Kusatsu Onsen

The Steamy Secret Behind Gunma’s Popular Onsen Resort

Of the 3,000 or so onsen (natural hot spring baths) in Japan, Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma has been rated number one of the Top 100 Onsen selected by travel pros for the past 20 years in a row. Come learn how this small town has become one of the most popular onsen resort towns in the country, fielding around 3 million visitors annually.

Relaxing Stay Onsen(Hot Springs) Scenery Traditions
Find out why 3 million visitors are flocking to hot springs in the small Gunma town of Kusatsu.

Find out why 3 million visitors are flocking to hot springs in the small Gunma town of Kusatsu.

Set amid rolling, misty hills 90 miles northwest of Tokyo, the town of Kusatsu is centered on a giant hot water field known as the yubatake, which collects and cools the hot spring water bubbling up from the ground underneath. Some of the town’s many shops, hotels, and restaurants were built around the yubatake, where visitors can slurp soba noodles, drink hot sake, and watch illuminated steam drifting through the town at night.

Of course, what really draws people to Kusatsu is taking a dip in the baths. Not only is the water abundant—Kusatsu has the largest natural flowing water volume of all hot springs in Japan—but it’s also highly acidic, meaning it has gentle antibacterial properties.

For yumomi, water steaming at 65 degrees Celsius is stirred with large wooden planks until closer to 48 degrees. While this would still be too hot for bathing, the high acidity levels and hydrogen sulfide concentration in the water make it palatable. You can watch daily yumomi performances in the Netsunoyu building beside the central yubatake. Additionally, there are plenty of onsen and ryokan (traditional inns) in Kusatsu where you can try the most popular Japanese bathing style, soaking in open-air baths called rotenburo.

Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen is a wonderful place to let your tension fly like wisps of steam as you take a long, deserved soak. To get there from Tokyo, take the Limited Express Kusatsu-Shima from Ueno Station to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station, and take a bus to Kusatsu Onsen. Alternately, you can take a highway bus directly from Shinjuku Station to Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. The journey will take around a little over four hours, so you’ll want to stay overnight.


Kusatsu Onsen Tourist Association Information Center
Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal 1F, 28 Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma 377-1711


Tel: +81 279-88-0800
Web Form:

Business hours

09:00 - 17:00


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