Welcome to the Saito Hotel in Kakeyu Hot Springs,
nestled in the green mountains of Nagano

Sightseeing Information

Located in the Heart of Nagano, Go Almost Anywhere in the Prefecture within 2 hrs

Kakeyu Hot Spring is located right in middle of Nagano! Why not use the Saito Hotel as a jumping off point for exploring all this beautiful prefecture has to offer? While we are colloquially known as a ‘hidden hot spring’ here in the mountains, we are located in an area with convenient access to most areas in Nagano, via tunnel, bullet train, or expressway.

Day trips and outings are also possible. Please inquire at the front desk for more information.

Walking in Kakeyu Hot Springs

Kakeyu Hotsprings
One of the highlights of Kakeyu Hot Springs is a 1-2 hr walking course that takes you to wonderful examples of traditional Japanese architecture such as a famous covered bridge, a temple, and shrines (including one dedicated to Yakushi, the Healing Buddha). As this path winds though a forest, the months of October and November offer a magnificent display of fall colors, while April boasts a row of cherry trees in bloom. Further, you can make your way to an observation platform for a panoramic view of the hot spring area in the daytime, and star gazing at night.

Shiotadaira/Mugonkan/Bessho Hot Springs

Shiotadaira/Mugonkan/Bessho Hot Springs
The area closest to Kakyu Hot Springs is Shiotadaira, a historical location with many old temples and pagodas still standing. There are many other unique attractions as well, such as the Museum ‘Mugonkan’, showcasing works by art students who died during the Second World War, and shops that sell silk kimonos made of local Ueda Tsumugi fabric. Bessho Hot Spring is another popular hot spring village where you can sample many different public baths.

■Public Transit: Ueda - (Ueda Dentetsu Bessho Line, 30 min) - Bessho Onsen
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 15 km (30 min)
Bessho Hot Springs Official Website (Japanese)
 Mugonkan Official Website (Japanese)


The relatively cool climate, fresh green scenery, chirping birds, and old examples of European-influenced architecture have made Karuizawa a traditional summer resort for the Japanese. There are many activities to enjoy here, such as shopping at the outlet malls, visiting the Mampei Hotel (beloved and visited many times by John Lennon himself), and taking in a quiet tea-time in a hotel lounge.

■Public Transit: Ueda - (Hokuriku Shinkansen 20 min) - Karuizawa
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 52 km (90 min)
Karuizawa Official Website (Japanese)

Snow Monkey (Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park)

Snow Monkey
This is the world-renown park where the local snow monkeys enjoy the hot springs. Here is a chance to meet semi-wild monkeys, in something akin to their natural habitat.

■Public Transit: Ueda - (Hokuriku Shinkansen 40 min) - Nagano - (Nagano Dentetsu, 45 min) - Yudanaka (by bus, 10 min) - Kanbayashi bus stop - 30 min on foot
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 87 km (1 hr 40 min)
Snow Monkey Resort Official Website


Matsumoto Castle, the oldest preserved castle in Japan, sits in the heart of this city. However, there is much else to see and do in this historic castle town. Take a walk back in history on Nakamachi Street, lined with traditional storehouses. Or perhaps stroll along the Metoba River, which served as the outer moat to the castle. If you enjoy art, how about a visit to the Matsumoto Museum of Modern Art, housing a permanent display of works by world-famous Matsumoto-born artist, Yayoi Kusama, or the Japan Ukio-e Museum with its collection of traditional woodblock prints? The town is full of tasteful cafes and restaurants if you need a break. In the summer, you can also see top-notch classical concerts when world-class musicians gather at the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (formerly the Saito Kinen Festival)

■Public Transit: Kakeyu bus stop - (Alpico Bus 50 min)- Matsumoto
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 23 km (40 min)
Official Website: Matsumoto Welcomes You

Zenkoji Temple

Zenkoji Temple
In Japan, it is said that one should visit pilgrimage to Zenkoji at least once, and as a non-sectarian Buddhist temple, it brings many visitors who wish to be reborn in the Pure Land. Leading up to this historical temple is a long street lined with shops housed in traditional buildings.
The Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum and Higashiyama Kaii Gallery are also nearby recommended visits.

■Public Transit: Ueda - (Hokuriku Shinkansen 40 min) - Nagano - From Nagano station: On foot, 20 min / by bus and on foot, 10 min
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 60 km (90 min)
Zenkoji Official Website


This area of spectacular scenery, set in a National Park, is said to be the gateway to the Japanese Alps. The beautiful and grand vistas are quite moving. Access by private cars are not permitted throughout the year, so you can enjoy walking and hiking in the clean air.

■Public Transit: Matsumoto - (Matsumoto Dentetsu Kamikochi Line 30 min) - Shin-Shimashima - (by bus, 7 to 17 trips per day) - Kamikochi
or Matsumoto bus terminal - (by direct bus, 1 to 2 trips per day) - Kamikochi
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 60 km (90 min)
(Private cars must stop at Sawando, and passengers must board local transit)
Kamikochi Official Website


Suwa is home to one of the most famous shrines in Japan, the Suwa Taisha. This is an area rich in tradition and culture. You can visit 5 art museums as well, starting with the Suwa Harada Taiji Art Museum on the edge of Lake Suwa. This is an ideal area for taking a stroll.

■Public Transit: Kakeyu bus stop - (Alpico Bus 50 min)- Matsumoto - (JR Shinonoi Line 40 min) - Kamisuwa
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 55 km (90 min)
Suwa Official Website

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
One of the foremost alpine routes in the world crosses the Japan Alps. Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, which goes through such highlights as Japan’s largest dam, Kurobe Dam, and the highest walls of snow in the world, is an experience not to be missed.

■Public Transit: Kakeyu bus stop - (Alpico Bus 50 min) - Matsumoto - (JR Oito Line 1 hr) - Shinano Omachi - (route bus 40 min) - Ogizawa
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 65 km (1 hr 20 min)
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Official Website

The Nakasendo – Narai and Tsumago Post Towns

Tsumago Post Town
For over 400 years, people traveled the highway between Edo and Kyoto known as the Nakasendo. Running along the Kiso River in southern Nagano, several post towns were established to house the travelers. Among these, Narai and Tsumago are some of the best preserved. You can step back in time and walk along these roads hosting beautifully preserved examples of traditional Japanese architecture, as well as purchase folk crafts, visit private residences (for a fee), and savor local delicacies. Soaked in Japanese culture, the Nakasendo hiking course has recently become a big hit among foreign tourists.

■Public Transit: Kakeyu bus stop - (Alpico Bus 50 min) - Matsumoto - (JR Chuo Line 45 min) - Narai or Matsumoto - (JR Chuo Line 2 hrs) - Nagiso
■Car: From the Saito Hotel about 71 km (2 hrs)
Official Website: kisoji.com