Five Select Ryokan and Hotels in the Onsen Heaven of Gunma
Gunma is known for its many onsen hot spring villages, including one of Japan's foremost onsen, Kusatsu Onsen. Here are five recommended ryokan inns and hotels including those highly rated on on Japanese and foreign travel sites!
1. Takaragawa Onsen Ousenkaku
This popular inn in Takaragawa Onsen was number one on Lonely Planet's Top 10 Onsen in Japan. This inn features four types of open-air onsen baths spread out on its vast grounds. Water from four sources constantly flows into each of the four baths which are designed to blend in with nature. Three of the four baths are mixed-gender, so female guests can rent bathing wear at no additional cost. There are also single-gender baths inside, as well as a women's only open air bath. The dinner with charcoal grilled edible wild plants, mushrooms, and river fish is also popular.
2. Kusatsu Onsen Naraya
This popular inn in Kusatsu Onsen has been in business for 140 years. The water flowing into this inn is from the oldest source in the onsen region. Although the water is originally hot at 55 degrees Celsius, it is drawn in using a natural slope and held in a water tank before flowing into the baths to maintain an appropriate temperature. You can enjoy this famous hot spring in either the large baths with open-air baths, or private baths. The guest rooms are modern yet maintain a uniquely Japanese feel. They are spacious so you can have a leisurely stay in them. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the inn. The inn also has English-speaking staff.
3. Ikaho Onsen Fukuichi
This popular inn in Ikaho Onsen was established 400 years ago. It is in a quiet forest, so you can enjoy seasonal nature when you stay there. The inn has large baths with open-air baths with water from two sources, and three different types of private baths. Guest rooms are varied, and include traditional Japanese rooms, luxury rooms with private gardens, and Western-style rooms with beds. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the inn. The inn also has a spa and gift shop.
4. Oigami Onsen Shisuitei
This popular inn is in Oigami Onsen in the northern part of the prefecture. The inn has an open-air bath where you can steep in the onsen and enjoy the garden, as well as saunas and other bathing facilities. The onsen here is known as "Bihada no Yu," a hot spring for beautiful skin, and has water that feels soft to the touch. There is a variety of guest rooms, including the standard traditional Japanese rooms, as well as Western-style rooms with beds and luxury rooms with private open-air baths.
At dinner, you can enjoy creative Japanese dishes made using local ingredients including fresh vegetables made on the inn's private farm. The inn also has a karaoke room for those who want to have a lively evening.
5. Hotel Village (Nakazawa Village)
This spa & resort hotel in Kusatsu Onsen has liberating open-air baths and large indoor baths that tap into three different onsen hot spring sources. It also has a variety of facilities including four swimming pools, a hot tub, and sauna, as well as areas where you can enjoy a variety of activities such as bowling, tennis, fishing and cycling. It is a resort where you can enjoy staying over, or just have a full day of fun on a day visit. It also offers a selection of restaurants so you can enjoy everything from sushi to steak. There are staff who speak English and Chinese.
Gunma is easily accessible from Tokyo, so you can stay over at an onsen inn, or go just for the day. Please have a relaxing time steeping in one of their famous onsen hot springs.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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