- Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata, a coupon book that allows you to fully enjoy hot springs in Shinshu
- Let’s use the Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata in the Inaji area!
- 10:40 Enjoy the first hot spring at Kajika no Yu
- 12:40 Savor the specialty, Gohei Mochi at the restaurant, Jyurota
- 14:00 Experience the second hot spring, Himawari no Yu
- 15:40 Purchase souvenirs at ACHI BASE
- 16:00 The finale of the tour is Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring
- 17:00 Finishing the hot spring tour
In the cold winter time, we miss the hot springs, don’t we? Although there are various hot spring resorts in Japan, one of the areas we should remember is Nagano Prefecture. They rank nationally second, after Hokkaido in terms of the prefecture-wide number of hot springs, and they are one of the top ranked for numbers of day-trip hot springs in Japan.
Did you know that there is a coupon book that lets you enjoy the hot springs reasonably in Nagano Prefecture? Let me introduce the Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata coupon book. This is a great value coupon book that lets you enjoy many hot springs within Nagano Prefecture, and offers discounts and promotions at eligible restaurants and souvenir shops. In this article, I will share an optimal route for enjoying multiple hot springs in a single day!
Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata, a coupon book that allows you to fully enjoy hot springs in Shinshu
The hot spring in Shinshu (Photo by Yuttarina Hirugami)
Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata is a coupon book of discounts and promotions for hot springs and facilities all over Nagano. The name, Monomiyu, is the combination of Mono, signifying viewing, Mi, signifying taste, and Yu, signifying hot springs. Although the coupon book was first only eligible for Hirugami hot spring resorts in 2010, it grew to cover a wider area year by year, and now it covers all of Nagano Prefecture.
Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata (hereinafter referred to as ‘Tegata’) costs ¥1300 (tax inclusive). Note that the price will climb to ¥1500 (tax inclusive), starting from April 1st, 2020, but the Tegata is still great value!
What can you do with the Shinshu Monimiyu Tegata
Shinshu Monimiyu Tegata
Why is the Tegata such a great value? Because it allows you to do “Tegata Bathing”, in which you can select 12 hot springs out of the eligible 38 facilities, and enjoy them for free! Generally, the admission to one day-trip hot spring is between 500 JPY and 600 JPY. Therefore, after going to just 3 hot spring facilities, you will have already recovered the initial cost of the Tegata. In 2020, the eligible facilities are expected to increase, so you will have even more selections.
You may think that visiting three hot springs per day is not realistic for sightseeing, but that isn’t the case. As long as you select hot spring facilities located nearby to each other, you can definitely visit multiple facilities in a day. The Tegata is valid for a year from the date of purchase, so you can use it during a separate trip as long as it is within the eligible term..
The benefits of the Tegata is not only limited to the hot springs. It also gives you discounts and promotions for dining, purchasing souvenirs, tours and accommodations. Moreover, you can get discounts at the hot springs that are not eligible for Tegata Bathing.
Where can you purchase the Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata?
You can purchase the Tegata at all eligible hot spring facilities and all the tourist information centers of Nagano, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Check those out before visiting Nagano for sightseeing!
【The Tegata are sold at the following locations】
・Hot spring facilities eligible for Tegata Bathing
・Iida Exit Tourist Information Center (Minami-Shinshu Tourist Public Corporation ) / Iida Station Tourist Information Center / Ueda City Tourist Hall store / Omachi City Tourist Information Center / Okaya City Center, Okaya City Tourism Association / Karuizawa Station Tourism Information Center / Karuizawa Tourist Hal’ / Kisomachi Tourism Association, Kiso-Fukushima Station Information Center / Ginza NAGANO Tourist Information Center / Saku City Promotion Public Corporation / Sakudaira Station Plaza Saku / Shimosuwa Tourist Information Center / Shimosuwa Tourism Association / Shimosuwa-cho Industory Promotion Department, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tourism Division / Shokusai Hall / Shinshu Takayama Hot spring Resorts Tourism Association / Shinshu Chikuma Tourism Bureau / Suwa City Tourist Information Center / Takeishi Tourism Association / Nagano Prefecture Osaka Tourist Information Center / Nagano Prefecture Tourism Organization / Nagano Bullet Train Ueda Station Tourist Information Center / Nagano Prefecture Nagoya Tourist Information Center / Hakuba Village Tourism Bureau / Hirugami Hot spring Guide Center / Machizukuri Kiso Fukushima/ Machinaka Information Center / Matsumoto City Tourist Information Center / Matsumoto City Tourist Information Center / Maruko Tourism Association / Michino Station Hakuba / Yukimura Yume Kobo
Let’s use the Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata in the Inaji area!
