Famous Onsen attracts visitors with its high spring quality. Highland landscapes nearby also offers enjoyable hiking routes.
The town of Kusatsu is located at the southeastern foot of Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane-san in the northwestern part of Gunma. The town long has been popular for its onsen with high temperature and strong acidity. In the Edo Period, Kusatsu Onsen was chosen as the top onsen resort in eastern Japan. The town became well known globally about 120 years ago after Dr. Baelz, a medical doctor from Germany, found its hot springs to be very effective. Kusatsu Onsen has several fountainheads of hot springs, each with a different characteristics and effect.
In the center of the town, two spots are particularly popular all year round: 'Yubatake', one of the fountainheads, and Netsu no Yu, where 'yumomi' (stirring hot water with paddle-like wooden boards to cool it down) demonstrations are shown. Public bathhouse called "Goza no Yu" with two-story-wooden building is a new spot around Yubatake. Here you can soak in not only onsen from two different fountainheads but also the atmosphere of traditional bathhouse for "toji (bathing for medical purpose)".
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane-san is the generic name for active volcanoes such as Mt. Shirane-san, Mt. Moto-Shirane-san, and Mt. Ai no mine. The crater lakes on the mountaintop consists of Yugama, Karagama, and Mizugama, and from their slopes columns of smoke rise. Among the crater lakes, Yugama holds emerald green water and attracts many hikers. Though the road leading to Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane-san is closed for winter season, visitors can join the snowshoe tour to Yugama or other natural beauty that covered with snow. Tourists can hike around Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane-san in spring through autumn and enjoy snow activities at the popular ski resort in winter. Manza Onsen at the western foot of the mountain is another well-known as onsen resort with high-quality milky-white water.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 2h 30 min from Ueno to Naganoharakusatsuguchi Station by JR Agatsuma Line (limited express "Kusatsu"), and 25 min from the station to Kusatsu Onsen by bus.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 2h 30 min from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen, and 7 min from Tokyo to Ueno Station by JR Yamanote Line.