Skip to Content

21 Nagano Ryokan With Private Onsen Heavenly Retreats In 2024

A Nagano ryokan with private onsen provides the ideal relaxing getaway in beautiful Japan. 

Paying a visit to the picturesque Nagano prefecture is not complete without immersing yourself in the Japanese culture by staying in a traditional ryokan. 

Soaking in the healing waters of a natural hot spring can be such bliss, especially during the cold winter months.

Now, you know I love the outdoors, but I HATE the cold. 

Since I moved over to Ireland, I have constantly tried to figure out ways to keep myself warm because keeping the heater on the whole day is surely going to make me bankrupt!

If you are new here, Hi, I am Aisha Preece ! 

I am an avid female traveller and I love helping other females travel safer and better 🙂 I also travel with my partner sometimes too, so I like to share tips for solo female travelers and couples.

nagano ryokan with private onsen

Apologies, my dear reader, but I digress! 

Back to ryokans in Nagano! 

All that being said, the thought of going completely naked in front of strangers in a public bath can be intimidating. I know it is for me! 

Which is why I’ve been on a quest to source the best ryokan with private onsen in Nagano to soak in when I’m done with my tourist adventures! 

nagano ryokan with private onsen

Many of us value privacy but still want to reap the health benefits of an onsen bath.

So private onsens are a luxury worth having! 

If you’ve been looking for some options, you’re in the right place. Don’t worry if you’re tight on budget. There’s something here for everyone. 

Here is a list of the top Nagano ryokans with private onsen for you to plan your next trip to Japan. 

Best Luxury Ryokan

Aburaya Tousen

Most Affordable Ryokan

Shosenkaku

Mid-Range Ryokan

Shibu Hotel 

Affiliate Link Disclosure

Some of the links on here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

21 Best Nagano Ryokan With Private Onsen

1. Aburaya Tousen 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Modern Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and Western-style beds. Some rooms come with an open-air bath. 

Onsen: Large and spacious with both indoor and outdoor baths. A private open-air onsen is available for rental. 

Food: Watch the chef prepare your kaiseki dinner in the restaurant. Kids get their own custom platters. Breakfast is a buffet of Japanese and Western dishes.

Service: Top-notch service and hospitality from the staff.

Price: $$$$$

Overall: If you want modern hotel amenities with traditional ryokan rooms, onsen, and hospitality, this best ryokan in Nagano is it.  

2. Shibu Onsen Kokuya 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds. Some rooms come with an open-air bath. 

Onsen: 9 communal indoor and outdoor baths of varying sizes. Private onsens are available upon booking. 

Food: Traditional kaiseki dinner prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients and a choice of either Japanese or Western-style breakfast. 

Service: Attentive and friendly owner and staff who speaks English. 

Price: $$$$$

Overall: Don’t let the simple facade of this old ryokan Nagano fool you. It has been family-owned and passed down for 16 generations, so you can expect the best Japanese hospitality here. Having 9 onsen baths to choose from is an added luxury.

3. Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto 

Location: Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Modern Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds. Some rooms come with a private open-air bath and even a private sauna. 

Onsen: Large and spacious with both indoor and outdoor baths. Massage services are offered for an extra fee. 

Food: Enjoy their beautifully prepared and fresh kaiseki breakfast and dinner meals in private dining rooms. Kids ages 4-6 get their own special platters, too!

Service: Impeccable service and hospitality from all the staff. 

Price: $$$$$

Overall: A great place to relax your senses. Try out all their 13 different onsen baths and experience the Matsumoto music scene with their nightly jazz sessions and classic recitals while enjoying a glass of wine. 

4. Yumoto Saito Ryokan 

Location: Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Modern Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and Western-style beds. Some rooms come with a semi-open-air bath. 

Onsen: Large and spacious with both indoor and outdoor baths. You can also rent a private onsen for a fee. 

Food: Fresh and seasonal ingredients are used in the breakfast and dinner kaiseki meals served at the restaurant. 

Service: Great service with staff always trying to accommodate your needs. 

Price: $$$$$

Overall: Stay in this ryokan in Nagano for an authentic Japanese experience where you get to soak in the milky white waters from the Shirahone Onsen that is good for the skin.  

5. Sakaeya Ryokan 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Modern Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor. Choose between modern or traditional Japanese furnishings to sleep on either Western-beds or futons. Private open-air baths are found in the suite rooms. 

Onsen: Large and spacious with both indoor and outdoor baths. The onsen here is built deeper so that you can stand on the rocks for pressure point therapy. 

