Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Difference between revisions of "Kinugawa"

From Wikitravel
Asia : East Asia : Japan : Kanto : Tochigi : Kinugawa
Jump to: navigation, search
(Sleep)
(By JR: detailing steps)
(30 intermediate revisions by 17 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
[[Image:Kinugawa_Curve.JPG|thumb|The snowy Kinugawa River]]
 
[[Image:Kinugawa_Curve.JPG|thumb|The snowy Kinugawa River]]
  
'''Kinugawa''' (鬼怒川; [http://www.tochigi-kankou.jp/en/d_kinugawa.xhtml]; [http://www.kinugawa-kawaji.com]) and '''Kawaji''' (川治) are twin hot spring towns in [[Tochigi]] prefecture, [[Japan]].
+
'''Kinugawa''' (鬼怒川) and '''Kawaji''' (川治) [http://www.kinugawa-kawaji.com] are twin hot spring towns in [[Tochigi (prefecture)|Tochigi Prefecture]], [[Japan]].
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
Kinugawa is one of Japan's worst examples of development gone overboard: after a serious case of boom and bust, what was once a pristine mountain valley is now a graveyard of rusting, abandoned ferroconcrete hotelsStill, the town remains within fairly convenient striking distance of Tokyo and the '''Kinugawa River''' is as stunningly green-colored as everIf you can spare the cash and time, it may be worth it head up northward to Kawaji, which isn't quite as overbuilt.
+
Kinugawa Onsen, known as the "okuyashiki," or "living room," of Tokyo, was opened to development in the early Meiji period, and it became a major destination for those wanting to escape the noise and congestion of the cityThe name "Kinugawa" literally means '''Angry Demon River'''.  The exact provenance is unclear, but the most likely explanation is that this comes from the raging waters within — although the river is now dammed and considerably more placid.
  
The name "Kinugawa" literally means '''Angry Demon River'''.  The exact provenance is unclear, but the most likely explanation is that this comes from the raging waters within — although the river is now dammed and considerably more placid.
+
The central area is home to several hotels and ryokan, most with their own hot springs.  Unfortunately, due to a decline in group tours and the failure of the area's regional bank, Ashikaga Bank, in the late 1990s, several of the larger hotels have gone under, and their empty hulks scar an otherwise picturesque locationStill, the resort is home to dozens of hotels, pensions, and ryokan, and the area--together with nearby Kawaji--still attracts over 2 million visitors each year.
 +
 
 +
If you can spare the cash and time, it may be worth it head up northward to Kawaji or one of the many tiny hot spring hamlets collectively known as '''Oku-Kinu''' (奥鬼怒, "Inner Kinu").
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
Line 16: Line 18:
 
The ''Kinu'' (きぬ) limited express departs from Asakusa every 30-60 minutes, and reaches Kinugawa-Onsen (鬼怒川温泉) in 2 hours at a cost of ¥2800. Ordinary rapid trains are cheaper at ¥1500, but take anywhere from 2 hours 20 minutes to 3 hours to reach Kinugawa. Kawaji is another 20 minutes up the line.
 
The ''Kinu'' (きぬ) limited express departs from Asakusa every 30-60 minutes, and reaches Kinugawa-Onsen (鬼怒川温泉) in 2 hours at a cost of ¥2800. Ordinary rapid trains are cheaper at ¥1500, but take anywhere from 2 hours 20 minutes to 3 hours to reach Kinugawa. Kawaji is another 20 minutes up the line.
  
The '''Kinugawa Theme Park Pass''' [http://www.tobuland.com/foreign/english/kinugawapass.html] includes a roundtrip fare and access to Kinugawa Theme Park. Valid for 2 days. Cost ¥3300-6000, depending on the attractions chosen.  This pass is available only to foreigners.
+
The '''Kinugawa Theme Park Pass''' [http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/pass/theme_pass.html] includes a round-trip fare and access to one or both of Kinugawa's most famous theme parks: Nikko Edo Mura and Tobu World Square. Valid for 2 days. Cost ¥3300-6000, depending on the theme park chosen and the adult/child fare.  This pass is available only to those with a non-Japanese passport.
  
 
===By JR and Tobu===
 
===By JR and Tobu===
Line 25: Line 27:
 
In additon, a limited express train departs from Shinjuku at 7:12 for [[Nikko]]. You can transfer from this train at Shimo-Imaichi (下今市) for a shuttle train service to Kinugawa. The last service to Shinjuku departs Kinugawa-Onsen at 16:24 (Shuttle train connecting at Shimo-Imaichi to the limited express).
 
