Breathtaking panoramic views await you at this onsen resort up in the clouds
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane san is an active volcano that is one of the best-known mountains in Gunma Prefecture. Nestled amid the magnificent natural environment of its southern foothills at an altitude of 1,800m is a small onsen resort. This is Manza Onsen, located in the Joshin-Etsu-kogen National Park. Historically, it was the most secluded of secluded onsen resort, but since the development of roads, it can be reached easily, even in the depths of winter.
The high-altitude hot spring of Manza Onsen, from which 5.4 million liters of hot water springs each day, has the highest sulfur content of any hot spring in Japan. Dubbed "the onsen that creates beautiful skin", the milky-white water is highly popular with women. However, people visiting for the first time are probably startled by the smell. That smell is actually the smell of sulfur. Once you have been captivated by the onsen resort, which soothe both your body and mind, the smell of sulfur will just make you think "Ah, this is a proper onsen!"
Manza Onsen is located in the Joshin-Etsu-kogen National Park; when spring arrives, the rhododendrons start to bloom, while in summer, alpine plants such as Dicentra tint the mountains with their beautiful hues, making it a superb trekking spot with picturesque scenery. In addition, in winter, the nearby ski resorts open, attracting many winter sports enthusiasts. Moreover, it is worth taking a look at the clouds of volcanic gas that billow up from fissures in the mountain, like exhaust smoke from a car. This famous attraction at Manza reminds you of the vitality of the mountain.
Address: Manza-Onsen, Tsumagoimura, Agatsuma-gun, Gumma
Phone: 0279-97-4000 (Manza Onsen Tourist Associacion)
Directions: [Rail] 45 minutes from Manza-Kazawaguchi Station on the JR Agatsuma Line (2 hours 30 minutes from Tokyo Station) by Seibu-Kogen Bus (bound for Kusatsu Onsen via Manza Onsen) to Manza Onsen
[Car] 1 hour 30 minutes from Shibukawa-Ikaho Interchange on the Kan-Etsu Expressway