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Newsletter from Gunma

April 2013, Gunma Prefecture Mail to:

Hello! This is G-now, the newsletter from Gunma Prefecture. For this issue, we feature Japans best onsen, Kusatsu Onsen! With high quality of hot spring water and warm hospitality of people, Kusatsu Onsen constantly holds the top-class among onsen resorts in Japan. Yes, this wonderful onsen resort is located in GUNMA.
Gunma-chan, mascot character of Gunma Prefecture

(Western Japan)

(Eastern Japan)

Kusatsu Onsen and its popularity

Speaking of Onsen hot spring in Gunma, even in Japan, the name of Kusatsu cannot be omitted. Kusatsu Onsen is a well-known onsen resort with good quality hot spring water gushing out naturally. And with Gero Onsen in Gifu Pref. and Arima Onsen in Hyogo Pref., Kusatsu Onsen is counted as one of Japans Three Famous Onsen. The history of Kusatsu as famous onsen is long, since the name of Kusatsu can be traced in the historical references of the Muromachi period (1336-1573). In the Edo period (1603-1868), Kusatsu Onsen became so popular that it was rated as the highest among onsen in eastern Japan ( ). Rating Kusatsu Onsen as higher rate continues until now; in 2012, Kusatsu Onsen was chosen as the best onsen resort in Japan for ten consecutive years in Top 100 Onsen in Japan.

High quality of Kusatsu Onsen

Then here is the question; why Kusatsu Onsen is so famous? The reason is the wonderful quality of hot spring water. The acid spring of Kusatsu is good for various kinds of illness and many people have healed their body with this water. The efficacy is rated high as it is referred to a Japanese famous saying lovesickness cannot be healed by doctor, nor Kusatsu Onsen. For not to break but utilize the ingredients as much as possible, unique ways are established; Yumomi, to stir hot spring water in order to decline the high temperature of the water, and Jikan-Yu bathing method. Kusatsu also boasts Japans largest amount of hot spring water that flow out naturally. 32,300 liter of hot spring water flow in every minute which is enough to fill about 230,000 barrels of water in one day. Such an abundant hot spring water of Kusatsu mainly comes from 6 different sources; Yubatake, Bandai, Sainokawara, Nikawa, Shirahata, and Jizo. It depends on each ryokans, hotels and onsen facilities to use which source of hot spring water. Therefore you can enjoy various source of hot spring water while staying in Kusatsu.

Dr. Balz and Kusatsu Onsen

Not only Japanese people but also foreigners have high opinion of the wonderful efficacy of Kusatsu Onsen. Erwin Von Balz, a German doctor, is the first person to introduce Kusatsu Onsen to the world. He noticed its health benefits and taught people how to bathe in appropriate way. He also extolled Kusatsu Onsen as one of the best highland resort with good quality onsen, Japans best mountain, fresh air, and clean drinking water.
* Dr. Balz taught at Tokyo Medicine School for 26 years in the Meiji period (1868-1912) and contributed greatly on the development of medical science in Japan.

While walking around Yubatake, you shouldnt miss to visit several facilities to
touch with tradition and culture of Kusatsu.

Netsu no Yu welcomes you to enjoy the show of Yumomi, traditional stirring hot spring water. You also can try yumomi!
Location: Near (southwest) of Yubatake Show Time: 6 sessions per day (9:30-, 10:00-, 10:30-, 15:30-, 16:00-, 16:30) * This schedule is for the season from 1 April to 1 December 2013. Fee: 500 yen for adult, 250 yen for elementary school student Website: (Japanese)

Yubatake. The Yubatake source spring up from this (lower) side of the photo and runs through 7 wooden gutters.

Large Hall

Once you arrive at Kusatsu Onsen, what welcomes you first is the smell of
sulfur. After several minutes walk from Kusatsu Bus Terminal, you will see Yubatake with hot spring water running through. Yubatake is located at the center of the resort and is the symbol of Kusatsu Onsen. 7 wooden gutters are set in Yubatake to deliver hot spring water to another end. At the end, there is a waterfall of hot spring creating a gorgeous view with steam. Yubatake takes roles not only as a sightseeing spot but also as a facility to cool down the high temperature of hot spring water before distributing to each ryokan and onsen facilities.