In additon, a limited express train departs from Shinjuku at 7:12 for [[Nikko]]. You can transfer from this train at Shimo-Imaichi (下今市) for a shuttle train service to Kinugawa. The last service to Shinjuku departs Kinugawa-Onsen at 16:24 (Shuttle train connecting at Shimo-Imaichi to the limited express).
  
Seat reservations are mandatory, and the one-way fare between Shinjuku and Kinugawa-Onsen is ¥3900. If you plan to use this train in both directions, you should purchase a '''JR Tobu Nikko Kinugawa Free Pass''' for ¥6800, which includes one round-trip on the limited express and unlimited usage of local Tobu trains and buses in both the Kinugawa and Nikko areas within a three day period.
+
Seat reservations are mandatory, and the one-way fare between Shinjuku and Kinugawa-Onsen is ¥3900. If you plan to use this train in both directions, you should purchase a '''JR Tobu Nikko Kinugawa Free Pass''' for ¥7800, which includes one round-trip on the limited express and unlimited usage of local Tobu trains and buses in both the Kinugawa and Nikko areas within a three day period.
  
'''Japan Rail Pass holders''' can use the new limited express service for ¥1560 each way (covering the portion of the trip between Kurihashi and Kinugawa-Onsen). The Japan Rail Pass does not cover Tobu trains or buses, so you will have to pay separate fares for those services.
+
The new limited express service is fully covered under the '''JR East Rail Pass'''; national '''Japan Rail Pass''' holders can use it for ¥1560 each way (covering the portion of the trip between Kurihashi and Kinugawa-Onsen). The Japan Rail Pass does not cover Tobu trains or buses, and the JR East Rail Pass only covers local Tobu trains between Shimo-Imaichi and Tobu Nikko, and Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa-Onsen. You will have to pay separate fares for any services that are not covered.
  
 
===By JR===
 
===By JR===
You can alternatively take the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to [[Utsunomiya]], change to the JR Nikko line for [[Imaichi]], and then change again to the Tobu line for the final leg, but this is unlikely to be worth the hassle even if you have the Japan Rail Pass.
+
If you are willing to put up with connecting several times, there is a way that you can get to Kinugawa using mostly JR trains. This method of travel is only recommended for national Japan Rail Pass holders as it costs the least amount of additional money, otherwise the other methods listed above are recommended as they take a similar amount of time.
 +
 
 +
- Take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from the Tokyo area to Utsunomiya station (Approx. 50 minutes, ¥4290 unreserved seat/¥4900 reserved seat, no charge with Japan Rail Pass)
 +
 
 +
- Transfer to the JR Nikko Line to Imaichi station (Approx. 30 minutes, ¥650, no charge with Japan Rail Pass)
 +
 
 +
- Walk from JR Imaichi Station to Tobu Shimo-Imaichi Station (Approx. 10-15 minutes)
 +
 
 +
- Take the Tobu Railway local or rapid service to Kinugawa-Onsen Station (Approx. 20 minutes, ¥240). The Japan Rail Pass is not covered - purchase a ticket before boarding, or if you have a Suica/PASMO card it will work on this route.
 +
 
 +
Before your journey you will want to visit a website such as Hyperdia [http://www.hyperdia.com/] to check the appropriate connection times.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Line 41: Line 53:
  
 
* '''Tobu World Square''', [http://www.tobuws.co.jp/default_en.html], bus from Kinugawa Onsen station (5 min) or on foot from Kosagoe station (8 min).  A miniature 1:25 model of the world's most famous sites, covering everything from the Pyramids to the Statue of Liberty and, oddly enough, Narita Airport.  Entry ¥2500/1200 adult/child.
 
* '''Tobu World Square''', [http://www.tobuws.co.jp/default_en.html], bus from Kinugawa Onsen station (5 min) or on foot from Kosagoe station (8 min).  A miniature 1:25 model of the world's most famous sites, covering everything from the Pyramids to the Statue of Liberty and, oddly enough, Narita Airport.  Entry ¥2500/1200 adult/child.
* '''Western Village'''. Where the Japanese get to live out their cowboy fantasies.
+
* '''Western Village'''. Where the Japanese get to live out their cowboy fantasies (recently closed).
 
