Gunma Gateway

Last updated: December 21, 2020

Gunma's accessible gateway with deep-rooted culture

Takasaki, Tomioka, and Maebashi are three cities in southern Gunma within easy reach of Tokyo. These cultural hubs are great bases for exploring the prefecture, providing connections to its most remote reaches.

Takasaki is the home of the Daruma doll, a Buddhist good-luck charm on which people traditionally make wishes for the new year. It is also the home of the towering Byakue Dai-Kannon statue, a symbol of the city. Tomioka is synonymous with Japan’s silk industry. You can tour the silk mill that is credited with being the blueprint for Japan’s industrial revolution. Maebashi is the prefecture capital and includes Mt. Akagi, a popular hiking spot.

See & Do

History & Culture

Tomioka Silk Mill

History & Culture

Shorinzan Darumaji Temple

Nature & Outdoors

Mt. Myogi

History & Culture

Byakue Dai-Kannon

History & Culture


When to Visit

Cherry blossom season starts around mid-April when around 3,000 trees bloom around Byakue Dai-Kannon, the towering symbol of Takasaki. Around the same time, 5,000 cherry trees bloom at Sakura no Sato, located at the foot of Mt. Myogi. Spring isn’t only about cherry blossoms; Kaneko Seeds Gunma Flower Park has a carpet of colorful tulips.

Getting Here

Getting Here
Getting Here

Takasaki Station is a non-stop shinkansen ride from Tokyo. The journey takes about 50 minutes. The JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line and the JR Takasaki Line are cheaper, but take around two hours.

Getting Around

Getting Around

Tomioka is less than 40 minutes from Takasaki Station on the Joshin Line, and Maebashi is about 15 minutes from Takasaki on the JR Ryomo Line. Central areas of Takasaki, Maebashi and Tomioka are easily walkable, but if you venture further out, you’ll need to use local buses. Alternatively, rent a car for more independence.

Renting a Car

Renting a Car

It is usually faster and easier to get to Takasaki from Tokyo by train than by car. If you plan to explore Gunma’s more remote reaches and plan to drive, you can rent a car at one of several facilities in Takasaki.


Takasaki has a wealth of convenient, Western-style hotels located around the station. Maebashi also has a handful of comfortable hotels. Tomioka's more limited options include family-run inns and homestays.

Travel Tips

Takasaki, Tomioka, and Maebashi have a temperate climate all year round. August is the warmest month, and temperatures regularly climb into the mid-30s Celsius. January is the coldest month, but it rarely snows. The temperatures generally stay around 10 degrees in the cities, though strong northerly winds may make it feel cooler.

Takasaki, Tomioka, and Maebashi's main areas have plenty of ATMs, and most venues accept credit cards. However, if you venture further out of the towns, it is a good idea to withdraw cash first.

Takasaki Information Center inside Takasaki Station is a convenient place to find information about the surrounding area and plan your itinerary.

Information about Tomioka Silk Mill and its surroundings is available at Machinaka Tourism Product Center, Otomi-chan House.

Takasaki, Joshu-Tomioka and Maebashi stations all have coin lockers to store your luggage while you explore the area.

Most of the area’s accommodation and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi. There are free Wi-Fi hotspots around Takasaki and Maebashi, too. To be sure you can stay connected, buy a pre-paid SIM card or organize a pocket Wi-Fi rental on arrival in Japan.

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