [Wata no yu]: Benefits: Good for cuts, pimples, and promotes fertility
No. 4 [Take no yu] Benefits: Good for gout
No. 5 [Matsu no yu] Benefits: Good for spinal diseases
No. 6 [Mearai no yu] Benefits: Good for eye diseases
No. 7 [Nanakuri no yu] Benefits: Good for disorders related to emotional trauma
No. 8 [Shinmeidaki no yu] Benefits: Good for women's diseases
No. 9 [Shibu Oyu] Benefits: Good for childbirth, rheumatism, neuralgia

If you stay at an inn in Shibu Onsen, you can borrow a special key that allows you to visit the nine outdoor hot springs for free. (For those visiting on a day-trip, only the 9th outdoor hot spring can be used).

You can also collect stamps at each location on a special tenugui towel, and after doing so, if you pay a visit to Shibutaka Yakushi located at the top of 78 stone steps, it's said that your wishes will come true. It's also said to protect you from bad luck, provide blessings of safe child rearing, and bring you eternal youth.

Events at Shibu Onsen

Some of these events have been cancelled in recent years, but here is a partial list of events held at Shibu Onsen.

● Firefly Appreciation Party (蛍鑑賞会, Hotaru Kanshokai)
This event allows visitors to view genji fireflies at Ishinoyu in Shiga Kogen by bus from Shibu Onsen. The fantastic atmosphere is enhanced by the light of the fireflies.

● Shibu Onsen Summer Festival Pedestrian Paradise (渋温泉夏祭り歩行者天国, Shibu Onsen Natsu Matsuri Hokosha Tengoku)
This event is held every day from mid to late August. The cobblestone streets are closed to traffic and visitors can walk through the retro Showa-era streets while enjoying a variety of events.

● Charity Lantern Festival (チャリティー万灯会, Charity Manto-kai)
A charity event held in May. Visitors light cup candles with their wishes written on them on the stone steps. The long staircase, beautifully illuminated, is a great photo spot and is sure to look good on Instagram as well.

Summary of Shibu Onsen

Image of Shibu Onsen, Nagano Prefecture
Photo:Shibu Onsen, Nagano Prefecture

As the model for the film Spirited Away, Shibu Onsen has a fantastic atmosphere.

While walking through the streets of Shibu Onsen, visitors can enjoy onsen manju (hot spring buns), onsen tamago (hot spring eggs), and even shooting galleries. If you're tired from sightseeing, you can stop by for a footbath or enjoy the hot springs on a day-trip. If you want to enjoy the hot springs and do some sightseeing in the area, you can also book a relaxing stay at an inn.

Experience the historic atmosphere of Shibu Onsen. When sightseeing in Nagano, be sure to stop by and enjoy a visit to the nine wonderful hot springs.

【Official Website】Shibu Onsen

【TripAdvisor】Shibu Onsen

Written By
Last Updated : Dec. 27, 2022
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels
Shibu Onsen - The Model for the Hot Springs in Spirited Away! Explore the Fantastic Atmosphere of the Hot Springs in Nagano, Japan at Night via Video!
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