I, the reporter, who is a local of Nagano Prefecture, drafted a tour plan of hot springs to fully take advantage the Tegata, even for a one-day tourist! I demonstrated the tour of Inaji area (Nanshin area of Nagano Prefecture) that has many eligible Tegata Bathing facilities, using the Tegata coupons for meals and souvenirs to show you my plan!
10:40 Enjoy the first hot spring at Kajika no Yu
The starting point of the trip is Iida Yamamoto Exit. I opted to take a car for this trip. Since there are only a few trains and buses running around the area, and many spots are not conveniently located by the stations and stops, it is better to tour around the area by car. Getting off at Tenryukyo Exit after going through San-en-nanshin Road (Toll-free section), go south toward Anan Town .on the National Highway 151, whose nickname is the Festival Highway. It is a good idea to stop by at a road station for a pit stop on the way.
Kajika no Yu hot spring (The photo by Kajika no Yu)
The first hot spring facility I visited was Kajika no Yu of Shinshu Anan hot spring. It was named after the kajika (fluvial sculpin/cottus pollux) that used to live in the nearby river. The first thing I did after entering the facility was purchasing the Tegata, that was sold at the reception.
The back cover of the Tegata is the stamp book
When you use the Tegata, they will stamp the back cover of the Tegata. Now you are ready to use the hot spring. Receive the stamped Tegata and enter into the hot spring!
Kajika no Yu, a big public bath for women (Photo by Kajia no Yu)
The big public bath of Kajika no Yu boasts the biggest size in Nagano Prefecture. This hot spring is a simple alkaline hot spring with a high PH value. Upon dipping into the smooth spring water, I could feel its mild and moisturizing quality. It is supposed to alleviate neuralgia, rheumatism and muscle ache.
Kajika no Yu’s big public bath for men (Photo by Kajia no Yu)
The outdoor bath has a relatively deep tub, commanding a spectacular view of the surrounding nature and the Monbara Bridge for a liberating, open-air experience.
This place does not prohibit foreign visitors with tattoos. Having said that, I suggest you hide them if you have them, so it won’t make other users feel uncomfortable.
Anan-cho Pottery Experience Hall (Photo by Kajika no Yu)
At the Anan-cho Pottery Experience Hall that neighbors the hot spring, you can experience crafting potteries, glass beads and snow globes. If you plan on attending as an individual, you can register on the day-of. Your crafted artworks can be shipped to you afterwards. This experience will be ¥100 off with the Tegata.
At night, if you walk down to Kansho Temple a little far from the facility, from there you can view the beautiful starry sky. I also recommend staying at the cottage that is built next to the temple.
12:40 Savor the specialty, Gohei Mochi at the restaurant, Jyurota
Leaving Kajika no Yu, I headed for the next destination, Hiraya Village. My body is comfortable and warmed up with hot spring. Now that it was getting close to lunch time, I headed for a certain restaurant, offering a specialty food particular to Nagano. I drove down the National Road 151 to the National Road 418. Though the road is wide, it could get covered in snow or ice in the winter time, so caution may be needed while driving.
This road has a nickname, Yumeguri Road, which means “the road for touring around hot springs”. Going through the road, you then reach to the National Road 153. Drive up this road, and you will see the destination.
The restaurant Jyurota. The entrance is on the 2nd floor
It takes about an hour to get to here from Kajika no Yu. The restaurant Jyurota is located just next to the road station “Shinshu Hiraya”. The Tegata will get you a free soft drink with your meal.
This restaurant has been loved by the locals and tourists for a long time. I ordered the Jyurota lunch set that is filled with local specialties of Hiraya Village.
Jyurota Lunch Set: 1780 JPY
What was served was a gorgeous lunch set in a tray much bigger than I expected. The set was very filling, including local specialties, such as Gohei Mochi, grilled red-spotted masu trout, tempura, and Japanese vegetable stew. (The set dishes may vary depending on the season).
