Day trip bathing travel journals to hot springs where we visited by train and bus

Yatsugatake-meito Karasawa-kosen

Yatsugatake-meito Karasawa-kosen

4733-1, Toyohira, Chino City, Nagano Pref.

Under the plants rooted in the rocks around the bathtub, healing the fatigue of climbing Yatsugatake with a rare carbon dioxide spring in Japan

Karasawa-kosen bathtub
Karasawa-kosen pelting water Karasawa-kosen exterior Karasawa-kosen restaurant

The spring quality is carbon dioxide spring which is rare in Japan, and is said to have blood circulation promoting and beautiful skin effects. Yunohana is dancing in a bathtub filled with hot water containing slightly carbonated, sour and iron tastes.

Even though it is indoor bath, on the rocks around the bathtub are moss-grown and ferns grow large. And hot water falls down from over 3 meters (10 ft) of large rocks. If you soak in this lukewarm water, it is as if you are leaving yourself in the wilderness of Yatsugatake.

Located in Yatsugatake Quasi-National Park, it is convenient for starting and ending Yatsugatake mountain climbing. Unlike the conventional concept of a mountain hut, it is a clean and well-maintained building. The colorful dried flowers decorate the corridor and dining room, and are popular with female customers.

Location

Rating of access

0.0 pt(from Shinjuku)

→ How to rate access train

Area / Railway

Koshinetsu Region
Nagano Pref.

JR Chuo Line

onsen

Route from Tokyo (Shinjuku)
  • Shinjuku Sta. Keio: 1 hr Keio Line ¥ 370
  • Takao Sta.JR: 2 hrs 50 min Chuo Line ¥ 2,640
  • Chino Sta. (East exit)Walk: 5 hrs 18.7 km (11.6 mi) Difference in elevation: 1073 m (3520 ft)
  • Karasawa-kosen
Route from Tokyo (Shinjuku)
  • Shinjuku Sta.JR: 3 hrs 50 min Chuo Line ¥ 3,410
  • Chino Sta. (West exit) ALPICO Kotsu Bus: 51 min Oku-tateshina Shibunoyu Line ¥ 1,200
  • Shibunoyu Bus Stop (Mountain path) Walk: 1 hr 2 km (1.2 mi) Max difference in elevation: 124 m (407 ft)
  • Karasawa-kosen
Route from Tokyo (Shinjuku)
  • Shinjuku Sta.JR express: 2 hrs 20 min Azusa etc. Reserved seat¥ 5,650
  • Chino Sta. (West exit) ALPICO Kotsu Bus: 45 min Oku-tateshina Shibunoyu Line ¥ 1,150
  • Tatsunokanmae Bus Stop (Mountain path) Walk: 1 hr 15 min 3.2 km (2 mi) Max difference in elevation: 189 m (620 ft)
  • Karasawa-kosen
Route from Tokyo (Shinjuku)
  • Shinjuku Sta. (New South Gate) Walk: 2 min
  • Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal Expressway bus: 2 hrs 10 min Kofu Ryuo Line ¥ 2,200
  • Kofu Sta.JR: 1 hr 05 min Chuo Line ¥ 1,170
  • Chino Sta. (West exit) ALPICO Kotsu Bus: 23 min Oku-tateshina Shibunoyu Line or MARCHEN Kaido Bus or Tateshina Kogen Round Bus ¥ 640
  • Hiromi Bus StopWalk: 2 hrs 50 min 8.9 km (5.5 mi) Difference in elevation: 725 m (2379 ft)
  • Karasawa-kosen
Route from Tokyo (Shinjuku)
  • Shinjuku Sta. (New South Gate) Walk: 2 min
  • Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal Expressway bus: 3 hrs 29 min Tateshina Line ¥ 3,900
  • Eksiv Tateshina Bus Stop Walk: 1 hr 30 min (via Hiyayama Iriguchi Bus Stop) 6.1 km (3.8 mi) Max difference in elevation: 196 m (643 ft)
  • Tatsunokanmae Bus Stop (Mountain path) Walk: 1 hr 15 min 3.2 km (2 mi) Max difference in elevation: 189 m (620 ft)
  • Karasawa-kosen
Route from Tokyo (Shinjuku)
  • Shinjuku Sta. (New South Gate) Walk: 2 min
  • Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal Expressway bus: 2 hrs 45 min Suwa Okaya Line ¥ 3,200
  • Chuodo Chino Bus StopTaxi: 40 min about ¥ 7,900
    19.5 km (12.1 mi)
  • Karasawa-kosen
Routes from Tokyo
  • Shinjuku
  • Keio
  • Takao
  • JR
  • Chino
  • Walk
  • hot spring
  • 8 hrs 50 min ¥ 3,010

