Sample Itineraries – We hava created some great itineraries for enjoying Kusatsu and Minakami in Gunma.

Day trip Tour FExperience the history of Japan's Meiji Restoration

Located in the city of Tomioka in Gunma Prefecture, the Tomioka Silk Mill was established by the Meiji government as a government-run model silk reeling mill, the first in Japan, as a step toward modernizing the country. When the Edo period ended in 1868, Japan lagged in many areas and the government advanced industrial and cultural modernization so that Japan could stand on equal footing with foreign nations. To improve the quality and increase the production of raw silk, the government built the model mill, equipped with the latest silk reeling equipment, to act as a model for training technical instructors. That mill is the Tomioka Silk Mill.

The Tomioka Silk Mill, which thus aided the modernization of Japan, has been preserved in condition as excellent as it was when it first opened. It is also the only government-run plant created by the Meiji government to remain nearly in perfect shape. This itinerary will take you to this historical building so you can experience Japanese history.

Trip Details

 

Tokyo Station

Shinkansen

approximately 55 minutes on the Max Toki on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line

 

Takasaki Station

Taxi

Taxi (approx. 10 minutes)

Taxis make sightseeing easy!

Ekikara Kantakun is a great taxi service from JR to help you enjoy sightseeing. The taxis leave from JR stations. A trip of two to three hours by taxi is a convenient way to enjoy the area. Ekikara Kantakun service is available for boarding between 9:00 and 15:00.

Prices start at 5,960 yen. See the station for further details. This is the cost for one to four people per vehicle. (The admission fee is separate and must be paid by the visitor.)

Stations with Ekikara Kantakun service

Stations with Ekikara Kantakun service
Takasaki, Maebashi, Shibukawa, Numata, Jomo Kogen Station
For further details, contact the JR Ticket Office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at your nearest station.

A taxi stand
A taxi stand

 

Daruma-no
Furusato
Daimonya

Taxi

Taxi (approx. 30 minutes)

History&TraditionsShopping

Daruma-no Furusato Daimonya – 220 years of history and tradition

The association between Takasaki and daruma dolls is so strong, when you say Takasaki, people often think of the dolls. The round, red daruma doll is popular in Japan as a charm for safety in the home, passing examinations and making other wishes. Daruma-no Furusato Daimonya exhibits and sells a wide variety of objects, including the Takasaki daruma, which boasts 220 years of history and tradition, papier-mâché made from handmade washi paper and other artistic goods. Visit the Daimonya for great memories of Japan.
Total time: about 30 minutes

Hours of Operation

  • 9:00 to 17:00
  • 365 days a year

Official Daruma-no Furusato Daimonya site

Daruma dolls
Daruma dolls

 

Gunma
Safari Park

Taxi

Taxi (approx. 20 minutes)

Nature

The Wild Kingdom – Gunma Safari Park

Opened on May 1, 1979, Gunma Safari Park was the fifth such park in Japan, and the first full-scale safari park in eastern Japan. The collection includes about 1,000 animals, representing 100 species from various continents, including Africa and the Americas, which live in the vast refuge in an ecosystem close to their native habitats. Visitors can drive through the park in their own or a rental car, take a safari car tour or ride in the safari bus. It's truly a safarilike experience with wild animals everywhere; there is even a bus where you go to feed some of the animals.
Total time: about 1 hour, 30 minutes

Hours of Operation

  • 9:30 to 17:00

Entrance Fees

  • Adults: 2,700 yen
  • Children: 1,400 yen
  • 65 or older: 1,900 yen, please bring a form of identification

Official Gunma Safari Park website (in Japanese only)

A rare white tiger lounges.
A rare white tiger lounges.

 

Tomioka Silk
Mill tour

On foot

On foot
(approx. 2 hours, 30 minutes)

Dining

Shinshuya – famous for its Japanese-style silken shumai

Located just before the front gate of the Tomioka Silk Mill, Shinshuya is well-known for its rendition of the Chinese pork dumpling shumai, and visitors to the mill often visit Shinshuya. Shinshuya's shumai are often ordered for delivery by mail, but because this eatery serves tea if you eat in-house, take a break from your stroll to the mill to appreciate this culinary delight.

Shinshuya serves popular Japanese-style shumai
Shinshuya serves popular Japanese-style shumai

History&Traditions

Tomioka Silk Mill – the dawn of modern Japan

The Tomioka Silk Mill was founded in 1872, the fifth year of the Meiji Period. Preserved in its original condition, the mill is a valuable structure. The Tomioka Silk Mill was a way to demonstrate Japanese industry to the world as well as make a large contribution to cultural and economic development in Japan. Japanese raw silk and silk textiles primarily coming from the Tomioka Silk Mill had an effect on Asia and the entire world, promoting trade between East and West along with cultural exchange. There are not many other large factories made of timber-framed brick construction remaining in the world.

On July 5, 2006, the mill was designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan, and on July 21, 2014, it was also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Total time: about 2 hours, 30 minutes

Hours of Operation

  • 9:00 to 17:00

Entrance Fees

  • Adults: 1,000 yen
  • High school/university students: 250 yen (school ID required)
  • Elementary/junior high students: 150 yen

Tomioka Silk Mill

The Tomioka Silk Mill, unchanged since the Meiji Period
The Tomioka Silk Mill, unchanged since the Meiji Period

 

Tomioka Silk
Mill tour

On foot

On foot
(approx. 15 minutes)

 

Joshu
Tomioka Station

Non-JR lines

approximately 35 minutes on Joshin Dentetsu

 

Takasaki Station

Shinkansen

approximately 55 minutes on the Max Toki on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line

More tourism information on Gunma

Gunma Tourism International Association

 

Tokyo Station

As of June 2014.
Prices, business hours, transportation and other details are subject to change.

Shinkansen

Shinkansen

Non-JR lines

Non-JR lines

On foot

On foot

Taxi

Taxi

Page Top

Itinerary Map

Itinerary Map

Page Top

Timetables and seat reservations

Shinkansen and Limited Express Timetables (Opens in a new window.)

JR-EAST Train Reservation
 (Opens in a new window.)