Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen

Northwest of Nagano, these historic hot-spring towns are the gateway to the Shiga Kogen Plateau ski area, known for its alpine skiing and snowboarding. Yudanaka and Shibu are worthwhile destinations, and you can even spot monkeys taking a bath at their favorite hot spring. Both towns are considerably developed, but Shibu has managed to preserve the atmosphere of a traditional hot-spring town. Yudanaka is the last stop on the Nagano Dentetsu Line; the trip from Nagano takes 51 minutes and costs ¥1,260.

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