A blue you have never seen before
The Shima area of northwestern Gunma is most famous for its local hot springs, long a destination to cure various illnesses. Boasting a beautiful lake and forests, Shima offers a number of other activities as well.
In 1954, Shima Onsen was chosen as Japan's first Nationally Certified Onsen, an area recognized as having hot spring waters with wholesome environments and potential health benefits.
The Shima River valley is broken up into three areas: upper, central and lower town
The main onsen area is found in the central area, such as the centuries-old Sekizenkan Ryokan
Lake Okushima is located in the upper town area
How to Get There
Shima is accessible by train and bus.
Take the JR Joetsu or Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Takasaki (50 minutes). At Takasaki Station, change to the JR Agatsuma Line to Nakanojo Station (55 minutes). From Nakanojo, take a 40-minute bus to Shima Onsen.
A place nature lovers seek
Although its onsen waters are fairly well known, the Shima area has fortunately avoided over-development and overcrowding. As a result, the scenery of Lake Okushima and Maya-no-taki Falls has remained a favorite of nature lovers.
Activities at Lake Okushima
The brilliant cobalt color of Lake Okushima is sure to leave a lasting impression. Join a canoe tour to fully appreciate the intensely blue water. Likewise, there are other water-based activities such as canyoning to enjoy in the lake and rivers.