We decided to drive from Tokyo to Shibu Onsen (a great experience), and we arrived at Shibu Hotel in the mid afternoon. We were welcomed warmly by name, and they took care of parking the car for us. Staff were very friendly despite limited English. Our room was lovely, being on the corner meant we had double the view - a waterfall out one window and the mountains out the other. Being a traditional room, the bed is not set up until night time (it magically appeared while we were at dinner).
We opted to have both dinner and breakfast at the hotel, which was a very interesting experience and worth doing. If you're not a big fish eater you will find it challenging.
We tried a couple of the public spas but found them incredibly hot. We ended up using the private onsen at the hotel as being very small it was easier to regulate the temperature. We checked out the following morning and drove up to see the Snow Monkeys - they are really beautiful. The hotel also offers a shuttle service for those without a car. It is an expensive side trip, but worth it for the experience.
From Adelaide, Australia
Stayed at Shibu Hotel, Shibu Onsen near Jigokudani Yaen Koen (Monkey Park), Nagano Prefecture