Featured Destinations Gunma: Kusatsu / Minakami

Gunma: Kusatsu / Minakami

In addition to being blessed with natural beauty, Gunma Prefecture is a healing destination for travelers who enjoy the calming effects of the many hot springs.
Visit Minakami, and take part in activities in the great outdoors such as rafting and paragliding, or visit Numata, the "Kingdom of Fruit," one of the prominent fruit-producing regions in Japan with fruit picking for every season — including cherries, blueberries, grapes and apples. Gunma is also home to numerous hot springs such as Kusatsu Onsen and Manza Onsen, famous throughout Japan, making this a truly wonderful place to visit to soak your tired bones after a full day of outdoor fun.
Travel from Tokyo is convenient when you can ride the Shinkansen to Takasaki, the gateway to Gunma, in approximately 55 minutes.

Map D51C61Kusatsu Onsen, a famous hot spring Enjoy fresh-picked fruit!

Recommended Sights

The source of the hot spring water: YubatakeThe source of the hot spring water: Yubatake

Yubatake/Yumomi

Kusatsu Onsen boasts the highest output volume of natural spring water in Japan. To see what this means for yourself, head over to the hot water field of Yubatake, the symbol of Kusatsu located in the center of this hot spring town. Here hot spring water gushes forth into the open air, is cooled to bathing temperature and transported, undiluted, to nearby inns. An amazing 4,000 liters of spring water emerge every minute, giving rise to the dense white steam and sulfuric smell that floats around the town. Catch a whiff and you'll know you've truly arrived in Kusatsu. The traditional Yumomi method of cooling the spring water to bathing temperature without diluting its purity is also a sight to see. Hot spring workers stir the water with large paddles while singing local Kusatsu folk songs. Visitors can watch a performance and the more adventurous can even participate themselves.
(25 minutes by bus from Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi Station to the Kusatsu stop, then five minutes on foot.)

The widely recognized high quality spring water of Kusatsu OnsenThe widely recognized high quality spring water of Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen

Producing water highly valued for its superior quality, Kusatsu Onsen is one of Japan's three most famous hot springs. With waters said to cure anything but a broken heart, visitors will definitely want to take a dip. Clear and bracing air combined with a luxurious soak in a hot spring will bring relaxation to the mind and body. Those wishing for a fully-clothed taste of the hot spring experience will enjoy a visit to the Yukemuri-tei onsen at the nearby all-cypress wooden pavilion. Here you can bathe your hands and feet in pure spring water drawn from the Yubatake hot water field. Just a few minutes in this highly acidic water should have your body feeling warm and refreshed from the therapeutic effects of the hot spring.
(25 minutes by bus from Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi Station to the Kusatsu stop, then five minutes on foot.)

An Eden of outdoor sports: MinakamiAn Eden of outdoor sports: Minakami

Minakami

Nestled within the Tanigawa mountain range, this land of hot springs offers more than just bathing. With a scenic background of beautiful mountain valleys, Minakami has been visited frequently by prominent figures throughout history. But it's also a perfect place for the adventurer to truly experience the splendor of these surroundings. Take a thrilling river rafting trip down the Tonegawa, Kanto area's fastest river, or spend a more leisurely day canoeing on Lake Okutone or Naramata. You can even soar like an eagle and get a bird's-eye view of the rolling landscape by paragliding above it all. After a day full of outdoor excitement you'll want to retire to the hot springs for a long refreshing soak.
(Five minutes on foot from Minakami Station.)

Picking fresh fruitPicking fresh fruit

Lots of delicious fruit!

With 10 different types of fruit ripe in the orchard, you can pick all you want! And it always just tastes better when you pick it yourself. You can have a barbecue in the park with your freshly picked fruit to round out a delicious meal.
(Ride the local bus for 12 minutes from JR Jomo Kogen Station to Imajuku Station. A 15-minute walk from Imajuku Station.)

Local Cuisine

YakimanjuYakimanju

Yakimanju

Yakimanju is a local food of Gunma Prefecture, made by putting a steamed manju (stuffed bun) on a bamboo skewer, basting it with a thick miso sauce sweetened with brown sugar or malt syrup, and roasting it until it just starts to char. It is a favorite for a light meal.

Mizusawa udonMizusawa udon

Mizusawa Udon

Mizusawa udon is one of the three great udon varieties of Japan and has a history stretching back more than four centuries. Made from only wheat flour, salt and Mizusawa water, Mizusawa udon has no additives. Two characteristics that make it so prized are the smooth way it goes down and the body the noodles have.

Gunma: Kusatsu / Minakami at a Glance

Location

Location

Access

Access