Travel & Activities

Best Things To Do in Kusatsu – The Hot Spring Area for Everyone!

Kusatsu is a very famous spot for onsen or hot spring in Gunma Prefecture and often called as the center of attraction. The entire area is situated in the Kanto region and a few hours away from Tokyo.

If you have plans of visiting this town, might as well consider a few of the best things to do in Kusatsu during your stay. These are all worth your time, money, and energy!

【1】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.

【2】Absorb the onsen energy at Yubatake 

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

Kusatsu’s heart and soul is centered around Yubatake, and it’s such an interesting place to watch the super hot sulphur-smelling waters flow down from the active Mt Shirane. Viewing at night is great as the steam from the cooler evening and if you have rain (like we did) makes for a great picture.

Interesting fact is that you can dip your toes in the foot baths surrounding Yubatake, and visit the Yumomi show next door. Also – check out the dates and names of all the dignitaries who visited over the years – fun to take a pic and then look them up to see who these folks were.

【3】Wander around Sainokawara Park

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Name Sainokawara Park
Address Sainokawara, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun 377-1700, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 24 hours
Holiday None

Sainokawara Park is a wonderful place to start your walking tour of Kusatsu.
It starts at the Art Museum and no cars are allowed to enter. Therefore, you can enjoy a walk without worrying about the vehicles.

There are foot baths, nature visitor center and wonderful open air hot spring bath run by the town of Kusatsu. If you wish you can keep walking and it leads to many different hiking trails. At night there are lighting on the trail and you can walk up to the waterfall. You will need your own lighting to go beyond the waterfall at night.

【4】Kusatsu Tsurutaro Kataoka Museum

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Name Kusatsu Tsurutaro Kataoka Museum
Address 479 Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun 377-1711, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Holiday Thursday

A small museum featuring an ex-comedian Tsurutaro who spent over 30 years drawing in this region. This museum is one of four that he has had built to show his art work or what he has painted not what he collected. Mostly modern style but of traditional themes.

The museum is a bit pricy (about ¥1,000 each) but the small collection is very good quality. Also, a lovely coffee bar in the gift shop that looks out on the path in order to people watch.

【5】Witness Yumomi in Netsunoyu

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Name Yumomi in Netsunoyu Address 414 Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun 377-1701, Gunma Prefecture Operating Hours 9:30 AM, 10 AM, and 10:30 AM
3:30 PM, 4:00 PM and 4:30 PM Holiday None

For a small fee, you can be entertained with traditional song and dance that you can also participate after. Although this is a relatively short “performance” of Kusatsu’s traditional method of stirring the hot spring water to cool it to bathing temperature, it’s interesting to watch and includes an audience participation segment, so if you’re game, you can try it for yourself.

Wielding a 6-foot long plank in such hot water is not as easy as it looks! The show begins with an historical video (with English subtitles) and also offers a description you can listen to via your smartphone in 4 languages.