Destinations

Kusatsu

Last updated: December 21, 2020

Soak in the tradition of one of Japan's most storied onsen destinations

Kusatsu is one of Japan's best-known onsen towns. Ryokan inns dot this quaint area, which retains an authentic Japanese atmosphere. At the town's center is the Yubatake, its spring source, which emits large quantities of steaming hot, mineral-rich water. Catch yumomi, a ceremonial water-stirring performance, at Netsunoyu, right next to Yubatake. Don a traditional yukata robe and enjoy onsen hopping among the picturesque townscape or the outdoor baths at nearby Sainokawara Park. Alternatively, break from bathing and hike the spectacular mountains and natural scenery surrounding Kusatsu or, in winter, take to the ski slopes.

See & Do

Relaxation

Kusatsu Onsen

Nature & Outdoors

Yoshigadaira Wetlands

Action & Adventure

Kusatsu Onsen Ski Resort

History & Culture

Netsunoyu

Relaxation

Manza Onsen

When to Visit

It is still a little chilly in Kusatsu in spring, making the season an excellent time to explore the nearby nature and see the landscape blossoming back to life. Take a dip in one of the many natural onsen baths; Kusatsu's steamy waters are extra relaxing on a crisp day.

Getting Here

Getting Here
Getting Here

Direct highway buses run from Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Tokyo stations) to Kusatsu Onsen and take about four hours. Alternatively, take a JR limited express train from Ueno Station direct to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station (2 hr 15 min). The shinkansen runs from Tokyo or Ueno Station to Takasaki Station. Change there for the JR Agatsuma Line to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station. From there, ride a local bus about 25 minutes to Kusatsu Onsen.

Getting Around

Getting Around

Most of Kusatsu’s sights are within a short walking distance of each other, including Yubatake, the surrounding onsen, and Sainokawara Park, a 12-minute walk away. Other nearby destinations, such as Manza Onsen, can be reached by local bus, while more remote and further away spots require a car.

Renting a Car

Renting a Car

Renting a car offers more flexibility than traveling by train or bus in Kusatsu. There is a rental car outlet in the town, but book in advance to secure a vehicle. Otherwise, consider renting a car in Takasaki or another nearby hub and driving to Kusatsu. Be aware that Kusatsu's roads are prone to heavy snowfall and freezing, and some sections closed throughout winter. A four-wheel drive is recommended in colder months.

Accommodation

For an authentically Japanese experience, explore the many beautiful ryokan (traditional inns) with onsen that center around the Yubatake hot water fields. Alternatively, luxury rooms, western-style hotels, and guesthouses ensure accommodation to suit every budget.

Travel Tips

Summer temperatures are relatively mild, with average highs of around 25 degrees Celsius in August. In winter, the weather is drier and average lows dip to around -10 degrees.

Kusatsu Onsen has ATMs dotted around the town. There are a handful of convenience stores, and each has an ATM. Many places accept credit card, but it’s a good idea to have adequate cash, particularly if you are venturing out to more remote areas. There are no ATMs in the Manza Onsen area.

There are tourist information centers in Kusatsu and Manza where you can find out more about nearby attractions and get advice on what to see and do.

There are coin lockers at Kusatsu Onsen bus terminal where you can leave your bags before you go and explore the area. There are no coin lockers in the Manza Onsen area.

Most of Kusatsu’s accommodation and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi. There is free Wi-Fi at Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal and at many other spots around the town. The only Wi-Fi in Manza is within the hotels.

Related Stories & Guides

Downloads

Kusatsu Official Tourism Website

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