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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

Ikaho Onsen 伊香保温泉

Historic hot spring bathing in healing gold and silver waters

This onsen is famous for the colors of its hot springs and its location in the foothills of Mount Haruna, a pleasant area with a beautiful lake as well as several outdoor attractions.

Don't Miss

  • Bathing in the gold and silver waters of the different baths
  • The onsen manju confections sold everywhere
  • A craft beer at the hip, cozy bar at the top of the flight of stone stairs running through the resort

How to Get There

Ikaho Onsen is served by buses from nearby Shibukawa Station and highway buses from Shinjuku.

From JR Takasaki Station, an hour from Tokyo on the JR Joetsu Shinkansen, board the JR Joetsu Line to Shibukawa Station (30 minutes). The connecting bus takes around 30 minutes to reach Ikaho Onsen.

Express buses depart from the south exit of Shinjuku Station and take a little over two hours.

Quick Facts

The high iron content of the golden-colored waters is said to be good for your internal organs, warming the body from the inside

Onsen manju, steamed buns filled with bean paste, originated in Ikaho

The silver waters of a select few baths come from a new source only discovered in recent years

Stairway to the heavens

At the heart of the town are 365 steps that lead upward about 300 meters to Ikaho Shrine. They were initially built during the late 16th century during the tumultuous Warring States period by the great military leader Sanada Masayuki, to make the healing springs more accessible to injured soldiers. The resort became a center for rest and recuperation.

A rewarding climb

Ascending the stairs is highly recommended since you can reward yourself with a hot soak afterward. For the full cultural experience, stroll the town in a traditional cotton yukata. The steps are lined with souvenir shops, lodgings, restaurants, free public foot baths and even a hip craft beer at the top before the shrine.

Cameras at the ready

One of the most photographed spots in the town is Kajiki Bridge, an arched red bridge that creates a striking contrast with the surrounding vivid greenery in summer while blending in perfectly with the foliage in fall.

Power spot

Ikaho Shrine is considered a "power spot" among locals and climbing the 365 steps to the shrine is said to improve your fortunes, although there are plenty of places along the way that may lighten your wallet.

The Hawaii connection

Robert Walker Irwin, the Kingdom of Hawaii's minister to Japan, built a summer home here in the 1880s, and the town holds a Hawaiian festival every summer.

Other attractions

Among the other popular attractions in the area are the Hara Museum ARC (modern art museum) and the Ikaho Toy, Doll & Car Museum. Slightly further afield is Lake Haruna known for ice fishing, and the impressive Haruna Shrine, a 20-minute drive from Ikaho.

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