Day trip bathing travel journals to hot springs where we visited by train and bus

Kaikake Onsen Kaikake-onsenkan

Kaikake Onsen Kaikake-onsenkan

686, Mitsumata, Yuzawa Town, Minami-Uonuma District, Niigata Pref.

An onsen flowing from the source of the natural spring that is supplied naturally into the bathtub. It's a "secret onsen" that was hidden by UESUGI Kenshin

Kaikake Onsen open-air bath
Kaikake Onsen exterior Kaikake Onsen indoor bath Kaikake Onsen open-air bath hot water spout

The source is natural spring. Hot water is flowing down from the source to the open-air bath tub. The source is close to the open-air bath, so the freshness of water is excellent.

It has a long history such as appearing in the literature of 1488. It is said that it was the UESUGI Kenshin's hidden onsen in the Warring States Period. In the Edo Period, it was called "eye hot spring" and is said to be effective against eye diseases.

The wild open-air bath is surrounded by clear streams and greenery of trees, and has the feeling of being in nature. At night, the lanterns are lit, further deepening the onsen atmosphere.


Rating of access

0.5 pt(from Ueno)

1.5 pt(from Niigata)

→ How to rate access

Area / Railway

Koshinetsu Region
Niigata Pref.

JR Joetsu Line


Route from Tokyo (Ueno)
  • Ueno Sta.JR: 3 hrs 50 min Takasaki Line etc. - Joetsu Line ¥ 3,410
  • Echigo-yuzawa Sta. (East exit) Minami-Echigo Kanko Bus: 23 min for Seibu Crystal (Asakai Line) ¥ 440
  • Kaikake Onsen Bus StopWalk: 10 min 0.8 km (0.5 mi)
  • Kaikake-onsenkan
Route from Tokyo (Ueno)
  • Ueno Sta. Joetsu Shinkansen: 1 hr 25 min Toki etc. Non-reserved seat¥ 6,050
  • Echigo-yuzawa Sta.Taxi: 30 min about ¥ 4,000
    13.4 km (8.3 mi)
  • Kaikake-onsenkan
Route from Tokyo (Ikebukuro)
  • Ikebukuro Sta. (East exit) Walk: 3 min
  • Seibu Bus Bus StopExpressway bus: 2 hrs 56 min Nagaoka Niigata Line ¥ 2,600 - ¥ 6,000
  • Yuzawa Expressway Bus Stop Walk: 5 min0.4 km (0.2 mi)
  • Kobara Bus Stop Minami-Echigo Kanko Bus: 19 min for Seibu Crystal (Asakai Line) ¥ 430
  • Kaikake Onsen Bus StopWalk: 10 min 0.8 km (0.5 mi)
  • Kaikake-onsenkan
Route from Niigata
  • Niigata Sta.JR: 2 hrs 50 min Shinetsu Line - Joetsu Line ¥ 2,310
  • Echigo-yuzawa Sta.(The rest is the same as above)
Route from Niigata
  • Niigata Sta.JR express: 50 min Shirayuki Non-reserved seat¥ 3,510
  •  (Transfer at Nagaoka Sta.) JR: 1 hr 20 min Joetsu Line ¥ -
  • Echigo-yuzawa Sta.(The rest is the same as above)
Route from Niigata
  • Niigata Sta. Joetsu Shinkansen: 50 min Toki etc. Non-reserved seat¥ 4,950
  • Echigo-yuzawa Sta.(The rest is the same as above)
Routes from Tokyo
  • Ueno
  • JR
  • Echigo-yuzawa
  • Bus
  • hot spring
  • 4 hrs 23 min ¥ 3,850

  • Ueno
  • Shinkansen
  • Echigo-yuzawa
  • Taxi
  • hot spring
  • 1 hr 55 min ¥ 10,050

  • Ikebukuro
  • Expressway bus
  • Yuzawa
  • Bus
  • hot spring
  • 3 hrs 33 min ¥ 3,030 - ¥ 6,430

Routes from Niigata
  • Niigata
  • JR
  • Echigo-yuzawa
  • (The rest is the same as above)
  • 2 hrs 50 min+ ¥ 2,310+

