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5 Amazing, Must Visit Onsen Villages In Gunma Prefecture

# Hot springs
November 02, 2020
Gunma Prefecture is home to many of Japan’s excellent onsen villages. While one could simply lump these all together under the blanket term, “onsen villages,” each area has its own distinct atmosphere. In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 onsen villages in particular that we recommend to those visiting Japan. Each is brimming with its own unique personality and qualities! For those of you still trying to decide on where to go to get the most out of the Japanese onsen experience, read on for some useful information on where to check out.

Kusatsu Onsen: Gunma’s Leading Onsen Village And One Of The Three Most Famous In Japan

Yubatake in Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen is a famous onsen village that produces the most natural onsen water of anywhere in the country. It’s so renowned nearly every Japanese person has heard of it. The Yubatake, or area where onsen minerals are deposited and harvested, has become something of a symbol of the town and is a popular tourist attraction in its own right. There are also onsen ryokan where visitors can get the true traditional onsen experience.

As the onsen are all crowded around the center of the Yubatake, visitors can not only relax in the baths but also check out all the cuisine, souvenir shops, and sights congregated in the area! For those looking to get the true Japanese onsen experience, this is one onsen village you would be remiss to miss!

Ikaho Onsen: An Onsen Right Out Of Antiquity

Stone stairs at Ikaho Onsen

Ikaho is an onsen village brimming with the atmosphere of a Japan lost to time. One symbol of Ikaho is its stone stairway, and lining those steps are onsen ryokan and day-trip onsen establishments, as well as souvenir shops, shooting galleries, and all sorts of fun things to do! Lose yourself to the old-school charm of Ikaho.

One of the most alluring aspects of Ikaho is its two famous types of onsen: the dark red-brown “Ogon No Yu” and the transparent “Hakugin No Yu.” At the Ikaho Onsen Drinking Area, visitors can sample the warm onsen water containing minerals said to improve health and vitality. This is a rare, special onsen village with a unique atmosphere and gorgeous views to behold.

Minakami Onsen: Hidden Away Along A Mountain Stream

View of Minakami Onsen

Minakami Onsen is a historical onsen village tucked away in the deep verdure of nature. Visitors will find onsen ryokan of all shapes and sizes scattered along the banks of the Tone River. The town is full of history, meaning there are all sorts of sights to see as well. Minakami Onsen offers activities such as making your own soba noodles, creating your own traditional Japanese handcrafts, and much more.

Enveloped by nature, this village offers amazing sights that you can enjoy as you soak in their healing waters. With plenty of onsen ryokan catering to overnight guests as well as day-trippers, this village is perfect for those that want to try different kinds of onsen in one go.

Manza Onsen: A Quiet, Secluded Onsen Surrounded By Mother Nature

View of Manza Onsen

This hidden-away onsen village is located on top of a mountain, 1,800 meters above sea level. Surrounded by rich green forests, this village has become popular with tourists for its quiet atmosphere, drawing in lots of guests year after year. The famous, viscous sulfur springs here offer over 20 different kinds of water to try.

As this onsen village is located at the highest elevation out of all those accessible by car, the view from the town’s onsen and ryokan is simply stunning. On clear nights, you may be lucky enough to get a great view of the starry sky. For those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy towns for a resort-like experience, we recommend checking out Manza Onsen.

Shima Onsen: An Elegant And Extravagant Onsen Village

The Streets of Shima Onsen

The name of Shima Onsen stems from the quality of the water, literally translating to water that has “over 40,000 different healing effects.” This onsen has been renown since ancient times with visitors stating that drinking the water helps with digestion while bathing helps soothe the skin. The town’s main street is lined with old Japanese-style houses, giving it an elegant and ancient atmosphere. There are also lots of different activities for visitors to enjoy year round.

The town’s “Seiryu No Yu,” or clear stream onsen are famous for rejuvenating the skin. The bath houses here are especially popular with women looking to make their skin silky smooth. This onsen town has all sorts of things on offer, from onsen to cuisine and plenty of sightseeing.

Make The Most Of Your Visit To Gunma And Enjoy All The Charming Onsen

Yubatake lit up at night

We hope you enjoyed our feature on 5 of the best Gunma onsen, one of the best regions for onsen in the country. Didn’t that make you want to go take a dip and relax?

Gunma Prefecture, located in the Tohoku Region of Japan, is also full of ski resorts, meaning you can hit the slopes then relax with a soothing bath afterwards. If you find yourself coming to Gunma for a ski trip, be sure to check out some of the great bath houses the prefecture has to offer!

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.

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