by Jana Hopkins (群馬県)
Kusatsu hot spring resort is located in the Northwest part of Gunma prefecture. It’s known as one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts and has increased in popularity due to the Japanese “Thermae Romae” films released in 2012 and 2014.
I recently went for day trip and loved it. There are many scenic picture spots such as the famous “yubatake” and sulfur ponds. There were also lots of things to see, such as the shrine at the top of the hill and the street full of small shops.
Not only were there a lot of things to see, but also a lot to do. To get the full Kusatsu experience, watching the “yunomi,” water-churning show, is a must. In the afternoon, you can even try it yourself! In Kusatsu, there is a craft area where you can paint limestones in acrylic paint. They soak the stones in limestone water for a few days and then send it to your house. It’s a great souvenir for the day. There is also a tropical climate zoo where you can feed many animals. And ultimately, there is the hot spring bath in very hot sulfur water!
The great thing about Kusatsu is it’s a very flexible trip once you get there. For surrounding prefectures, it’s easy to spend one whole day. For hot spring lovers, an overnight stay is great for trying out different baths or for the ryokan experience. In winter, there are many ski resorts around too to make for a nice weekend trip.
I highly recommend Kusatsu hot springs, especially in fall or winter. Please check it out. ◆