  • Niigata
  • JR express
  • Nagaoka
  • JR
  • Echigo-yuzawa
  • (The rest is the same as above)
  • 2 hrs 10 min+ ¥ 3,510+

  • Niigata
  • Shinkansen
  • Echigo-yuzawa
  • (The rest is the same as above)
  • 50 min+ ¥ 4,950+

  • The price of JR Express and normal Shinkansen is "Basic fare" plus "(Super) express charge". (These are determined according to the distance.) "(Super) express charge" has two types: Reserved seat and Non-reserved seat. Reserved seat charge adds ¥930 (during the busiest season), ¥730 (during the busy season), ¥530 (during the normal season) or ¥330 (during the off season) to Non-reserved seat charge. (For details, please refer to JR East_Ticketing and Busiest / Busy / Normal / Off season calendar.)
  • The number of operating buses, that Minami-Echigo Kanko Bus bound for Naeba, will greatly change depending on the season.
  • Expressway Bus Yuzawa Bus Stop is located at the Yuzawa Interchange on the expressway. To get to JR Echigo-yuzawa Station from there, you can take a local bus from Miyabayashi Bus Stop or Kobara Bus Stop. To get for Naeba, you get on from Kobara Bus Stop. (To go to Kobara Bus Stop, you will go up the stairs to the Mikuni Road.)
  • If there is snowfall or snow, it may take longer than the above required time.
  • The above fares are based on cash. When using an IC card, the fares may differ slightly.
  • The above times and distances are approximate. Does not include transfering or waiting times.

How to get to Kaikake-onsenkan

(Directions from Kaikake Onsen Bus Stop)
  1. Go down the downhill
  2. Turn left at the Kaikake Onsen signboard, and go down the narrow road
  3. Beyond the narrow bridge

bus stop: bus stop

Click the map to open Google Map

Travel journal of day trip bathing to hot spring


He is an orthodox hot springs lover and particular about quality of springs. He loves the hot springs flowing from the source, the hot water with a presence, and the rustic atmosphere.
He doesn't care much about quality of hot springs. He loves the open-air bath, and prefers hot springs that have visible features such as good views.

(→ Continuation from Yukisasanoyu)
Today, Nishi-san and Kita-san enjoyed Naeba Onsen Yukisasanoyu in mid-morning. In the afternoon, their next destination is "Hitou" (secret onsen) Kaikake Onsen. The two who have gotten off at the Kaikake Onsen Bus Stop along the Mikuni Road. They go down the hill to head to the once UESUGI Kenshin's hidden onsen.

Boy ... Are we going down such a narrow and steep slope? I don't want to come by car.

Exactly. Especially if you're driving.

Bridge to Kaikake Onsen

Bridge to Kaikake Onsen

After going down the slope, cross the bridge.

This bridge is narrow too. It's only one car wide, you know.

Oh, I get it. This is definitely a secret hot spring. It's also convincing that it was the hidden onsen of UESUGI Kenshin.

The road around here was steep, and chains were put in as handrails for safety. That situation was called "Kanekake", and it became the place name "Kaikake". (From the Kaikake-onsenkan website)

Hey, there is no space to escape if a car comes. If it comes while crossing this bridge, it's the situation as "Stand by me", you know.

Fortunately, they finished to cross the bridge without a car coming from behind. And finally, the two have arrived at Kaikake-onsenkan.

Kaikake Onsen exterior


Finally arrived!

Wow, it's quite a majestic building, you know.

Kaikake Onsen entrance

A wheel beside the entrance

Oh, there is a wheel on the side of the entrance. It's a tribute to UESUGI Kenshin's Wheel Tactic, then?

What? Wheel ... Yeah, oh, yeah. Right, surely.

Huh? Do you know the Wheel Tactic?

Well, hey, that's what ... the driver, handling the steering wheel. UESUGI Kenshin's exclusive driver.

Oh yeah, the driver who sends UESUGI Kenshin to the company ... is wrong!