Food: Their kaiseki breakfast and dinner feature fresh and seasonal ingredients put together in creative, modern ways. 

Service: Award-winning hospitality and service from the staff. 

Price: $$$$

Overall: Get ready to be pampered by the staff here throughout your stay. All details in this ryokan Nagano onsen have been carefully thought out for your relaxation. 

6. Kamei no Yu 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds.

Onsen: Moderately sized with both indoor and outdoor baths. The onsen is available for private booking at certain hours. 

Food: Traditional kaiseki breakfast and dinner prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Service: Attentive and friendly staff who try their best to accommodate your requests.

Price: $$$$

Overall: This Nagano ryokan offers a special plan for solo female travelers, providing everything you may need for a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday, from healthy meals to a private bath with skincare after.

7. Wafu no Yado Masuya 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Modern Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and a choice of futons or Western-style beds. Some rooms come with a semi-open-air bath. 

Onsen: Spacious indoor and outdoor baths that are open for 24 hours. 

Food: Try their award-winning kaiseki meals prepared using fresh and seasonal ingredients. 

Service: Very helpful and friendly staff. 

Price: $$$$

Overall: Don’t miss out on taking a relaxing and healing bath in their onsen sourced from 4 different hot springs. 

nagano ryokan with private onsen

8. Hotel Housei 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds with views of the mountains. Private onsen is available in some rooms.

Onsen: Large and spacious with both indoor and outdoor baths. 

Food: Traditional kaiseki dinner prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients and a breakfast buffet to add to your room plan. 

Service: Attentive and friendly staff.

Price: $$$$

Overall: A relaxing and authentic Japanese experience with great service from friendly staff. A free shuttle is provided to Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. 

9. Yamanokami Onsen 

Location: Hakoshimizu, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds. The bathroom is shared with other guests. 

Onsen: Moderately sized indoor bath.

Food: Freshly prepared breakfast and dinner featuring seasonal ingredients.

Service: Friendly and attentive staff, but speaks little English. 

Price: $$$$

Overall: You need to put in more legwork to get to the tourist attractions from this ryokan, but in return, you get to come back to a serene and quiet environment. 

10. Shibu Hotel 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a choice of Western or Japanese-style rooms.

Onsen: Moderately sized with both indoor and outdoor baths. Smaller private baths are available for booking.

Food: Traditional kaiseki breakfast and dinner prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Service: Warm and friendly hospitality from the owner and staff.

Price: $$$

Overall: Conveniently located on the Shibu Onsen strip, so you can visit other public bathhouses in the area. 

11. Jigokudani Onsen Korakukan 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds, but no showers are provided. 

Onsen: Mixed-gender indoor and outdoor baths. There is a woman-only outdoor one available and a private onsen for families. The snow monkeys have been known to join the outdoor bath. But take note that it is visible from the nearby park. 

Food: Hearty and freshly prepared Japanese breakfast and dinner with wild vegetables and mushrooms sourced from the mountains. 

Service: Warm Japanese hospitality from the owners of the ryokan.

Price: $$$

Overall: This is a 150-year-old inn located right in front of the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. Experience nature surrounded by the mountains on all sides with frequent visits from the famous snow monkeys. 

12. Nakanoyu Onsen Ryokan 

Location: Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Japanese-style rooms of varying sizes with tatami mat floors and futon beds. Option for viewing the Hotaka Mountain Range and Mt. Kasumizawa from your room. 

Onsen: Large and spacious with both indoor and outdoor baths. A private family onsen is available for booking. 

Food: Freshly prepared breakfast and dinner featuring seasonal ingredients. Their daily handmade soba is a must-try.

Service: Warm and hospitable staff members who can speak fluent English.

Price: $$$

Overall: This Japan ryokan with private onsen is the perfect relaxing getaway nestled between the Japanese Alps and forests. 

13. Onyado Hishiya Torazo 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds.

Onsen: Modest size indoor bath and a small outdoor bath. The outdoor bath can be booked for private use.

Food: Enjoy local dishes for breakfast and dinner using carefully selected ingredients. 

Service: Attentive and friendly staff.

Price: $$

Overall: A relaxing and authentic Japanese experience in the Shibu Onsen area, particularly for couples on a budget. 

14. Yudanaka Tawaraya Ryokan 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Only 10 rooms available in the Japanese style with a tatami mat floor and futon beds.

