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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Relaxation

Kusatsu Onsen 草津温泉

Healing geothermal waters and fun festivals in a secluded mountain onsen resort

Stroll down charming alleys in your cotton yukata and wooden sandals breathing in the aroma of Kusatsu Onsen, an authentic onsen town in Gunma Prefecture.

Don't Miss

  • The yubatake hot water fields in the center of town
  • Cracking open an onsen tamago—eggs boiled in the hot spring water
  • Satisfying your sweet tooth with traditional onsen manju sweets
  • A trip to Sainokawara Park

How to Get There

Although there is no train station in the town, Kusatsu is still easily accessible.

The most convenient way is by car, taking in the beautiful scenery along the Japan Romantic Road linking Nagano, Gunma, and Tochigi. From Tokyo, it takes around 3 hours, or from the shinkansen station in Takasaki, it takes around 1.5 hours.

There are direct buses from Shinjuku Bus Terminal. Take the JR Joshu Yumeguri-go bus to Kusatsu, via Ikaho Onsen. One way is ¥3,200 and ¥5,600 return.

The nearest train station is JR Naganohara Kusatsu Station. It takes around 2.5 hours from Ueno by direct express train (¥4620). From there, take the connecting 25-minute bus ride to Kusatsu (¥670).

Events in Kusatsu

Yubatake Special Light-Up (March)

Flower Festival (May)

Shirane Shrine Festival (July)

Hot Spring Appreciation Festival (August)

Kusatsu International Music Academy and Festival (in August)

The Yubatake hot water fields

This large hot water system is the symbol and heart of Kusatsu Onsen. The distinct aroma will guide you to the yubatake — literally translated as hot water field — in the center of town. Geothermal water rises to the surface straight from the source and is cooled as it runs along a series of connected wooden chutes while maintaining the natural mineral content.

Hot steam billows as the water gushes down into the emerald reservoir. Kusatsu has the highest water output of any onsen in Japan. With high temperatures (around 55°C) and high acidity, the water is said to cure many conditions and is especially good for your skin. Several Tokugawa shoguns had the water transported in barrels to their castle in Edo (now Tokyo).

Hot spring traditions

From the yubatake, you can easily stroll to Netsunoyu hall to watch the yumomi performance. Onsen workers cool the water by dipping and turning wooden planks, churning the water to the rhythm of a folk song. You can get a chance to try the rhythmic cooling, but it's harder than it looks. There are also several free public onsen baths around the center of town; you can find details at the information center next to the yubatake.

Strolling and shopping

Take the narrow alley near the Netsunoyu and explore the quaint arts and crafts shops, featuring milky glass inspired by the waters. Be sure to try onsen manju (steamed sweet buns) and onsen tamago (eggs boiled in the hot springs). Follow the alley all the way to Sainokawara Park, an open area where natural hot water surfaces in several pools.

Onsen tamago (hot spring eggs)

Keywords

  • HOME
  • Kusatsu Onsen