New English Guide Book to Nagano Onsens

February 28th, 2013 by
Category: Information, Onsens (Hot Springs)

Nagano Prefecture is a mecca for onsens (hot springs). It has the most day-use onsens of any prefecture in Japan. For everybody in Japan, that is a well-known fact, and there are numerous guide books and websites providing ample information on Nagano onsens … in Japanese.

But Nagano’s onsens could very well be popular with visitors from overseas, too. It’s just that there is hardly any information out there in foreign languages.

Peter Ninnes, an Australian residing near Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen, has set out to fix that. He just published the “Nagano Onsen Guide: The Top 100 Day-Use Hot Springs”, an English guide book to Nagano’s many fantastic onsens.

New Guide Book on Nagano Onsens by Peter Ninnes

I assisted Peter in some of his field research and it really opened my eyes to just how many amazing onsens Nagano has. Peter visited over 140 onsens and personally bathed, err, tested every one. Based on a criteria of things like ambience, presence of minerals in the hot spring water, variety of baths and presence of ugly power lines, he came up with a list of the Top 100. As a bonus, he also listed 5 ryokans that don’t allow day-use but would make for a special place to spend the night.

Peter added careful directions to reach each onsen (Japan’s roads are notoriously confusing, and some of the onsens are located in really out-of-the-way places). In addition, he provided details for every onsen on everything from a breakdown of the mineral content to whether or not there are coin lockers. And the book features 100 full color pictures.

I fully believe that Nagano’s onsens are a critical tool to attract foreigners into coming to visit, and Peter’s new book will hopefully be the perfect accessory.

Available for purchase via the internet (createspace) and/or on

4 Responses to “New English Guide Book to Nagano Onsens

  1. Hello, is there a way to purchase this book in Japan? I tried to order it online through the link, but it’s not accepting my Japanese address 🙁 I would really love to check out this book!

  2. This is a very detailed book. It is an excellent onsen guide book for Nagano Prefecture.
    Thank you Peter San!
    Interestingly, the book is in demand by Japanese living abroad keen to learn more about local onsens in regional areas of Japan which they did not know about. As well, it is a great point of recommendation for any visitor wanting to have a genuine local experience deep in Japan’s mountainous regions. The closest onsens to the source!

    Experience Japan, a company operating in Australia asked me where to get a copy. I gave them my copy so will need to purchase a new one!
    Thank you for the information Tyler San.


  3. Natchan-san, Thank you for your comment, and for your praise of Peter’s Nagano Onsen book. I hope the book will open the door for English-speakers who are curious about Japan’s onsens to come to Nagano and enjoy the vast variety of hot springs here!

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