Onsen: Modest size indoor and outdoor bath. The outdoor bath can be booked for private use.

Food: Freshly prepared kaiseki breakfast and dinner featuring seasonal ingredients and Shinshu beef.

Service: Friendly and welcoming staff who are fluent in English.

Price: $$

Overall: Enjoy a peaceful, relaxing retreat in this traditional inn built to look like a ceremonial tea house. 

15. Matsuya Ryokan 

Location: Motoyoshicho, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: There is a choice between Japanese or Western-style rooms to either sleep on futons or Western beds. 

Onsen: Moderately sized indoor bath.

Food: Freshly prepared breakfast and dinner featuring seasonal ingredients for adults and children.

Service: Attentive and accommodating host and staff. 

Price: $$

Overall: The location is central to many sightseeing and tourist spots. You will love the incredible hospitality of the staff. 

nagano ryokan with private onsen

16. Hakuba Highland Hotel 

Location: Kitaazumi District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Modern hotel with Japanese and Western-style rooms

Room: Spacious and comfortable with Western beds and extra futons. There is a choice of viewing the Japanese Alps or the forest. 

Onsen: Large and spacious with both indoor and outdoor baths. You can also rent a private onsen for a fee. 

Food: Breakfast and dinner buffets are available at the restaurant, featuring locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

Service: Attentive staff providing warm hospitality. 

Price range: $

Overall: Enjoy a stunning view of Mt Hakuba while enjoying modern amenities from the comfort of your room in this reasonably cheap ryokan with private onsen. 

17. Shirouma So 

Location: Kitaazumi District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan with modern amenities

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds, you get a beautiful view of the Japanese Alps. 

Onsen: Large indoor bath, with an option to book the private onsen at certain hours.

Food: Breakfast and dinner kaiseki meals are served in the dining hall, but spaces are limited, so book in advance. 

Service: Incredible hospitality from the host and staff. 

Price: $

Overall: A convenient place to stay for outdoor activities at the Hakuba Happo-one ski area. You get to come back and relax your tired muscles in the onsen waters. 

18. Shinshu Mushikura Yuyaki Mochiya

Location: Nakajokusagano, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan with modern amenities

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds. Some rooms come with an attached toilet, while others are shared. 

Onsen: Modest size indoor and outdoor baths. Private onsens are available for rental. 

Food: They serve freshly prepared local dishes like obukko, gibier (wild game), and oyaki. Enjoy your meals around the warm hearth. 

Service: Attentive and friendly staff.

Price: $

Overall: This is a special ryokan that was renovated from an old country house and is nestled within Mt. Mushikura. 

19. Chuokan Shimizuya 

Location: Daimoncho, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Comfortable tatami mat floor and futon beds. 

Onsen: Modestly sized indoor bath.

Food: Local Japanese dishes are prepared for breakfast and dinner. 

Service: Helpful and friendly hosts. 

Price: $

Overall: Its location makes it easy to visit the Zenkoji Temple and surrounding shopping areas. 

20. Shimaya Ryokan 

Location: Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds. Some rooms require a shared toilet. 

Onsen: Moderately sized with both indoor and outdoor baths. The outdoor bath and a smaller one are available for private booking at an extra charge. 

Food: Enjoy local dishes for dinner cooked by the owner and a choice of Japanese or Western-style breakfast. 

Service: Award-winning hospitality and service from the staff. 

Price: $

Overall: A modest ryokan that suits budget backpackers who want to visit the nearby Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park.

21. Shosenkaku 

Location: Shinonoi Komatsubara, Nagano Prefecture

Type: Traditional Japanese ryokan

Room: Spacious and comfortable with a tatami mat floor and futon beds. There is a room with a private open-air bath attached. 

Onsen: Spacious indoor and outdoor baths. A private family onsen with karaoke is available for booking.

Food: Freshly prepared breakfast and dinner featuring seasonal ingredients. Choose to have it kaiseki style or try their special chicken hot pot. 

Service: A hit or miss depending on the staff you approach.

Price: $

Overall: Escape to the countryside and enjoy the quiet in this ryokan surrounded by rolling hills and an apple orchard.

nagano ryokan with private onsen

What Is A Ryokan?

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn where you can experience authentic Japanese culture. 

The calm and serene atmosphere of a ryokan makes it a wonderful place to stay to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body. 

Most ryokans are built around or near a natural spring and have onsen baths sourced from it. 

There are many proven health benefits to having a hot bath every day, and the Japanese are no strangers to visiting public bathhouses and ryokans to improve their health. 

