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Kusatsu Onsen



About Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen (in Japanese, 草津温泉) or Kusatsu Hot Springs is a hot spring resort and is located northwest of Tokyo. Kusatsu Onsen is one of the four large hot spring towns in Gunma Prefecture (the four largest being Ikaho Onsen, Kusatsu Onsen, Minakami Onsen and Shima Onsen). It has become one of the popular destinations for Tokyo'ites to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and relax on the weekends. The source of Kusatsu's hot spring water is nearby Mount Shirane (an active volcano) which is known for it's high acidity which can even dissolve metal.  Kusatsu has the largest natural flow of hot spring water in all of Japan and the resort town has constantly occupied a top spot in onsen rankings. There is a famous and old saying about Kusatsu's hot springs baths, "The mineral waters of Kusatsu will cure every illness you have... except lovesickness" (some visitors have claimed that certain pain magically disappeared after soaking in the baths).

About Kusatsu Onsen - 2

Kusatsu Hot Springs Water, "Chemical Make-Up"

Kusatsu Onsen's hot springs water includes sulphur, iron, alum, aluminium sulfate, chloride and arsenic with water temperatures ranging from 60 to 67 degrees Centigrade. The anti-bacterial nature of the water is thought to help cure a number of diseases including arthritis, diabetes, fatigue, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and muscular ailments. Kusatsu gained further fame in the late 1800's when a German doctor who taught medicine at Tokyo University, Erwin von Baelz, stated that soaking in the hot springs of Kusatsu is beneficial for health.

About Kusatsu Onsen - 3

Before soaking and relaxing one of the many hot springs at a Japanese Inn or Public Bath, most tourists will walk around town visiiting Yubatake, Sai No Kawara Street and Sai No Kawara Park. Sai No Kawara street is a very pleasant street full of very stylish, old fashioned ryokan or minshuku and loads of great souvenir and traditional sweet shops. Even if you are on a tight budget, it's a great place for some window shopping. The area around Kusatsu offers skiing during the winter and hiking during the summer. After one of these activities or after just a long day of walking and or traveling, soaking in one of the many hot springs baths of Kusatsu is sure to sooth your aching muscles. Since the Kusatsu Onsen area is relatively small, most people walk the area. However, there is also a bus that runs around the town called the "Kusatsu Loop Bus". It costs 100 yen to ride (even if your going just one stop) and just press the button to alert the driver when you want to get off at the next stop. When exiting insert your 100 yen into the fare box when you get off the bus.




How to get to Kusatsu Onsen

The "Access" Graphic above is a simplified "Quick Glance" at some of the transportation options available. Due to fluctuating schedules & pricing, Times & Costs are subject to change. For exact time schedules and costs please use our "Find a train route and times" by Jordan below or HyperDia.com

from Tokyo

  • by Train
    1. JR Ltd. Express > JR Bus - around 6,160 yen and takes about 2 hours 50 min. plus transfers.
      from Ueno Station, this is the best method with those holding a JR Pass. You can get to Kusatsu Onsen in under 3 hours without paying any extra costs. The only problem with this method is that there are only a limited amount to Ltd. Express trains per day. However, if you plan ahead and catch the exact train you need, this is the best.
    2. Shinkansen > Local JR > JR Bus - around 6,690 yen and takes about 3 hours and 5 min plus transfers.
      from Tokyo or Ueno Station, if you can't match your schedule to catch the Ltd. Express above, this is a 2nd option... although you will have to make an extra trasfer and it will take 30 min. to an hour longer.
    3. Local JR > Local JR > JR Bus - around 3,710 yen and takes about 3 hours and 35 min plus transfers.
      from Ueno Station the cheapest way to go by train is to ride just regular local and express trains.
    4. Shinkansen > Express Bus, via Karuizawa - around 9,110 yen and takes about 2 hours and 45 min plus transfers.
      from Tokyo Station, this method is suggested on other sites but even though it's "slightly" faster, it's way more expensive. However, if your stopping at Karuizawa along your trip and want to make a side-stop in Kusatsu, this is a good option.
  • by Bus
    • Hwy. Bus - around 3,300 yen and takes about 4 hours.
      If you don't have a JR Pass and want to get to Kusatsu Onsen, this is a great method. Although the time is longer than most the train routes, there is no transfer and it's much cheaper.

Find a train route and times by Hyperdia & Jorudan

Departure or Arrival time






Hotels & Lodging

View all Hotels and Lodging in & nearby Kusatsu Onsen


Area Map

Kusatsu Onsen Japan Area Map



Here is a list of some of the top Attractions in & nearby Kusatsu Onsen.  View all Attractions in Kusatsu Onsen.

Kusatsu Onsen Hot Springs Bath

Kusatsu Onsen Baths the natural hot springs and soaking in them is most popular activity in Kusatsu. Kusatsu has the lagest natural flow of hot springs water in all of Japan ....see more details.

Kusatsu Onsen Yubatake

Yubatake is the 2nd main attraction/reason why people come to Kusatsu (the 1st reason being they wish to soak in the hot water baths). It is however, the main source of hot springs water for many of the Ryokans and Bathing Houses in Kusatsu. This "hot water field" generates approximately 5000 liters of hot spring water ....see more details.

Kusatsu Onsen Mount Shirane

Mount Shirane is an active volcano near the popular hot springs town of Kusatsu. It is also one of Japan's "most famous mountains" as the crater lake at the summit is known for it's beautiful "Emerald Green Water". With a pH of approximately 1.0, it is known as the most acidic lake in Japan. Being one of Japan's ....see more details.

Kusatsu Sai No Kawara Park

Sai No Kawara Park (in Japanese; 西の河原公園, Sainokawara Kouen) is a short walk from the town center of Kusatsu. It is another one of the main tourist destinations for people who come to Kusatsu so depending on the day, it can be crowded (or if you get lucky, very few people). Walking trails lead through the park following a small stream/river that is fed by several hot spring sources. There is also a small waterfall fed by hot water. The popular "Sai No Kawara Public Outdoor Bath" is also in this park.

Kusatsu Yumomi

Yumomi (in Japanese; 湯もみ, Yumomi) is the traditional method Japanese use to "cool down" a hot springs bath so humans can enter. They stir the water with large wooden paddles while singing local folk songs. There is a daily Yumomi Performance held at the Netsunoyu building which is right next to the Yubatake. If your lucky you may be chosen to participate in the Yumomi.

Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort

Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort (in Japanese; 草津国際スキー場, Kusatsu Kokusai Skiijyou) is a ski resort very close to central Kusatsu Onsen (5 min. bus, 20 min. walk) and boasts one of the longest runs in Japan, almost 8 kilometers! The upper-half of the mountain has intermediate and advanced runs while the bottom half has more beginner runs. In the summer the resort changes into a "Summer Resort" that offers mountain biking, miniature golf and grass cart. There is a large network of walking trails leads up and around the mountain toward Mount Shirane and you can use the resort's ropeway cover part of the journey. Access: There is a free shuttle bus that runs every hour between the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal and the ski resort. It is only a 5 min. ride on the bus. You can even walk to the ski resort from central Kusatsu as it only takes 15-20 minutes. Please visit the Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort Official Website for detailed information.


View all attractions in & nearby Kusatsu Onsen

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