This onsen resort is famous as one of the three major onsen in Japan. The unique bathing method of jikanyu (timed bathing) and yumomi (water beating) are customs that have been passed down since the Edo period. In addition to the high spring quality, the atmosphere of the resort is attractive with the Yubatake (literally means hot water fields, a wooden facility for thermal moderation of the water) located at the center. Also, this onsen resort boasts the greatest amount of hot spring water discharged in Japan. Among the top 100 Onsen selected by travel pros, Kusatsu Onsen has ranked No. 1 in Japan for 13 years in a row! In both name and reality, this onsen resort is representative of Japan.
Minakami Onsen Area is consisted of nine different onsen resorts including Minakami Onsen, Tanigawa Onsen and Takaragawa Onsen. Minakami Onsen is located alongside the mountain stream that comes down from the Tanigawa mountain range and it is surrounded by abundant nature. The lighting up of Minakamikyo Gorge and Suwakyo Gorge creates a mystical view.
Ikaho Onsen is located halfway up Mt. Harunasan at an elevation of 700 meters. It has a long history as its name even appears in the Manyoshu, Japan's oldest surviving collection of poems, said to have been edited in the late seventh and late eighth centuries. Here you can enjoy two types of onsen: "Kogane no Yu (Golden Water)", in which the iron contained in the water has oxidized to form a distinctive brownish-red color; and "Shirogane no Yu (Silver Water)", whose gushing was only discovered in recent years. The 300-meter long path with 365 stone steps at the center of the onsen resort creates a unique atmosphere. This onsen resort is also known as the birthplace of onsen manju (steamed bean-jam buns).
It is an quiet onsen resort which is located along the clear water of Shima River. The hot spring, which takes its name from the word "shima", meaning "40,000", is said to cure 40,000 types of illness. The traditional ambiance with a nostalgic charm is very popular among visitors. In recent years, Shima Onsen has become famous for its ryokan, which served as one of the models for the onsen ryokan in the full-length animated movie, "Spirited Away."
This is a lake formed by a dam located at 1,513 m above sea level and circled by 2,000 m high mountains. Located amidst of environment with an abundant variety of mountains, lake water, marshes, and grasslands, about 300 species of alpine plants brighten up the lakeshore in each season.
Some 10,000 azalea trees are planted in the extensive 11-hectare park. The park features many interesting sights such as old wild azalea trees that are said to be 800 to 1,000 years old, a giant azalea tree towering over five meters, and an azalea tunnel which visitors can pass through.
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