Mikuriga ike onsen みくりが池温泉
The snow hotel
Mikuriga ike onsen is the highest onsen in Japan, at 2,430 meters above sea level! Pure mountain air, a harsh climate, a breathtaking panorama, but all this while the body is bathed in saving and soothing hot water.
A refuge in the high mountains
The place is only open from April to November , because the rest of the year the cold and the layer of snow do not allow access.
We are in Toyama prefecture, in Chûbu-Sangaku National Park , in Tateyama (Mount Tate) culminating at 3,015 meters , one of the highest peaks of the Hida range in what is called the Japan's Northern Alps.
Mikuriga ike onsen was originally a mountain hut opened in 1957 for those who wanted to attempt the ascent of Mount Tate. In 1964, a road was opened for buses to climb up to Murodô at 2,450 meters, then in 1971, the famous Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route with its gigantic walls of snow was revealed to the public. Mikuriga ike developed to welcome tourists and become a ryokan as much as a simple mountain refuge.
To read: The refuges of Mount Fuji
Mikuriga ike is named after a nearby mountain lake , filling an ancient volcanic crater about 15 meters deep. The mysterious sulphurous white waters of the lake are only visible for a few weeks in summer because from October to June, a thick layer of snow completely covers it. Mikuriga ike onsen benefits from these waters born from volcanic activity. During the summer season, walks among the mountain flowers are very pleasant.
See also: 5 onsen for winter
A comforting break
You will find here a mix between tourists who have come to appreciate the beauty of the mountains for a few hours and seasoned hikers who leave for long climbs. Mikuriga ike onsen offers single rooms (from 12,800 yen, or about 100 euros) or a refuge version in dormitories (from 9,300 yen, or about 72 euros), for the night with 2 meals included.
The places also welcome you during the day for lunch, or even a simple drink. And even better, if you just want to try the onsen, it's open to everyone from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (700 yen/adult, or 5€50 and 500 yen/child, or 3€90).
Getting there takes time, because the distances and successive means of transport are important . You have to go by train, bus, cable cars. Count 2 hours from Toyama and more than 3 hours from Nagano , because the area is between these two prefectures.
Arrived at the very top, in Murodô, you can in the spring, stroll on the road between the immense walls of snow , the traffic of buses and the crowd of tourists which spoils the pleasure of "the walk in the mountains ", you have been warned, the site is very popular!
Remember to bring good mountain shoes otherwise you won't go very far, and even snowshoes to reach Mikuriga ike onsen because you will have to walk 500 meters from the bus arrival station. The path is stony in summer or totally snow-covered for a good part of the year .
Due to the distance and the altitude, it is not advisable to come with young children, nor for sick people because access is difficult and there is no medical team. on the spot.
To go further: Top 5 hikes near Takayama
Address, timetable & access
AccessReservation from mid-January, for the period from April 15 to November 24