Kaikake Onsen Bathing room ceiling

Bathing room ceiling

Nishi-san and Kita-san head for the bathing room immediately, then get in the indoor bath at first. It has two baths: heated water and unheated.

It's like a wooden half-timbered old house. Pretty good, you know.

Exactly. It has a feeling of rustic and cleanliness, and it feels good.

Kaikake Onsen indoor bath

Indoor bath

This is lukewarm water. After all, I prefer lukewarm.

This hot water feels gently. It's so nice.

The movie "Stand by Me" (USA, 1986). In this movie, there is a scene that when the characters are crossing an iron bridge over a valley, a train comes from behind.

The Wheel Tactic is a battlefield formation that it is said to be used by UESUGI Kenshin in the Battle of Kawanakajima. (However, there is also a theory that it is a fiction of a later era.)

Next, they finally went to the open-air bath, which boasts Kaikake Onsen. The surrounding view is the snow-capped mountains.

Kaikake Onsen Hot water spout in the open-air bath and the source

Hot water spout in the open-air bath (the source is in the hut on the upper right)

Oh, open the door and it's already a bathtub ... Look, hot water is coming from there.

I see, it's naturally pouring into this bath. The hot water spout is like a bit of waterfall.

Kaikake Onsen open-air bath

Open-air bath

This lantern has a nice atmosphere. The rocks match the surrounding, this open-air bath is so great!

The hot water is soft and really nice. You can soak in for a long time.

Kaikake Onsen open-air bath

Open-air bath (hotter)

There is a tub here ... oh, this one is a little hotter.

It might be good for a cold day. But it's warm today, so lukewarm water makes me feel good.

Kaikake Onsen open-air bath

Open-air bath

It's all thanks to me ...

... Why?

In that way, Nishi-san and Kita-san enjoyed the open-air bath at Kaikake Onsen leisurely.

(April 2013)


Impression & rating

A hot spring that uses natural spring water as it is. I hope hot springs like this will last forever.

4.0 pt

Impression & rating

The atmosphere of the open-air bath is very good. I thought it would be a waste to return on a day trip.

3.5 pt

→ How to rate

The Onsen facility

686, Mitsumata, Yuzawa Town, Minami-Uonuma District, Niigata Pref.
domestic: 025-788-9911
international: +8125-788-9911
Web Site
Day trip bathing hours
around 11:00 - 15:00(Last entry at 14:00)
Regular holiday
Open everyday
Adults: ¥ 1,000 / Elementary school students and under: ¥ 500
[Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays]
Adults: ¥ 1,200 / Elementary school students and under: ¥ 600
Gender-separated indoor bath, Gender-separated open-air bath
  • Open-air baths reported in this page will be replaced by men's baths and women's baths depending on the time of day. Day trip bathing is during the men's bath time, so women cannot bathe in the open-air bath in the above report for the day trip bathing.

The hot spring data
(According to hot spring analysis report etc.)

(Survey date: Sep. 24, 2012)

Spring quality
Sodium / Calcium - Chloride spring (Hypotonic Weak alkaline Hot spring)
686, Mitsumata, Yuzawa Town, Minami-Uonuma District, Niigata Pref.
36.2 ℃ (97.2 ℉)
[air temperature: 15 ℃ (59 ℉)]
406 L / min (Natural spring)
pH value
Total ingredients
1.994 g / kg
Colorless, clear, odorless, salty

Today Beer

Echigo Beer

Echigo Beer (Pilsner)

(Purchased at Echigo-yuzawa Station)

The local craft beer in Echigo. After drinking for the time being, I looked at what is written on the can. It said "Echigo Beer Pilsner is a fragrant authentic Pilsner Beer that uses only the Czech aroma hops, where the birthplace of Pilsner". When I read it, I felt that it was fragrant. (¥ 280 / 350 ml) (→ Echigo Beer website)

  • The descriptions on this page contain personal opinions and are not necessarily objective facts.
  • The information may have changed at present. In particular, the charge and price etc. has often not updated from the time of travel, so check the latest information on the official website.

Onsen List

Tohoku Region

Kanto Region

Kyushu Region

  • Fukuoka Pref.