Travel & Activities

7 Best Things To Do in Gunma | Exploring The Mountainous Area!

Gunma prefecture is located in the Kanto Region or considered as the central part of Japan. Here you will find mountainous places, and it was also the home for horse-breeding. Although it is part of Kanto, the land still shows a lot of preserved mountain areas and traditional sightseeings that significantly contributed to Japan’s history.

While planning for your vacation here, check out the best things that you can do and how you can maximize your stay and make it a memorable one.

【1】Take a tour at some shrines

Haruna Shrine

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Name Haruna Shrine
Address 849 Harunasanmachi, Takasaki 370-3341, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Holiday None

Haruna Shrine is a great place to wish and pray. The shrine is connected to the mainland by a red bridge. The temple itself is a standard affair, but enjoyable. It’s the power spot in Gunma Prefecture. But I recommend you to try the Soba Festival on 24th to 26th of November. It’s a fantastic Festival for eating Soba, Toufu and coffee. You can pay 1500 yen with 5 tickets for 5 shop or restaurants.

Haruna Shrine is nestled in the mountains. January is the month when the place gets overcrowded. There were lines of cars from both roads leading into the shrine and very little parking. They were sending 5 people at a time to pray because there was even a line up to the shrine itself. However, the atmosphere remained peaceful and I left with good fortune..

Myogi Shrine

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Name Myogi Shrine
Address 6 Myogi, Myogi-mahi, Tomioka 379-0201, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Holiday None

It’s not easy to get there, it’s a long drive, but once you are there you are rewarded with splendid views. If you come in the spring, the cherry blossoms are amazing. In winter it’s bitterly cold and crazy windy.

The steps to the shrine get icy and very slippery. If you are a hiker, best be prepared for it as there are a few routes up the mountain.It is still a nice walk up the shrine.

【2】Head to the prominent temples

Shorinzan Daruma Temple

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Name Shorinzan Daruma Temple
Address 296 Hanadakamachi, Takasaki 370-0868, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 24 hours
Holiday None

Shorinzan Darumaji Temple is a symbol the Big Dipper. You will get own power. And this area are most make a Daruma in Japan. When you visit Shorinzan that can buy Daruma with nothing eyes. You can write only the left eye with your wish. So your dream come true that you write right eye with gratitude.

It is a bit out of the way about a 30 minute walk from the train station, but definitely worth it. I guess it’s faster to reach when you choose to drive going to this place.


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Name Morin-ji
Address 1570 Horiku-cho, Tatebayashi 374-0033, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 24 hours
Holiday None

The Morinji temple is located in Tatebayashi , Gunma Prefecture. If travelling by train, it is a walking distance of 15 minutes from the Morinji-mae station on the Tobu-Isesaki line.
The temple is a wonderful place with great views during the cherry blossom season. The temple is decorated with numerous images and statues of raccoons.

There is a famous folktale associated with this temple. The temples main entrance and the hall have been built using thatch. The location is quite convenient as it is just 10 minutes on foot from Morinji-mae Station (Tobu-Isesaki Line).


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Name Mizusawa Temple
Address 214 Ikahomachi-Mizusawa , Shibukawa 377-0103, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 8:00 AM – 7:00 AM
Holiday None

This Buddhist temple is famous with the name of “Mizusawa Kannon”. This temple has the statue of Kannon. For your information, Kannon stands for Bodhisattva.
At the entrance, you can see an old wooden gate named “Nio Mon”. Inside of the gate, you will see two statues of Nio. Also, you can climb up to the upstairs of the gate. Watch your step and climb carefully. There are three statues there. From the gate, you can go on the steps and will find old buildings.

The temple was established about 1,300 years ago. Therefore, you will feel something historical. “Rokkaku-do” is a building shaped hexagon. You can hold a bar and round 3 times along the building. You also can experience ringing the temple bell with JPY100. I bet you will feel ease and blessed.

【3】 Tomioka Silk Mill

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Name Tomioka Silk Mill
Address 1-1 Tomioka, Tomioka 370-2316, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 9 AM – 5 PM
Holiday None

This is an historic silk mill that’s been kind of restored and opened to the public.

The museum is pretty good. NOTE – there IS an English brochure that explains all the displays in detail. But it’s not easy to find. I asked a security guard, who first told me there was not a brochure, and then 10 minutes found me in the museum to give me the brochure. It makes the whole experience much more interesting.

But outside of the museum, the place was pretty limited and, to my mind, not that interestingly presented. The factory floor just has the most recent machines, with no real demonstration of how they were used. The original factory master’s house is just something you can see from the outside, as are the employee barracks.

In short, the museum is interesting if you get the English brochure. The rest of it, kind of so-so.

【4】Fukiwarenotaki Falls

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Name Fukiwarenotaki Falls
Address Tonemachiokkai, Numata 378-0303, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 24 hours
Holiday None

Take a nice leisurely walk and enjoy the view. Few people in summer. Parking at the opposite shops is free. Instead of crossing the road which may be dangerous, you can take the underground route to get to the other side.

There’s a small observation/peeking area that you can access during winter months but it wasn’t really satisfactory. That said, it looked scenic enough that I would like to make the trip to return here when the paths are open.

【5】Have a relaxing time at Kusatsu Onsen

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Name Kusatsu Onsen
Address 3-9 Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun 377-1711, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 24 hours
Holiday None

On the face of it, Kusatsu Onsen town seems a very ordinary place When visited in the spring after the snows have gone. However first appearances can be deceiving. Kusatsu is the home of large number of onsen driven by the volcanically heated waters that emerge in springs all across the town. The most obvious spring is the one in the town centre which is a unique focal point. I visited the Sainokawara Rotemburo open-air hot springs which can be found in Sainokawara park a short walk from the town centre and very much enjoyed the experience of soaking in warm water while being in the open air.The town itself is nice to walk around with many small shops and a good selection of foods.

Getting to Kusatsu from Tokyo requires two trains and a bus. This is not as complicated as it sounds and if you have JR Railcard whole journey is no extra cost. To get to Kusatsu, I took the Joetsu Shinkansen from Ueno station to Takasaki. Then changed trains to go to Naganoharakusatsuguchi Station. From the station, I took that JR bus to Kusatsu.

【6】Take a long walk at Ozegahara

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Name Ozegahara
Address Tokura, Katashina-mura, Tone-gun 378-0411, Gunma Prefecture

Operating Hours 24 hours
Holiday None

This place has a good hiking pathway that even beginners can endure walking. Toilets are provided on the pathway so it’s convenient to all hikers and aspiring hikers out there.

You’ll hear the frogs sound and the birds chirpin’ around. Though it may be tiring to have long walks, the nature that surrounds the place will help you feel at ease while having a long journey.

【7】Have some fun at Karuizawa Toy Kingdom

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Name Karuizawa Toy Kingdom
Address 2277 Omaehosohara, Tsumagoi-mura, Agatsuma-gun 377-1512, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Holiday None

There’s plenty to do here regardless of the child’s age, there’s even funfair rides that kids as young as two can go on as long as they are accompanied by an adult. There is also a good woodland section, which is a path of bridges and ropes where kids can explore and climb.

There is also a creative section where kids can make wooden toys under guidance from staff. We purchased a two day pass which was well worthwhile, the first day it rained, but that wasn’t a problem as there is a host of indoor playrooms with various themes such as dolls, tomica, Lego or anpanman.