* '''Edo Wonderland Nikko''', [http://www.edowonderland.net/nikko/index.html], 15 min by bus from Kinugawa Onsen station. A recreation of Tokyo in the Edo era (1800s).  The emphasis is on fun, rather than education; don't miss the action-packed ninja show or the "Hell Temple" haunted house. In fact, a glowing Buddha statue signals your departure from hell at the end of the obstacle course.
 
* '''Edo Wonderland Nikko''', [http://www.edowonderland.net/nikko/index.html], 15 min by bus from Kinugawa Onsen station. A recreation of Tokyo in the Edo era (1800s).  The emphasis is on fun, rather than education; don't miss the action-packed ninja show or the "Hell Temple" haunted house. In fact, a glowing Buddha statue signals your departure from hell at the end of the obstacle course.
  
Line 57: Line 69:
 
The recession of the 1990s hit Kinugawa hard and many hotels struggle with low occupancy rates (or have been outright shut down).  This means there are some pretty good bargains to be found, especially off-season.
 
The recession of the 1990s hit Kinugawa hard and many hotels struggle with low occupancy rates (or have been outright shut down).  This means there are some pretty good bargains to be found, especially off-season.
  
Kinugawa Green Palace. Tel. 0288-77-2121, [http://www.kinugawagp.co.jp/].  Large operation offering surprisingly large and nice Japanese-style rooms.  The outdoor bath on the ground floor has nice views — if you keep your eyes fixed straight forward and ignore the rumbling air/water/heating machinery on all other three sides. Still decent value at ¥8000 with two meals.
+
* <sleep name="Kaniyu" alt="加仁湯" address="Oku-Kinugawa" directions="Public bus from Kinugawa stn to Meotobuchi (女夫渕), then 25 min by shuttle bus" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.naf.co.jp/kaniyu/" checkin="" checkout="" price="&yen;12,000 with two meals">A lost hotel in the mountains with 8 hotsprings, 7 of which are mixed and/or private baths. You can eat bear sashimi and share a bath with your partner, watching the stars, river and waterfall.</sleep>
  
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
+
* '''Kinugawa Green Palace''', Tel. 0288-77-2121, [http://www.kinugawagp.co.jp/].  Large operation offering surprisingly large and nice Japanese-style rooms.  The outdoor bath on the ground floor has nice views &mdash; if you keep your eyes fixed straight forward and ignore the rumbling air/water/heating machinery on all other three sides. Still decent value at &yen;8000 with two meals.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
+
  
February 2008.
+
* <sleep name="Minshuku Ichinoya" alt="民宿一乃屋" address="199 Nokado" directions="60 min by bus from Kinugawa" phone="0288-97-1204" email="" fax="" url="http://www.n-ichinoya.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="&yen;7000 with two meals">Deep in the mountains west of Kinugawa, this rustic inn specializes in food cooked on the hearth (''irori''). Public hot spring next door.</sleep>
Nikko, Tochigi-ken
+
 
+
'''Minshuku Ichinoya''': 199 Nokado, 0288-97-1204, www.minshuku-ichinoya.com).
+
 
+
The author above never got to experience Minshuku Ichinoya in Kuriyama-mura, Nikko. Just a 30 minute bus ride from Kinugawa-onzen train station will lead you to Nokado and the traditional Japanese-style inn called Mishuku Ichinoya, a little well-kept secret of the locals and refined travelers around the world. Ichinoya has been host to various celebrities and even to some members of the Royal Family of Japan.
+
 
+
The winding road that climbs up the chestnut tree laden mountain offers spectacular vistas of summits and waterfalls of the famed Nikko nature. A long tunnel cuts through a foreboding mountain and emerges to reveal a paradise of lush forest and clean emerald water that seemed lost in time. The houses in Kuriyama village are as they were hundreds of years ago. People are whole-heartedly nice and welcome visitors to share in the joys of a simpler pace.
+
 
+
Forget the stress and noise of the city. At Minshuku Ichinoya you can relax. Take in the views of real nature as you soak in the natural hot springs. Explore nearby trails, peaks, and waterfalls. Deer, bears, monkeys, birds, and foxes are only a few of the variety of wildlife you will find in Kuriyama. Every season presents something new to your senses. Ichinoya is also the ward of the Kuriyama Toshogun. Check with the proprietor of Minshuku Ichinoya for their select viewing schedules of this authentic rare antiquity.
+
 
