Minakami-onsen Hot Spring
Soft, warm water that gradually soaks into your soul, like the milk of human kindness
In the mountains close to the border between Gunma Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture, the headwaters of the Tone River form a narrow stream with a swift current, rushing between the towering peaks. Minakami Onsen is located in this river valley. Sited close to JR Minakami Station, it was formerly a hot spring with a lively entertainment district, visited by crowds of tour groups. However, trains have ceased to stop there since the opening of the Joetsu Shinkansen high-speed railway line, so it has become a curative hot spring resort for true hot spring devotees, and its brand value appears to have risen as a result. In terms of the spring quality, it is a tasteless, odorless, colorless, transparent simple hot spring. The mineral concentration is low, so it is soft on the skin and warms the body gently.
Located at the heart of this spa town, the Fureai-Koryu Center is a facility that will delight visitors, providing a range of tourist information about the surrounding area, as well as offering the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing bath. Another local attraction is the horse-drawn charabanc that takes visitors on a tour of the spa town, accompanied by the jingling of the horse's harness as it trots along.
If you wish to stretch your legs, you can visit Suwa Gorge, a noted Place of Scenic Beauty. Featuring an abundant variety of sights, including strangely-shaped rocks and massive stones, the clouds of spray raised by the swift current as it collides with the rocks in this gorge are truly magnificent to behold. Drink in this stunning scenery as you enjoy a stroll along the footpath through the gorge.
Address: Minakamimachi, Tone-gun, Gumma
Directions: Train: 5 minutes on foot from Minakami Station, which is on the JR Joetsu Line (2 hours 20 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Car: 5 minutes from Minakami Interchange on the Kan-Etsu Expressway