I really recommend staying at a ryokan with an onsen so you can experience the healing waters of a natural hot spring bath yourself. 

Aside from the onsen, you can also expect the following from a ryokan:

  • Japanese hospitality, or omotenashi, from all the staff throughout your stay. 

Be greeted with a cup of hot green tea and a warm towel upon arrival, and even a personal attendant to see to your needs. 

Don’t be surprised by the level of detail put in by the staff. The service is part of what makes a ryokan stay so special. 

  • Sleep in futon beds on tatami-mat floors. If it’s your first time sleeping on the floor, it might take some getting used to. 

But futon beds and tatami mats are comfortably cool in the summer and well-insulated in the winter. 

  • Feast on healthy and nutritious kaiseki (multi-course) meals. These feature fresh and seasonal ingredients sourced locally and prepared by the in-house chef. 

Ryokans have been around for decades, some even centuries, and are usually passed down the family for generations. 

Most are meticulously well-maintained, and some have been renovated to feature a more modern interior and amenities. 

What Is A Private Onsen?

A private onsen (kashikiri buro) is an onsen bath that you can book or rent for private use. 

They can be found inside the guest room as part of the room plan or in a separate bathing area.

You can find private onsens in ryokans or onsen resorts. The price varies according to its location and ryokan. 

Some are free for guests, while others require a fee, usually JPY2,000 – 3,000 (USD13 – 20) per hour. 

The size of a private onsen can also vary. Some are meant for couples to have a romantic time to themselves, while others can fit a small family or group of friends. 

If you’re traveling with your partner, staying at a Nara ryokan with private onsen can be a great romantic getaway. 

Most onsen baths are big and shared with other people of the same gender. You might consider booking a private onsen if you:

  • want privacy and do not want to share the bath with strangers
  • are shy or self-conscious about stripping naked in front of other people
  • have tattoos on your body that you cannot hide with a small towel
  • want to spend more time soaking in the onsen
  • need some peace and quiet to relax by yourself
nagano ryokan with private onsen

Benefits Of Staying In A Nagano Ryokan With Private Onsen

1. Privacy and intimacy

Having the whole onsen bath to yourself means you won’t have to share it with strangers, as is the custom in public onsens. 

This is great if you are on a honeymoon and would like to spend some intimate time with your new spouse. 

If you’re shy or self-conscious about your body, the practice of having to go naked in the onsen bath might be intimidating if it’s your first time. 

Staying in a room in a ryokan with a private onsen will solve that problem. 

2. Health therapy

The Japanese people contribute their good health and longevity in part to having a hot bath every day. 

The minerals in a natural hot spring help to improve some skin conditions and alleviate muscle aches and joint pains. 

Immersing your body in the hot waters can also improve your blood circulation and promote a sense of relaxation to soothe you for a better night’s sleep.

3. Beautiful scenery

Nagano prefecture is known for its stunning landscape of the Japanese Alps. Many ryokans offer open-air baths with views of the mountains surrounded by nature. 

Enjoy forest bathing while soaking in the healing waters of the onsen and find all your worries melting away, leaving you feeling refreshed and relaxed.  

4. Cultural experience

A trip to Japan would not be complete without visiting an onsen. 

It is part of the Japanese culture to clean the body by soaking in the onsen waters and relaxing at the end of a long day or week. 

A stay at a Nagano ryokan with private onsen can enhance the cultural experience as it presents a world in itself, that of traditional Japan. 

Learn what it’s like to sleep in futons and walk or sit on tatami mats. 

Be pampered by the warm Japanese hospitality and nourish your body with fresh kaiseki meals served to you right in your room. 

5. Convenience

Having a private onsen is more than a luxury. It is convenient when you’re back in your room after a long day of sightseeing or outdoor activity in Nagano. 

The last thing you feel like doing is trudging out to a public bathhouse or finding that the communal onsen is full. 

Imagine having a private onsen all to yourself to soak in before and after dinner or whenever you like. What bliss!

Tips For Choosing The Right Nagano Ryokan With Private Onsen

Location

Nagano has hundreds of onsens located in various onsen towns or onsen-gai. Some can be found near ski resorts, near cities, and up in the mountains. 

Some of the oldest and most exquisite ryokans are around Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen, which are adjacent hot spring districts in Yamanouchi in Northern Nagano. 

Here, you’ll find the famous Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park or visit Shiga Kogen and Mt. Kosha for skiing and snowboarding. 

