長野温泉トップ100調査: 小海町周辺 Researching Nagano's Top 100 Onsens: Koumi Town

2012.02.22: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan

Izumikan's indoor baths (Direct onsen water on the right, purified front left, cold water bath back left



*南相木温泉・滝見の湯 (南相木村)
印象: 南相木村の総面積の92%が山林原野だそうで、お風呂は滝の側だから、正直ってもっと自然な場所を期待していました。「滝見」と言いながらお風呂から滝がイマイチ見えなかった。しかし、こういう日帰り施設は観光客が自然を楽しむ為のではなく、地元の村人の交流場の為だ分かりました。その意味で南相木村の宝物ですね。

*海ノ口温泉・鹿の湯旅館 (南牧村)

*八ヶ岳海尻温泉・灯明の湯 (南牧村)
印象: HPをよく見たら「火・水が定休」だと後で分かった。もうちょっと親切に… うち以外なお客さんも来て、定休日だとみて、がっかり帰った。HPによると、「長野日帰り温泉100選」だそうだ。従って、いつか再チャレンジが必要。ただ、写真によると露天風呂は私が大嫌いなプラスチック竹で囲まれている。それが直ったら再チャレンジやな。

*海ノ口温泉・和泉館 (南牧村)

*北八ヶ岳松原湖温泉・八峰(ヤッホー)の湯 (小海町)
印象: 朝じゃないと逆光で対応のせいで山があまり見えない;その上、露天風呂からは山が塀で隠れている。何で?!

Lately I've been helping my buddy Peter on his project to write a book in English about Nagano's Top 100 Onsens. We took a road trip to the eastern edge of Nagano Prefecture 'researching' 5 of them:

*Taki-mi no Yu, Minami Aikawa Onsen, Minami Aikawa Vil.
Village-run day-use onsen facility built in 2001 and still bright and shiny. Overlooks Inukoro ('dog rolling') Falls.
Despite being in a village 92% covered in forest and being located right next to a waterfall, unfortunately the baths don't take advantage of the scenery. You can see the bathhouse from the falls, but not vice versa. But I came to realize the bathhouse isn't meant for tourists, it's meant to be a place for the villagers to go soak and socialize. In that regards, it is certainly one of the village's most cherished treasures.

*Shika no Yu Ryokan, Minami-Maki Onsen, Minami-Maki Vl.
Stand-alone little inn built post-WWII with a deservedly little onsen bath.
Surprisingly good onsen water high in carbonate content. Just wish it would have taken advantage of the secluded, forested location with a window or two.

*Tomyo no Yu, Yatsugatake Umijiri Onsen, Minami-Maki Vl
Traditional storehouse-looking construction but built only in 1999. Supposedly a nice view of the Yatsugatake mountain range.
I say supposedly, because the bathhouse was inexplicably closed when we went there. Close inspection of their website shows it's closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It also claims their bath is one of the Top 100 day-use onsens in Nagano. Perhaps a 2nd attempt is necessary. But the website also shows liberal use of plastic bamboo. Once they fix that, I'll try going again.

*Izumikan, Uminokuchi Onsen, Minami-Maki Village
A convenient 5 minute walk from Saku Uminokuchi Station on the JR Koumi Line. 2-story ferroconcrete building really sticks out from the surrounding farm fields. The proprietress kindly guided us to the baths and made a point of showing off the one fed directly from the spring.
Their pride-and-joy bath was certainly the real deal, with real mineral sediment floating very visibly. A bit too lukewarm for my tastes; I enjoyed the filtered bath next to it. Their outdoor bath is supposedly in a formal Japanese garden. Again, 'supposedly' because it's closed for the winter and the garden was a bit ragged. Perhaps it is more enjoyable in the summer. Hence, perhaps a trip back here is required.

*Yahho no Yu, Kita-Yatsugatake Matsubara-ko Onsen, Koumi Town
Just below Re-Ex CC and ski area, recently built (2007) day-use bath facility on a point that features a commanding view of the Yatsugatake Range.
The mountains would probably be best viewed in the morning light; by afternoon the sun's glare detracts from the view. But even in the best light, the view from the outdoor bath is blocked by a fence -- why!?

滝見の湯Taki-mi no Yu
鹿の湯Shika no Yu
灯明の湯 Tomyo no Yu
ヤッホーの湯 Yahho no Yu


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