Shima onsen has been loved as a gateway destination since the end of 16th century. Like Kusatsu and Ikaho, Shima is a well-recognized spa resort designated by the Japanese government as the 1st official resort in Japan. Shima's spring water has been known to cure many diseases. Thanks to this high quality spring water, the number of long-time vacationers in Shima increased drastically in the Taisho period. In the 20th century, many great Japanese authors such as Akiko Yosano, Kotarou Takamura, and Osamu Dazai frequently visited the site for vacationing as well.