#1. Kusatsu Onsen
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Kusatsu Onsen is a respected onsen resort because of the pristine natural beauty and the high quality water. This traditional onsen resort has been recognized as one of the three best onsen resorts in Japan. This onsen is well-known for its therapeutic effects for most aliments or diseases thanks to its acidity. Another main attraction is the “Yumomi Show”, which shows visitors the classical method of cooling hot water with long 1.8 meters paddles. You can also enjoy various inner baths at 15 inns in this area by purchasing the Tsuko Tegata pass for a one day trip. Kusatsu Tropical Wonderland is near Kusatsu Onsen, you can enjoy various animals and flowers in the tropical area.
#2. Shima Onsen
Photo Credit: Kambayashi@flickr
Shima Onsen spreads along the Shima River in northwest of the Gunma prefecture. The water flowing through the Shima River is an intensive blue color, it is called Shima Blue. Shima Onsen was named after its therapeutic effects said to cure 40 thousands ailments. Sekizenkan, one of the inns at Shima Onsen is said to be the model for the bath house in the movie Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli. Direct highway bus service is available from Tokyo Station, Shin-Koshigaya Station, and Kawagoe Station. There are four public baths and open-air baths for a low fee. There are also three facilities for drinking hot spring water in this area.
#3. Minakami Onsen
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Minakami Onsen is at the southern foot of Mt. Tanigawa, its easy access to from Tokyo. Around JR Minakami Station, numerous inns and hotels are lined along upstream of the Tone River. You can tour around Minakami Onsen on a carriage called Tote Basya. There are many autumn leaves spots such as Suwakyo and Minakamikyo surrounding Minakami Onsen. You can also enjoy various outdoor activities such as rafting in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
#4. Ikaho Onsen
Ikaho Onsen is another well respected onsen resort area in Gunma. Many inns, souvenir shops, and restaurants line the steep stone steps. This 365 stone steps is the symbol of Ikaho Onsen, and Ikaho Shrine is at the top of stone steps. If you can climb up the stone steps, is it believed that you will have a secure financial future. Ikaho Onsen is well-known for two types of springs: Koganenoyu, or gold spring with brownish sulfate spring water, and Shiroganenoyu, or silver spring with transparent water containing Silicic acid. Koganenoyu can help with rheumatism, neuralgia, and women’s diseases, Siroganenoyu helps relieve fatigue. The Ikaho Ropeway connects the onsen resort town and Miharashi Station at the top of Monokikiyama. From the lookout, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Akagi and Mt. Tanigawa.
#5. Manza Onsen
At 1,800 meters above sea level, Manza Onsen is the highest onsen resort. Manza Onsen hot spring is flowing at a rate of 3750 liters per minute. Manza Onsen has white-colored water with the highest sulfur constituent content in Japan. Located at the foot of Mt. Shirane, there are many sightseeing spots near Manza Onsen, such as Manza Onsen Ski Resort, Karabuki, and Onioshidasien. Manza Onsen Ski Resort is next to Manza Onsen. You can see Karabuki, the active volcano’s fumarole can be seen from the Manza bus terminal. Onioshidashi is a park of rare scenic beauty formed from lava that erupted in 1783. Asamayama Kannon Do Temple is in Onioshidashi to comfort the victims of Mt. Asama’s eruption.