* The pictures are image.

A new public bath will be open in 25 (Thu) April 2013 in Kusatsu. It is named Goza no Yu , one of 5 old public bathhouses that used to be popular among people in Kusatsu. They are known as Kusatsu Goto (5 bathhouses of Kusatsu) and developed the culture of Toji (bathing for medical purposes). At this two-story wooden building, you can enjoy 2 different source of onsen, Yubatake and Bandai.
Location: Near Yubatake (421 Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma) Time: 7:00 21:00 Fee: <Bathing only> 500 yen for adult, 300 yen for child (3-12 years) <Toji Experience > - (bathing + using large hall) 1,000 yen for adult, 500 yen for child for an hour - (bathing + using middle hall) 1,500 yen for adult, 750 yen for child for an hour 20 minutes * In Toji experience, tea and light snacks are given and yukata is rented at the hall.

Yutaki at the end of Yubatake

Destination in Kusatsu is not only Yubatake but also

other spots around. Take some walk from Yubatake and you will meet onsen facilities that Kusatsu is proud of.

Womens bath

Mens bath

Sainokawara Open-Air Bath

This is a large open-air bath comprising 500 square meters surrounded by nature. You can bathe Bandai source of hot spring water while enjoying splendid view of nature that differs in each season. After bathing, relax at Sainokawara Park in front of Sainokawara Open-Air Bath. You can see Sainokawara source of hot spring water flowing out here and there in the park, making streams of hot spring water.
Location: About 15 minutes on foot from Yubatake Time: 7:00 20:00 Closed: Open 365 days Fee: 500 yen for adult, 300 yen for child

Otaki no Yu
This public bath has various kinds of onsen including open-air bath with a onsen waterfall, indoor bath and Awaseyu. Awaseyu is a bathing method to bathe in several onsen in different temperature. At Otaki no Yu, 4 bathes from low to high temperature are available. Awaseyu for women is newly open since April in 2012. You can enjoy Awaseyu with fragrance of hinoki cypress
Location: About 5 minutes on foot from Yubatake Time: 9:00 21:00 Closed: Open 365 days Fee: 800 yen for adult, 400 yen for child

Foot Bath

Foot bath would be an easy way to experience onsen in Kusatsu. Yukemuri-tei foot bath is located right next to Yubatake. Enjoy a relaxing time with nice foot bath and a gorgeous view of Yubatake. Other than Yukemuri-tei, there are two foot bathes that you can enjoy; one in front of Kusatsu Bus Terminal using Yubatake source, and another in front of Jizo no Yu public bath using Jizo source of hot spring water.

Access to Kusatsu
By Bus New South Exit Shinjuku Station By Train Ueno Station
Express Bus (Josyu Yumeguri-Go) 4 hr

Limited Express Kusatsu 2 hr 30 min JR Nagano Shinkansen 1 hr 10 min

Naganoharakusatsuguchi Station Karuizawa Station

Bus 25 min

Kusatsu Onsen

Tokyo Station

Bus 1 hr 18 - 55 min

Want to know more about Kusatsu?

Then visit this website!: (Kusatsu Onsen Tourism Association) Also, click here to get the PDF map of Kusatsu: (Japanese, Kusatsu Onsen Tourism Association)

To: Minakami Onsen

From: Kusatsu Onsen

1 hr 50 min

Access to other spots

Here is the Gunmas Gourmet of This Month;

Kusatsumi Udon! This is a udon cuisine newly established in Kusatsu. The green-colored-noodle contains powder of kumazasa , a low, striped bamboo leaves, collected in Kusatsu. Kumazasa contains various kinds of vitamin and mineral that are good for health. Once you visit Kusatsu, why not try this new gourmet of Kusatsu!

1 hr 30 min 2 hr

To: Ikaho Onsen

To: Tomioka Silk Mill

Get the latest tourist information on Gunma from our websites! - Gunma Bureau of Tourism Gface: - Tourist Guide of Gunma Prefecture:

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