With some interesting temples and excellent hot-spring waters, mountain-ringed Bessho Onsen (別所温泉), part of Ueda city, is a charming little village well worth a visit. It lies at the end of its own train line, and it's a pleasure to hop off at the cute retro station and head uphill into the heart of the village.
Historically, Bessho Onsen has plenty of claims to fame. It has long been referred to as 'Little Kamakura' for the fact that it served as an administrative centre during the Kamakura period (1192–1333). It was also mentioned in The Pillow Book by the Heian-era poetess Sei Shōnagon, and the restorative properties of its onsen waters are said to have healed the arrow wounds of warriors through the ages.