  • Shinjuku
  • JR
  • Chino
  • Bus
  • Shibunoyu
  • Walk
  • hot spring
  • 5 hrs 41 min ¥ 4,610

  • Shinjuku
  • JR express
  • Chino
  • Bus
  • Tatsunokanmae
  • Walk
  • hot spring
  • 4 hrs 20 min ¥ 6,800

  • Shinjuku
  • Expressway bus
  • Kofu
  • JR
  • Chino
  • Bus
  • Hiromi
  • Walk
  • hot spring
  • 6 hrs 30 min ¥ 4,010

  • Shinjuku
  • Expressway bus
  • Eksiv Tateshina
  • Walk
  • hot spring
  • 6 hrs 16 min ¥ 3,900

  • Shinjuku
  • Expressway bus
  • Chuodo Chino
  • Taxi
  • hot spring
  • 3 hrs 27 min ¥ 11,100

  • The fare of JR Express is "Basic fare" plus "Express charge". (These are determined according to the distance.) In case of JR Express on Chuo Line, "Express charge" has two types: "Reserved seat" and "Undecided seat". Both have the same charge, which do not change depending on the season. However, the price will vary depending on where you buy (Internet < Station < Inside the car). If you have an "Undecided seat" ticket, you can sit in any vacant seat, but you have no priority. So, if someone comes who has a "Reserved seat" ticket for the seat you are sitting, you have to give up the seat to him / her.
  • ALPICO Kotsu route buses often operate only during certain seasons or on specific days.
    bus route Summer timetable [PDF] Winter timetable [PDF]
    Kita Yatsugatake Ropeway Line Apr. 25, 2020 - Nov. 5, 2019 -
    Oku-tateshina Shibunoyu Line Apr. 25, 2020 - Nov. 5, 2019 -
    Mugikusa Toge Line Jul. 18 - Oct. 18, 2020 No service
    MARCHEN Kaido Bus Apr. 25, 2020 - Nov. 5, 2019 -
    Tateshina Kogen Round Bus Jul. 18 - Oct. 25, 2020 No service
    Chino City Bus Koizumi Sugesawa Line Full year (Tue. Fri) Oct. 3, 2016 -
    Chino City Bus Nakaoshio Itokaya Line Full year (Mon. Wed. Thu) Oct. 1, 2018 -
    Chino City Bus Kitaoshio Tateshina Line Full year (Tue. Fri) Oct. 1, 2018 -
  • The route from Shibunoyu Bus Stop and Tatsunokanmae Bus Stop is a mountain path. You cannot walk with sandals or high heels, and it may be also difficult with sneakers. It is dangerous to walk in bad weather or after evening. The distance from the Shibunoyu Bus Stop is short, but if you want to stop at Happodai on the way, it's better to go from the Tatsunokanmae Bus Stop. In both cases, please walk the mountain path at your own risk.
  • Hiromi Bus Stop is right next to "Garden Kitchen POAN".
  • JR Chino Station is about 1.2 km (0.7 mi) from the Chuodo Chino Bus Stop on the Chuo Expressway. The Expressway Bus Suwa Okaya Line has some buses to Chino Station, and they will arrive there at night.
  • The above fares are based on cash. When using an IC card, the fares may differ slightly.
  • The above times and distances are approximate. Does not include transfering or waiting times.

