70 min From Takayama
50 min From Matsumoto
1,000 m (3,280 ft)
- Outdoor Onsen Baths
- Traditional Japanese Style Dining
HOW TO GET HERE
Sawando is nestled at the footsteps of Kamikochi, in the Northern Japanese Alps, and the Hotaka Mountain Range which is part of the Chubusangaku National Park. Access to Kamikochi is available by busses and taxis from Sawando Onsen's large bus terminal. Sawndo Onsen also has many therapeutic properties, especially for mountain hikers which helps them relax after trekking in the mountains.
The area now known as Sawando Onsen was once a post station on the old highway network connecting the various regions of Japan with Kamakura. The name “Sawando” roughly translated mean “across the stream,” and the area has historically been a waypoint between the old territories of Hida and Shinshu, currently Gifu Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture. “Onsen” means natural hot spring in Japanese.
Onsen facilities were developed at Sawando Onsen starting in 1998 when the Abo tunnel construction project began boring through the Northern Japanese Alps and powerful geothermal energy was discovered. The water is clear, has a faint sulfur smell, and flows out at around 70°C.
Thanks to its convenient location on Highway 158, Sawando Onsen and its Sawando National Park Gate is also a key transportation hub for visitors to Kamikochi, Norikura Kogen, Mt. Norikura, Shirahone Onsen, and Nagawa. Many hikers travel from here into Kamikochi and the Northern Japanese Alps in Chubusangaku National Park.