Relax in a Hot Spring Above the Clouds at this Onsen Retreat in Nagano

  • Have you ever heard of the onsen (温泉; hot spring) in the clouds? Takamine Onsen (高峰温泉) is 2000 meters above sea level and offers a vast view of the surrounding nature while allowing you to soak in its blissful hot spring water from the Asama Mountains (浅間山).

    Though located in a rural area where everyday services and shops are not that convenient, the staff members make sure to take care of all your needs. It gives everyone a chance to have a pleasurable stay while enjoying the scenery. Let’s learn more about this “onsen in the clouds”.

    About the Hot Spring

    Takamine Onsen is a traditional type of ryokan that is located in Obuse, Nagano (長野県小布施町). Its location is quite far from any big city, so it is best for people who love trekking and walking on their vacations. It is situated in an area where one can enjoy an authentic hot spring experience.

    The onsen consists of 23 Japanese-style rooms. It has a dining area and a natural gas fireplace room where you can stay warm during the colder season. Its hot spring water is believed to have medicinal properties that can help cure diseases, and guests can drink from it if they wish. You can help yourself to a cup of onsen water anytime!

    There are indoor and outdoor hot spring baths to choose from. The indoor baths are made of comfortable Japanese cypress and the outdoor baths give you the chance to bathe with the fresh air and enjoy a great view of the mountains. The open-air bath, however, is small and can accommodate up to only four people. This is often described as bathing in heaven as it gives one a splendid view of the beautiful sky and clouds.

    “Bathing Above the Clouds”

    The onsen offers a panoramic view all year round. This view shifts not only seasonally but also from sunrise to sunset. Each season is distinctively unique from the rest. Summer will allow you to see the verdant forests while autumn will let you witness the fiery red foliage. It gives guests a wonderful experience when soaking in open-air tubs.

    The ladies’ communal bath is called “The Four Seasons Hot Spring” while the men’s is called “Takamine Hot Spring.” It is important to wash your body before soaking in the onsen and avoid using shampoo and soap, as this allows the water to be continuously preserved. What’s also great about the place is that body art is welcome, which is quite unusual for Japanese hot springs.

    Other than bathing, you may also partake in Takamine Onsen’s nature tours such as cross-country skiing and snowshoe trekking. You can also hike along the Asama Mountain range or stargaze through telescopes at night.

    If you’re on the lookout for a natural way of relieving yourself from stress, visiting Takamine Onsen is one of the best options for you! Do make sure to visit the place when the weather is fine so you get to enjoy the other tours and activities offered there. Take a trip to Nagano and enjoy soaking in a hot spring among the clouds!

    Takamine Onsen website