+
Dinner is a banquet of fresh handmade soba (buckwheat noodles), sansai tempura (mountain vegetables), shika shashimi (deer), iwana (river fish), and many other unique gourmet and traditional Japanese cuisines. Rooms are spacious and comfortable. Rates are very affordable. Individual travelers and small groups are welcome. Large parties over 30 guests can also be accommodated. Call for more details.
+
 
+
Summers are usually booked. So make your reservations well in advance.
+
 
+
Minshuku Ichinoya (0288-97-1204)
+
http://www.tochinavi.net/shop/shop2.shtml?s=2301
+
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
 
* [[Nikko]], with its national parks and opulent shrines, presents an altogether different picture.
 
* [[Nikko]], with its national parks and opulent shrines, presents an altogether different picture.
 
[[WikiPedia:Kinugawa]]
 
  
 
{{usable}}
 
{{usable}}
{{isIn|Tochigi}}
+
{{IsPartOf|Tochigi (prefecture)}}
 +
 
 +
[[ja:日光市/鬼怒川温泉]]
 +
 
 +
[[WikiPedia:Kinugawa]]

Revision as of 13:44, 16 August 2012

The snowy Kinugawa River

Kinugawa (鬼怒川) and Kawaji (川治) [1] are twin hot spring towns in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.

Contents

Understand

Kinugawa Onsen, known as the "okuyashiki," or "living room," of Tokyo, was opened to development in the early Meiji period, and it became a major destination for those wanting to escape the noise and congestion of the city. The name "Kinugawa" literally means Angry Demon River. The exact provenance is unclear, but the most likely explanation is that this comes from the raging waters within — although the river is now dammed and considerably more placid.

The central area is home to several hotels and ryokan, most with their own hot springs. Unfortunately, due to a decline in group tours and the failure of the area's regional bank, Ashikaga Bank, in the late 1990s, several of the larger hotels have gone under, and their empty hulks scar an otherwise picturesque location. Still, the resort is home to dozens of hotels, pensions, and ryokan, and the area--together with nearby Kawaji--still attracts over 2 million visitors each year.

If you can spare the cash and time, it may be worth it head up northward to Kawaji or one of the many tiny hot spring hamlets collectively known as Oku-Kinu (奥鬼怒, "Inner Kinu").

Get in

Kinugawa is most easily reached on the Tōbu Kinugawa Line (東武鬼怒川線) from Asakusa in Tokyo.

By Tobu

Tobu runs all-reserved limited express services, known as Tokkyū (特急) trains, to the area. These trains, which use Tobu's "SPACIA" railroad equipment, have comfortable, reclining seats, with vending machines available on most trains.

The Kinu (きぬ) limited express departs from Asakusa every 30-60 minutes, and reaches Kinugawa-Onsen (鬼怒川温泉) in 2 hours at a cost of ¥2800. Ordinary rapid trains are cheaper at ¥1500, but take anywhere from 2 hours 20 minutes to 3 hours to reach Kinugawa. Kawaji is another 20 minutes up the line.

The Kinugawa Theme Park Pass [2] includes a round-trip fare and access to one or both of Kinugawa's most famous theme parks: Nikko Edo Mura and Tobu World Square. Valid for 2 days. Cost ¥3300-6000, depending on the theme park chosen and the adult/child fare. This pass is available only to those with a non-Japanese passport.

By JR and Tobu

New limited express train service operated by both JR and Tobu began in March of 2006, offering three daily services in each direction between Kinugawa-Onsen and Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Omiya.

The trains, called the Kinugawa and Spacia Kinugawa, depart from Shinjuku station at 10:35, 13:05 and 17:35. Return service departs Kinugawa-Onsen at 8:13, 10:36 and 15:03.

In additon, a limited express train departs from Shinjuku at 7:12 for Nikko. You can transfer from this train at Shimo-Imaichi (下今市) for a shuttle train service to Kinugawa. The last service to Shinjuku departs Kinugawa-Onsen at 16:24 (Shuttle train connecting at Shimo-Imaichi to the limited express).

Seat reservations are mandatory, and the one-way fare between Shinjuku and Kinugawa-Onsen is ¥3900. If you plan to use this train in both directions, you should purchase a JR Tobu Nikko Kinugawa Free Pass for ¥7800, which includes one round-trip on the limited express and unlimited usage of local Tobu trains and buses in both the Kinugawa and Nikko areas within a three day period.