How to get to Karasawa-kosen

(Directions from Shibunoyu Bus Stop)
  1. Go back a few tens of meters along the road where the bus came from the bus stop. Enter the moutain path at the sign of "Karasawa-kosen / Happodai".
  2. Be careful not to deviate from the path, and go straight along the path. The crossroad on the way also go straight. (About 40 minutes to the crossroad)
  3. Reach to the Karasawa-kosen parking lot

bus stop: bus stop

Map and bus stop of Yatsugatake Karasawa-kosen in Nagano Prefecture

Click the map to open Google Map

Travel journal of day trip bathing to hot spring

Characters

Nishi-san
Nishi-san
He is an orthodox hot springs lover and particular about quality of springs. He loves the hot springs flowing from the source, the hot water with a presence, and the rustic atmosphere.
Kita-san
Kita-san
He doesn't care much about quality of hot springs. He loves the open-air bath, and prefers hot springs that have visible features such as good views.

(→ Continuation from Oku-tateshina Onsen Shibu Gotenyu)
In the morning, Nishi-san and Kita-san enjoyed Shibu Gotenyu. Next, they head to "Karasawa-kosen", the inn located at starting point for Yatsugatake climbing. Even though saying "starting point for Yatsugatake climbing", the two will not to climb Yatsugatake, their plan is only taking a bath. Of course, they don't have any equipment for climbing ...

Well, the path to Karasawa-kosen should be around here ...

Entrance of the mountain path to Karasawa-kosen

Entrance of the mountain path to Karasawa-kosen

... Hey, maybe ... this ...?

... Yeah, there's a sign, no doubt.

Are you serious? Is this the way? Do you think we can go?

We've come this far, have to go.

The two step into the mountain path.

Karasawa-kosen is located at an altitude of 1,870 m (6,135 ft). During the winter season (mid January to early April) it will be closed due to snow.

Mountain path to Karasawa-kosen

Mountain path to Karasawa-kosen

That's definitely a mountain path.

Right. But the weather is fine, in short, it's a little walk in a mountain.

True. It seems no problem unless twisting my foot. By the way, how far do we climb? To the top of Yatsugatake?

No, we won't go to the top of Yatsugatake, unless we mistake the path.

Fortunately, they did not go to the top of Yatsugatake and the path turned downhill.

But, it's so quiet. I feel clear my head. It's not bad to climb a mountain, you know.

No bus runs on Karasawa Road where Karasawa-kosen is located. So, in case of you use the bus to get to, it is common to go through the mountain path from Shibunoyu Bus Stop or Tatsunokan-mae Bus Stop.

Oh? Sounds of water. Is there a brook around here?

Probably it's Kara-sawa.

Oh, I see. Which means, already close to?

The path ends at the Karasawa-kosen parking lot. They have finally arrived at the destination.

Karasawa-kosen exterior

Exterior

Now, we've arrived! I was a little tired, but pretty interesting. ... Oh, Karasawa-kosen is bigger and better than I thought. I thought it was a beat-up hut.

Exactly. It has a really fancy appearance.

The inside is ... it's pretty beautiful. Is it still new?

I heard it was a popular inn for female customers, it makes sense. It looks clean.

They go straight to head to the bathing room of Karasawa-kosen after reception.

Karasawa-kosen bathtub

Bathtub

Oh, the windows are big and bright!

It's not an open-air bath, but it feels like connected to the outside. The atmosphere is so good.

A small bathtub near the entrance is lukewarm, and a large bathtub is normal temperature. Nishi-san gets into the small one and Kita-san choose the large.

Karasawa-kosen small bathtub

Small bathtub (lukewarm)

Oh, the hot water comes out from underneath ... Oh? cold water comes out too. Maybe, the cold one is the source, and the hot is a circulation with heating ...

Because "kosen", the source is cold, right?