The defining characteristics of Gohei Mochi in Hiraya Village, are their shapes and sauce. Individual mochi are thick and oval-shaped and very filling, seasoned with sweet, gooey sauce made from ground perilla seeds, soy sauce and sugar. This sauce is different from the Gohei Mochi I ate in my local community, and this is the first time I ever tasted it! The other kind they offer here is a green onion and miso sauce seasoned Gohei Mochi.
Grilled red-spotted masu trout
The grilled red-spotted masu trout is made with fresh trout that does not have a pungent fish-smell. You can eat the whole fish, from the head to the bones.
The interior of Jyurota. The tatami-floored rooms are offered as well
Since the locals seldom dine out, most of the customers here are tourists. In the summertime, the restaurant is especially crowded with bikers from the Nagoya area. There are also many repeaters , such as the customers who once visited there as students for training camps nearby, and came back as adults. Jyurota offers warm welcomes to first-timers as if they came back to their own hometown. That may be one of the reasons for the number of repeaters.
14:00 Experience the second hot spring, Himawari no Yu
Himawari no Yu, Shinshu Hiraya Hot spring
Shinshu Hiraya Hot spring, Himawari no Yu is located near the road station. We can use the parking lot of the road station. The name of the hot spring, Himawari (Sunflower) is derived from the fact that there are many sunflowers in the area. In the summertime, these sunflowers by the hot spring are in full bloom.
I strongly recommend you visit here in summer as well as in the summer, since the fresh summer vegetables such as corn and tomatoes will be at the farmer’s market.
Himawari no Yu’s outside public bath for men (Photo by Himawari no Yu)
The biggest feature of Himawari no Yu is the size of the outside public bath, which is said to be the biggest in Minami Shinshu. The bath offers a tranquil atmosphere and I felt as if I were viewing a Japanese garden.
Himawari no Yu’s outside public bath for women (Photo by Himawari no Yu)
The bath for men is ornamented with natural rocks, while the bath for women is ornamented with marble statues. The environment provides a feeling of liberty by surrounding you with the grandeur of nature.
Himawari no Yu, big public bath (Photo by Himawari no Yu)
In the public bath, there are hot spring tubs of various temperatures. Mr. Watanabe, the general manager of the hot spring, recommends that you bath in the tubs in order of increasing temperature, then enter the sauna, then the water tub, and finally enjoy the outside bath, taking your time.
The spring quality of Himawari no Yu is sodium hydrogen carbonate (alkaline spring). It is said to alleviate neuralgia, muscle ache, tiredness and poor circulation. Some tourists compliment this hot spring as having the best spring quality in Japan.
The nearby parking lot in the Road Station
Around Himawari no Yu are the accommodations and cottages. Right at the back of Himawari no Yu, there is Mount Takane, so many people enjoy a hike at the mountain with the road station as their starting point. As you get away from the road station, there will be fewer street lights, giving you a beautiful view of the stars at night.
If you drive south on National Road 153 from Hiraya Village, you will reach Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture. Therefore, many tourists from the Tokai area purchase the Tegata at the Himawari no Yu, which is often the first Tegata bathing eligible facility that they encounter.
After leaving Himawari no Yu, I drove up on National Road 153. Although this is also a road over a mountain pass, it is not as steep as the previous one. On the way to the destination is the Jibuzaka Ski Resort. Passing over the Chuo Motorway, I headed toward Hirugami Hot Spring resorts on National Road 256 to get to my next destination.
15:40 Purchase souvenirs at ACHI BASE
The entrance of ACHI BASE
It takes about 40 minutes to get to ACHI BASE from Himawari no Yu. Look for the blue signage. This is a base for sightseeing at Achi Village. It is not just a shop but has other various functions such as an information center, café and bar. This is the facility you should definitely stop at while visiting Achi Village. Since we can get discount with the Tegata here, I purchased some souvenirs.
The souvenirs exclusive to Hirugami Hot spring
With the Tegata, you can purchase items in the shop at 5% off. They sell a variety items such as bath bombs, skincare goods exclusive to Hirugami Hot spring, and tasty produce from Achi Village. Because Achi Village is said to have the best starry sky in Japan, they sell various goods related to the stars and the cosmos.