If you prefer to be nearer to the city, Bessho onsen is only 2 hours away by train from Tokyo. 

It is one of the oldest onsen towns in Nagano, with many shrines and temples in the area. Visit in spring and enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms around Ueda Castle

If you’re interested in historical sites like shrines and temples, plan a trip to a Nikko ryokan with private onsen next. 

Related Posts on Nagano Ryokan With Private Onsen

nagano ryokan with private onsen

Price

There are budget ryokans that will cost less than JPY10,000 (USD67) per person per night and luxury ryokans that go upwards of JPY40,000 (USD267) per person per night. 

Compared to an Osaka ryokan with private onsen, you can expect a stay in Nagano to be cheaper. 

Choose one based on your budget and customize your room plan to go with or without the kaiseki breakfast and dinner. 

Ryokan experience

To immerse yourself in authentic Japanese culture, look for a traditional ryokan with rooms that have tatami-mat floors and futon beds and serve kaiseki meals in your room. 

If sleeping on the floor is not for you, there are also ryokans that provide Western-style beds and rooms with modern amenities. 

Type of onsen

Private onsens can be found inside the guest room or in a separate bathing area, usually where the communal onsen is. 

They can also be indoors or outdoors in the open air. I recommend trying out an open-air onsen (rotenburo) at least once. 

Soaking your body in the hot water while feeling the cool air on your face is an experience like no other! 

Reviews

Don’t book your Nagano ryokan with private onsen without first checking out reviews online from reputable travel websites like Google and TripAdvisor

A tip is to read through the most recent comments to have an idea of the cleanliness of the rooms and the standards of the service. 

Etiquette When Visiting Onsen In Japan

Before entering the onsen

  • Remove all your clothing in the changing room. You have to be naked to enter the onsen. 
  • Do not bring anything except for the small washcloth or towel provided. You can use that to cover yourself as you walk to the onsen, but leave it at the side once you’re in. 
  • Wash your hair and body in the shower area. Make sure you rinse off any soap and shampoo. 

Inside the onsen

  • No splashing or swimming in the water.
  • Tie your hair up if it’s long so it does not fall into the water.
  • Be quiet or keep it low. The onsen is meant to be a place to relax. 
  • Don’t stare at other naked strangers. You wouldn’t want anyone staring at you. 
  • Rinse in between baths if you’re going into another onsen. This is to keep the waters clean for everyone.

After leaving the onsen

  • Wipe yourself dry before going into the changing room.
  • Clean up after yourself. 

FAQs On Nagano Ryokan With Private Onsen

Do Ryokans Have Private Onsens?

Yes, most ryokans in Japan have private onsens. Some have a private bath in the guest room as part of the room plan. Others have a separate bathing area where the private onsen requires prior booking but can be free for guests or charged per hour of use. These offer more privacy and luxury than public onsens.  

Is There Onsen In Nagano?

Yes, there are many onsens in Nagano prefecture. Second only to Hokkaido, Nagano has some of the best hot springs in Japan, with well over 200 areas. Many locals and tourists make a day trip to the public bathhouses in Nagano. You can also spend the night at a ryokan to spend more time relaxing in the onsen. 

How Much Does A Private Onsen Cost In Japan?

The cost of a private onsen in Japan is, on average, between JPY2,000 – 3,000 (USD13 – 20). This price depends on the location (city) and varies by ryokan. Some are free for guests staying at the ryokan, while others are charged by the hour. Some luxury ryokans rent them out for JPY5,000 (USD33) and above. 

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Ryokan Onsen?

The average cost to go to a ryokan onsen is between JPY15,000 – 25,000 (USD100 – 167) per person per night. This can vary depending on the location, season, and type of ryokan. There are budget ryokans that charge less than JPY10,000 (USD67) per person, while some luxury ryokans can go up to JPY50,000 (USD334) per person. 

nagano ryokan with private onsen

Now that you have this list of the best Nagano ryokans with private onsen, it’s time to plan your next getaway. 

Whether you’re heading to Hakuba for some skiing or snowboarding in the winter or going hiking in the mountains during warmer months, coming back to soak in a hot spring bath will be an absolute delight. 

Remember that ryokans with private onsen are in high demand during the peak seasons of summer and winter, so make your reservations ahead of time. 

I’m sure you’ll come away from your trip to Nagano feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after a stay in one of these beautiful ryokans. 

Related Posts on Nagano Ryokan With Private Onsen