A hot spring that has comforted people since ancient times

Legend has it that in 989 an historical figure heard a divine message saying that the deity of the mountain would give him a hot spring that can cure 40,000 (, pronounced "yonman") illnesses because of his devotion to the sutras. When he awoke, a hot spring was gushing forth next to his pillow. The name Shima (spelled with the same characters, ) Onsen stems from this legend of being an onsen capable of curing 40,000 illnesses. Hinatami Yakushido, a temple to worship the Buddha of Healing (Yakushi), was built on the site where the hot spring gushed forth to express gratitude and continue protecting the hot spring.

Spring quality and benefits of Shima Onsen

Spring quality and benefits of Shima Onsen

Spring drinking water

Spring drinking water

Foot baths

Foot baths

Communal baths

Communal baths

Spring quality and benefits of Shima Onsen
Spring quality and benefits of Shima Onsen

Although the amount of elements differ slightly according to the source, Shima Onsen is a sodium and calcium chloride sulfate hot spring. There is a total of 42 wellsprings registered in the Gunma Prefecture Wellspring Registry. The majority of those, 39 wellsprings, gush forth naturally. The remaining 3 wellsprings are drilled hot springs of a shallow depth. The hot spring water is popular for softly enveloping dry skin to transform it into beautifully dewy, glowing skin. Baths are good for gastrointestinal disorders, neuralgia, skin conditions, abrasions, cuts, and atopic dermatitis. Spring drinking water is good for gastrointestinal disorders and promoting appetite.

Spring quality and benefits of Shima Onsen
Spring drinking water

It has been said since long ago that drinking spring water from Shima in Gunma prefecture is good for the stomach and bathing in it is good for the skin, making Shima Onsen popular with many people throughout the years. Try drinking the spring water at the spring drinking water sites scattered throughout Shima Onsen, perhaps while out on a stroll. There are also overnight accommodations in Shima Onsen that have their own places for spring drinking water on their premises.

Foot baths
Foot baths

Currently, public foot baths are available in the 3 places of Hinatami District, Yuzuriha District, and Yamaguchi District in Shima Onsen, Gunma prefecture. At the foot baths (facilities), visitors can soak just their feet in hot spring water. Warming your feet in hot spring water has a localized hyperthermic effect. It also boosts metabolism in the muscles and other areas since it promotes blood flow throughout the body.

Communal baths
Communal baths

There are 3 locations, called Kami no Yu, Kawahara no Yu, and Gomuso no Yu. Tourists can bathe from 9:00?15:00. At all other times, the baths are used by local residents. In addition to free communal baths, there are 2 bathing facilities for day trips operated by the town of Nakanojo, called Koshiki no Yu and Seiryu no Yu. The fee is 400 yen/day for Koshiki no Yu, and 500 yen/2 hrs. for Seiryu no Yu.