Café and bar at ACHI BASE
If you have enough time, why don’t you enjoy dining at the café or bar? They offer unique dishes that you can’t taste anywhere else, made from the fresh produce from Minami Shinshu.
Projection Mapping Effects (Photo by ACHI BASE)
In the bar time at night, we can enjoy the projection mapping performance. It’s a romantic opportunity to sip some delicious cocktails named after the stars, while enjoying a wondrous atmosphere.
16:00 The finale of the tour is Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring
Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring (Photo by Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring)
Leaving ACHI BASE, I drove back on the same road I came in on for approximately a minute, to arrive at Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring, a public facility by Achi Village.
Yuttarina Hirugami is not just a hot spring, but a complex with a hot spring, a restaurant, and a heated pool. They offer a relaxation room as well, offering its visitors a satisfactory time of healing and relaxation.
It’s also great to know that the Tegata can be used throughout the year at Yuttarina Hirugami. You can use the baths, taking advantage of the Tegata, even on weekends and the holidays.
Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring’s big public bath (Photo byYuttarina Hirugami Hot spring)
The spring quality is a simple sulphur spring (Alkaline hypotonic hot spring). This hot spring is referred to as the bath for beautiful women and beautiful skin, for its beneficial skin-nourishing properties. The sulphuric quality makes it effective for many health conditions, and is said to be especially effective in alleviating chronic dermatitis and chronic female disorders.
Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring’s open-air bath (Photo byYuttarina Hirugami Hot spring)
Here, you can enjoy various tubs, such as Utaseburo (the hot spring streams pour out on you) and Neyu (you can lie down in the tub) at the big public bath. You can also enjoy the porcelain bath and the barrel bath at the outside bath.
At Yuttarina Hirugami, there are family baths available for full rental. They are equipped with lifts, so people who require nursing or families with babies can utilize the facility with comfort.
Within the premises, there is a restaurant that offers the local foods of Shinshu, plus classic menus such as curry and Hamburger steak.
The restaurant in the premises (Photo by Yuttarina Hirugami)
At Yuttarina Hirugami, you can enjoy the Hirugami Hot spring and promote physical health at the relaxation room, and heated pool at the same time. It is perfect to have a relaxing time with your family or to have a refreshing time with your friends or loved ones. Why not take a dip in the hot springs, and take advantage of their beauty benefits?
17:00 Finishing the hot spring tour
What did you think of my planned one day tour of hot springs? There are additional hot spring facilities eligible for Tegata bathing other than Yuttarina Hirugami Hot spring in the Hirugami hot spring area. Many of them are eligible only on weekdays, but I recommend you try these other facilities, if you have a chance.
It takes about 15 minutes from Yuttarina Hirugami to the starting point, Iida Yamamoto Exit. Just as much as a day-trip, it is also a good idea to stay overnight, using the local accommodations, and enjoy sightseeing on the next day.
【Conditions of the Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata】
・One Tegata per person. One use per eligible facility from the list in the Tegata. The Tegata Nyuyoku is valid at 12 listed hot spring facilities. Discounts and promotions are available at eligible facilities.
・Available hours for use / fee for children or infants / special dates (Golden week / Obon / New Year’s Holidays) vary depending on the facility.
・The Tegata without the issue date and stamp by the facility is not valid. The Tegata with an issue date that is corrected without the correction stamp by the facility is not valid.
・The Tegata cannot be combined with any other coupon or service.
・The Tegata cannot be exchanged for money or be handed over to someone or resold.
・In case of loss of the Tegata, it cannot be reissued.
*For other details, please refer to the official HP and the notice in the Tegata
A trip to heal the body and mind, utilizing Shinshu Monomiyu Tegata
The great advantage of touring the hot springs in a single day is to be able to experience the difference of each hot spring. By touring the hot springs with different spring qualities, we you can feel the effects and characteristics of each spring physically and more clearly. In this trip, although I reported 3 hot springs and 2 shops, there are many more facilities where you can use the Tegata. People from outside of Nagano also get a great value, so why don’t you get one for yourself?
I recommend you draft your own trip plan or find your favorite hot springs, by referring to the route I introduced here, so that you can fully enjoy your trip in Shinshu!