Shinshu ・ Togura Kamiyamada Onsen信州・戸倉上山田温泉
Since its opening in 1903, the Togura Kamiyamada hot springs became known as a stopping point along the return journey from Zenko-ji Temple for pilgrims ready to break shojin-otoshi, their abstinence from meat, fish, alcohol and other delights. Nagano Prefecture is home to numerous hot springs, but Togura Kamiyamada has been chosen by experts as one of Japan’s top 100 onsen towns. The water, known as bihaku no yu, or “lightening water,” is both refreshing and nourishing, and relaxes body and mind. While not a large town, it is still a charming home to old-fashioned shooting galleries, foot baths, and local merchants; and the whole town seems to be bathed in the scent of the hot springs. You’re sure to love wandering to the different baths in a yukata robe and geta sandals.
We at Ogiwarakan respect the spirit of omotenashi (御母手成志), or Japanese hospitality. We write the word with characters meaning “mother (母)” and “hand （手）;” and like a mother’s hand, omotenashi is all about acting with kindness and warmth. We have created an atmosphere where you can relax as though you are at home, but also enjoy the luxuries that Ogiwarakan has to offer. In the spirit of the original “ryokan (旅館) “of Japan, our staff assists guests with information about the building, meals, and more. We also happily provide guidance at the front desk with PCs and tablets. Should you have specific sightseeing plans, feel free to ask us about directions and ask any other questions you may have. We are excited to make your trip to Japan an unforgettable one!
Togura Kamiyamada is home to more than 50 springs, 9 of which are located at Ogiwarakan. Our springs produce a large amount of water, and the color of the water sometimes changes within the same day. The bihaku no yu, or “lightening water” leaves skin feeling both refreshed and moisturized, and is a signature of the onsen at our hotel, and a treasure we hold dear. There are two large baths and two outdoor baths (separated by gender), continuously filled with running water direct from the source. The outdoor baths are available for private rental for free on weekdays; do not hesitate to ask about renting a bath for your trip.
Chikuma: women’s outdoor bath
Arato: men’s outdoor bath
Hinoki-buro: women’s large indoor bath
Iwa-buro: men’s large indoor bath
We prepare traditional kaiseki cuisine using fresh, local ingredients. Featuring seasonal delicacies from land and sea, our chef’s skill is present in each and every dish. We also serve Nagano specialties with river fish such as Shinshu salmon and carp. Our most famous offering, a simmered dish called Koi no Uma-ni, is made with carp, long known as a fish with nourishing and medicinal uses, and simmered until soft in soy sauce and sugar (pictured above left). Please don’t hesitate to let us know in advance if you have any allergies or other food restrictions. We are unable to provide halal or vegan cooking, but are happy to accommodate vegetarians and ask that they share dietary details (meat, eggs, dairy, etc.) with our staff.