The town of Kusatsu Onsen is located on a 1200m high plateau to the east of Mount Shirane-san on the border between Gunma and Nagano prefectures. Kusatsu Onsen, often referred to as one of the three best Japanese hot springs is one of the most famous onsen areas in Japan. Although it is a large spa town with a long history, it is not an entertainment district where brilliant neon reigns. Instead, it continues to retain the atmosphere of the good old days.
Each minute, 36,839 liters of piping hot, strongly acidic, sulfuric water springs forth from more than 100 sources around the town, making this the largest per minute quantity in Japan. The onsen facilities in Kusatsu Onsen are known to be effective in treating nerve problems, muscle aches, exhaustion, chronic skin diseases and other medical predicaments.
At the center of the town can be found the amazing scene of Yubata, where clouds of steam rising from the earth combine with a sulfurous smell as ‘Yutaki,’ a dynamic ‘hot’ waterfall, plummets into a blue green plunge pool.
In terms of taking a dip, Kusatsu Onsen has a unique bathing method, called “jikan-yu” (meaning limited time bathing). After “yumomi,” a method of cooling the very high temperature water to a suitable temperature for bathing using long wooden paddles, you soak in a bath for only 3 minutes and are timed by instructors in a system designed to produce the best effects for the bathers. Paddles are used to cool as adding cold water to reduce temperature removes much of the beneficial side of the onsen.
Atsu-no-yu, hosts “yumomi” shows, and Shirahata-no-yu, a public bathhouse, are both close to Yubata as are facilities for foot bathing, ryokan and hotels for staying in, souvenir shops to secure a memento of your trip and restaurants to replenish the internal energy.
A little further afield but still nearby, Yukama at Mount Shirane-san has a beautiful emerald green lake and is reached following a 30 minute drive and a 20 minute hike.
[googlemap lat=”36.621756″ lng=”138.593278″ width=”300px” height=”150px” zoom=”6″ type=”G_NORMAL_MAP”]群馬県吾妻郡草津町草津[/googlemap]
|Efficacy||Neuralgia, muscular pain, relieving fatigue, health enhancement, cuts|
|Address||Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma|
|Link||Kusatsu Inn Association(Japanese)|