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Manza Onsen: Onsen Village On A Gunma Mountaintop Close To The Stars

Gunma Prefecture is home to many of Japan’s leading onsen districts. Located way up high, 1,800 meters above sea level, Manza Onsen is an onsen village enveloped in nature, offers a gorgeous, clear view of the surrounding verdure, and has a unique, tranquil atmosphere. Of course, the onsen water available here is of the highest caliber. Offering over 20 different wellsprings, all with their own distinct qualities, each offers a different rejuvenating experience. Close to the onsen district is the Manza Onsen Ski Resort, making it perfect for winter sports as well. In this article, we’ll take a look at what makes Manza Onsen such a special place.

Onsen Village Right Up By The Stars!

Onsen water welling up

Manza Onsen is located 1,800 meters above sea level on top of a mountain, offering an unparalleled view. Surrounded by tranquil forests, many come out to simply see the rich sights of mother nature despite the prefecture also being home to many other famous onsen districts such as Kusatsu, Ikaho, and Minakami.

Especially popular at Manza Onsen is the mountaintop view. Since this onsen village boasts the highest elevation of those in the region, those looking to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a return to nature should definitely check out Manza Onsen. As this is the highest onsen area accessible by car, it has gained the moniker of “the onsen village closest to the stars.” You might even be lucky enough to see all the stars lighting up the night sky on clear evenings.

A Secluded Onsen Spot Somewhat Difficult To Access

Road leading up to Manza Onsen

Manza Onsen is located inside of Joshin'etsu-kogen National Park, featuring natural scenery untouched by humans. If you’ll be going by car, take the Tsumagoimura Mihara Interchange, located shortly after the Nerima area, onto the Manza Highway, then take that highway for 22 kilometers. If you’re going by train, you can access Manza Onsen on a 2 hour bus departing from Karuizawa Station. Regardless of how you plan to get there, you’ll need to set some time aside for the road.

Being so secluded, we wouldn’t suggest trying to go just for a day trip. As there are plenty of onsen ryokan in the area, this is one place you’ll want to spend the night and get your fill of the sights to be seen before heading back. The area is dotted with famous sightseeing spots like Yakushido and Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, not to mention the skiing and onsen on offer as well.

Famous Onsen Ryokan In Manza Onsen!

Manza Onsen is home to over 10 different onsen lodges. In this article, we’ll go over 3 that we recommend you check out if you plan to make the journey up to Manza Onsen. The area offers relaxing accommodations. Day trip bathers are also welcome! Each lodge offers excellent accommodations on par with any fancy resort.

Manza Prince Hotel: Offering Excellent Accessibility And An Amazing Mountaintop View

Rotenburo open air bath

Located at the foot of the Manza Onsen Ski Resort is the Manza Prince Hotel. Built into the side of the mountain, you’ll be singing the hotel’s praises after one glance at the gorgeous view! The hotel features a rotenburo with a view, Komakusa No Yu; a wide open bathing area, Nanamagado No Yu; a special roofed-rotenburo for ladies, Shakunage No Yu; as well as other excellent bathing areas to try. For those looking for the premium resort experience, you can’t go wrong with the Manza Prince Hotel!

Manza Kogen Hotel: Offering A Vintage Onsen Experience

Iwaburo rock bath

Located right by the Manza Onsen slopes is the Manza Kogen Hotel. The baths here are brimming with atmosphere, such as the Ishiniwa Rotenburo open air bath with rough stones blanketed throughout, as well as the Hyakusen No Yu, a simple and elegant indoor bath house. The whimsical atmosphere of the rotenburo baths have become famous in their own right, making it the perfect spot for those who want to get the vintage Japanese onsen experience.

Manzatei: A Secluded, Mountaintop Rental Bath

Vintage indoor bath

Manzatei is a high class ryokan located on top of a mountain. With a hidden-away atmosphere, this lodge has become very popular with sightseers. Though it’s about 600 meters away from the slopes, behind the lodge is the Manza Romance Lift which means you can get to the ski area without walking a step! The water here has been renown since antiquity for its healing properties. In addition to indoor and outdoor baths, the lodge also features baths you can rent out privately.

A Quiet, Secluded Resort Town With Onsen And Ski Slopes

View of Manza Onsen

Out of all the onsen villages in Gunma Prefecture, Manza Onsen has its own distinct atmosphere. However, there are only a few sightseeing spots and it can be a hassle getting there. While it does differ from places like Kusatsu Onsen with all its sightseeing spots and lively atmosphere, Manza Onsen offers a secluded, natural experience that has entranced many who have come to visit. For those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and see what the onsen of the past were like, we definitely recommend checking out Manza Onsen.

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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Manza Onsen Ski Resort Gunma Prefecture

Dec 12 - Mar 28
Longest run distance2,000 m
Maximum gradient32 °
Longest run2,000 m
Maximum32 °

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