The new limited express service is fully covered under the JR East Rail Pass; national Japan Rail Pass holders can use it for ¥1560 each way (covering the portion of the trip between Kurihashi and Kinugawa-Onsen). The Japan Rail Pass does not cover Tobu trains or buses, and the JR East Rail Pass only covers local Tobu trains between Shimo-Imaichi and Tobu Nikko, and Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa-Onsen. You will have to pay separate fares for any services that are not covered.

By JR

If you are willing to put up with connecting several times, there is a way that you can get to Kinugawa using mostly JR trains. This method of travel is only recommended for national Japan Rail Pass holders as it costs the least amount of additional money, otherwise the other methods listed above are recommended as they take a similar amount of time.

- Take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from the Tokyo area to Utsunomiya station (Approx. 50 minutes, ¥4290 unreserved seat/¥4900 reserved seat, no charge with Japan Rail Pass)

- Transfer to the JR Nikko Line to Imaichi station (Approx. 30 minutes, ¥650, no charge with Japan Rail Pass)

- Walk from JR Imaichi Station to Tobu Shimo-Imaichi Station (Approx. 10-15 minutes)

- Take the Tobu Railway local or rapid service to Kinugawa-Onsen Station (Approx. 20 minutes, ¥240). The Japan Rail Pass is not covered - purchase a ticket before boarding, or if you have a Suica/PASMO card it will work on this route.

Before your journey you will want to visit a website such as Hyperdia [3] to check the appropriate connection times.

Get around

Kinugawa is fairly spread out. You can either use the infrequent buses, or the expensive taxis. If arriving by train, be sure to check if your lodgings are closer to Kinugawa Onsen or Kinugawa Kōen station.

See

There is little to see in Kinugawa Onsen itself, but the Nichien Momiji Line, the highway connecting Kinugawa and Kawaji, makes for a fairly scenic drive.

Three theme parks in the area, collectively known as Kinugawa Theme Park, are major draws for Japanese visitors:

  • Tobu World Square, [4], bus from Kinugawa Onsen station (5 min) or on foot from Kosagoe station (8 min). A miniature 1:25 model of the world's most famous sites, covering everything from the Pyramids to the Statue of Liberty and, oddly enough, Narita Airport. Entry ¥2500/1200 adult/child.
  • Western Village. Where the Japanese get to live out their cowboy fantasies (recently closed).
  • Edo Wonderland Nikko, [5], 15 min by bus from Kinugawa Onsen station. A recreation of Tokyo in the Edo era (1800s). The emphasis is on fun, rather than education; don't miss the action-packed ninja show or the "Hell Temple" haunted house. In fact, a glowing Buddha statue signals your departure from hell at the end of the obstacle course.

Do

Loll about in hot springs. More adventurous types may also want to try battling against angry demons by rafting in the Kinugawa River.

Buy

Eat

Most guests eat at their lodgings, but there are a scattering of restaurants just outside Kinugawa Onsen station.

Drink

Sleep

The recession of the 1990s hit Kinugawa hard and many hotels struggle with low occupancy rates (or have been outright shut down). This means there are some pretty good bargains to be found, especially off-season.

  • Kaniyu (加仁湯), Oku-Kinugawa (Public bus from Kinugawa stn to Meotobuchi (女夫渕), then 25 min by shuttle bus), [6]. A lost hotel in the mountains with 8 hotsprings, 7 of which are mixed and/or private baths. You can eat bear sashimi and share a bath with your partner, watching the stars, river and waterfall. ¥12,000 with two meals.
  • Kinugawa Green Palace, Tel. 0288-77-2121, [7]. Large operation offering surprisingly large and nice Japanese-style rooms. The outdoor bath on the ground floor has nice views — if you keep your eyes fixed straight forward and ignore the rumbling air/water/heating machinery on all other three sides. Still decent value at ¥8000 with two meals.
  • Minshuku Ichinoya (民宿一乃屋), 199 Nokado (60 min by bus from Kinugawa), 0288-97-1204, [8]. Deep in the mountains west of Kinugawa, this rustic inn specializes in food cooked on the hearth (irori). Public hot spring next door. ¥7000 with two meals.

Get out

  • Nikko, with its national parks and opulent shrines, presents an altogether different picture.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites