Famous throughout for its abundant volcanic water and dramatic setting, Kusatsu Onsen is often cited as one of Japan’s most famous hot spring towns. It is also grouped with Minakami, Ikaho and Shima as the four famous onsen towns of Gunma Prefecture. Kusatsu is centred around its iconic ‘yubatake’, an immense open-air ‘hot water field’ over which the thermal water flows in order to cool, before being used to fill the baths of the town’s many guesthouses.
Set high in the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park and drawing its water from the thermal activity of nearby Mount Shirane, Kusatsu Onsen is truly unique. Though remotely isolated, Kusatsu is readily easy to reach from both Tokyo and Nagano thanks to the efficiency and speed of Japan’s shinkansen network. As a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, Karuizawa Station is the nearest major station to Kusatsu, with frequent buses running to and from the town and station.
Our ’25 Things To Do In & Around Kusatsu Onsen’ page highlights some of the many attractions waiting to be discovered, while information regarding accommodation in and around Kusatsu Onsen can be found through our ‘Kusatsu Onsen Area’ hotel page.
Approx. 70 to 80 minute drive or 2.5 hours from the Jigokudani Monkey Park using public transport
From Nagano Station: take the Hokuriku Shinkansen bound for Karuizawa Station - 30 minutes - and once at Karuizawa, take the local bus service to Kusatsu Onsen - around 80 minutes