Browse through the shops lining the 365 Ishidan-gai Steps, located on a highland slope near the foot of Mt. Haruna-san.
Ikaho-onsen is a hot spring resort located on a highland rising 720-820 meters above sea level at the northeastern foot of Mt. Haruna-san in the central part of Gunma. The hot spring is said to have been founded in the 7th century. The spring is of sulfate and carbonic acid, and its concentration is so high that it sometimes dyes towels red. The source of the spring is situated somewhat away from the town, at a spot 850 meters above sea level, and from which each inn draws.
Ishidan-gai is a street of stone steps consisting of 365 steps that stretch downward about 300 meters from Ikaho-jinja Shrine, passing Ikaho-Sekisho-Ato (checkpoint). The checkpoint is said to have a history of about 430 years. Souvenir shops and inns stand along both sides of the stone steps, and four observation points 'komaguchi' are situated along the way, from which you can watch through pieces of glass the hot spring flowing to each inn. Among the other popular attractions are the Hara Museum ARC (modern art museum) and Ikaho Toy, Doll & Car Museum.
Mt. Haruna-san, a dual volcano with a flat caldera, makes up part of the Jomo Three Mountains ("Jomo" is an old name of Gunma) along with Mt. Myogi-san and Mt. Akagi-yama. Other points of interest are the Haruna Fuji at the central volcanic cone and Lake Haruna-ko, a crater lake. On the lake, tourists can enjoy boating, skating, and ice fishing for pond smelt, and you can also enjoy cycling around the lake.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 1h 45 min from Ueno to Shibukawa Station by JR Joetsu Line (new limited express), and 30 min from the station to Ikaho-onsen by bus.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 2h 30 min from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 7 min from Tokyo to Ueno Station by JR Yamanote Line.