You're right. The fact that this bathtub is lukewarm may mean that the proportion of the source is higher. And, it looks like has more yunohana too.

I see. But this large one is good too. The grasses or trees planting on this rock makes good feeling. Flowers are blooming too. I wonder that growing from this rock ...

Karasawa-kosen large bathtub

Large bathtub (normal temperature)

The rocks and plants make an outdoor atmosphere. Even though it's indoors.

Look, the rock of the waterfall shower is so big too. Like a real waterfall, isn't it?

The waterfall shower ... It may be the source.

Nishi-san tries to take the waterfall shower.

Karasawa-kosen waterfall shower

Waterfall shower (source)

Oops! Cold! This is really too cold!

Is it cold? Then you can only use it when you train.

After enjoying the hot spring water of Karasawa-kosen, they have a break and a light meal in the dining room.

Karasawa-kosen dining room

Dining room

Wow! There are so many dried flowers hanging on the ceiling.

The flowers are decorated here and there, such as in the corridor. The owner here may like it.

It's OK to stay at a clean mountain hut like this. You know, some mountain huts have strange smells. I hate it, but here, there is no such thing.

"Sawa" of "Karasawa" means a brook in a mountain.

Ideally, I would like that I can come here without climbing. My legs feel like lead.

What? What feels like lead?

My legs.

Legs are just for a show! The brass doesn't understand like that!

After talking again about whether Kita-san's lines are sound similar or not, then Nishi-san and Kita-san are cooling down with Yatsugatake Farm ice cream. Although they don't climb in earnest, they've get to agree that Yatsugatake is a nice place. It seems that the dry sunshine and cool breeze through the windows are saying the end of a short summer.

(September 2017)

If you stay, they provide a pick-up from Chino Station. (Reservation required)

About Kita-san's line "Legs are ...", see "GUNDAM 0079 Episode 42".

Impression & rating

The source has a faint sulfur odor, a sour and iron taste. There are yunohana in the bathtub, and even though the water is circulated, it's a good hot spring.

2.5 pt

Impression & rating

It is good to feel the outside nature with large windows, rocks and plants. But I would like them to make an open-air bath if it's possible.

2.0 pt

→ How to rate

The Onsen facility

Address
4733-1, Toyohira, Chino City, Nagano Pref.
Phone
domestic: 0266-76-2525
international: +81-266-76-2525
Web Site
Karasawa-kosen Karasawa-kosen Leaflet [PDF]
Day trip bathing hours
11:00 - 16:00
Regular holiday
Closed from mid January to early April due to snowfall
Charge
Adults: ¥ 700 / Children: ¥ 500
Baths
Gender-separated indoor bath

The hot spring data
(from hot spring analysis report etc.)

(Survey date: Jun. 24, 2008)

Spring quality
Simple Carbon dioxide spring (Hypotonic Weak acidic Cold mineral spring)
Source
4733-1, Toyohira, Chino City, Nagano Pref.
Temperature
10.2 ℃ (50.4 ℉)
[air temperature: 20 ℃ (68 ℉)]
Volume
? L / min

According to the Karasawa-kosen website, "Abundant amount of hot water of about 600 liters per minute is naturally springing out."

pH value
4.02
Total ingredients
1.305 g / kg
Perception
White odorless, carbonated

Today's Detour

moss
moss

Moss

The environment around Yatsugatake seems to be suitable for growing moss, and you can see moss covering rocks and trees here and there. Famous is so-called "The Moss Forest", around Shirakoma Pond in Kita-Yatsugatake. But even on the mountain path from Shibunoyu Bus Stop to Karasawa-kosen, you can see the beautiful scenery of moss. Even if you are not good at climbing, you can relatively easily see the moss-spread forest on this path. Depending on the weather and light conditions, you may be able to meet Ghibli's world-like sight.

  • The descriptions on this page contain personal opinions and are not necessarily objective facts.
  • The information may have changed at present. In particular, the charge and price etc. has often not updated from the time of travel, so check the latest information on the official website.

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