Relax on a Solo Getaway in Gunma

Take time to recharge and reconnect with yourself in beautiful landscapes and relaxing onsen resorts

Relax on a Solo Getaway in Gunma

Last updated: May 13, 2024

With an abundance of natural attractions, Gunma is an ideal destination for a solo trip. Do as much or as little as you want, soak in the rejuvenating waters of its abundant hot springs, breathe in the pristine mountain air, and enjoy a refreshing retreat. A solo trip also offers mental health benefits from the endorphin rush of getting out of your comfort zone to enjoying time with your own thoughts, free from distractions. Choose one or several onsen towns and create your own refreshing getaway. While getting to Gunma is easy, and most destinations within are accessible by public transport, consider renting a car for greater convenience. There are several rental companies around Takasaki Station.

Experience Kusatsu Onsen's bathing culture

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This famous onsen town has drawn visitors for hundreds of years to soak in its hot springs. The variety of mineral-rich waters is said to have healing and beautifying properties. Kusatsu Onsen is easily accessible by train and bus from Tokyo and Takasaki.

There are several historical public baths in town, centered around Yubatake, a hot water field that is the source for most of the area’s baths. If you prefer some privacy, many inns in the area offer private bathing options, including luxurious and centrally located Naraya. A number of rooms at Yubatake Souan come with a private onsen bath, with water drawn directly from Yubatake. You can also reserve the onsite onsen bath for private use. After a day of exploring the town, relax at the hotel’s Ashiyu Cafe which is also open to non-staying patrons. Soak your feet in the warm spring water while enjoying drinks and sweets.

Sainokawara Open-Air Bath allows visitors to experience the seasons' beauty while enjoying a relaxing soak. There are separate baths for women and men, but on Friday evenings, one large outdoor bath is open for mixed bathing under the stars, and bathers can wear swimsuits or towels. Gozanoyu onsen offers a “Yukata de Sanpo” course where you can dress in a traditional cotton yukata and sandals to stroll around the town. It’s a great way to experience the historical atmosphere of Kusatsu Onsen and offers excellent opportunities for selfie photos. Make time to explore Ura-Kusatsu, a newly-renovated area with stylish shops and innovative “face baths,” using natural steam from the hot springs to soften the skin.

The onsen town is surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests, which are ideal for solo hiking. Gentle hiking courses through a larch forest start at Kusatsu Onsen Hotel Village and are ideal for therapeutic forest bathing.

How to get to Kusatsu

Enjoy a slower pace of life in Shima Onsen

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This peaceful onsen town is tucked away in the mountains, but easily accessible by train and bus from Tokyo and Takasaki. Shima Onsen is famous for the vivid blue water of its pure rivers and lakes. Taste the mineral-rich onsen water at Shio-no-yu and Yuzuriha drinking fountains and soak your feet at the numerous foot baths around the town, including Yamaguchi Kawane-no Ashiyu, Yuzuriha Mori-no Ashiyu, and Hinatami Yakushi-no Ashiyu.

Rent a bicycle from Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan or the Shima Onsen Association to explore the shops and cafes of the retro townscape and tour the nearby natural spots such as the Shima Potholes and Momotaro Falls. Lake Shima and Lake Okushima are known for their striking cobalt blue water, a shade known as “Shima Blue.” You can book guided canoe tours to explore the lakes.

Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan is a traditional-style ryokan inn with old-fashioned charm, and tattoo-friendly onsen baths. The inn has rooms and plans specifically tailored to solo travelers. Their balanced and healthy meals showcase the best of local seasonal produce, and vegan options are available.

How to get to Shima

Reconnect with your creativity in Ikaho Onsen

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Ikaho Onsen is a historic onsen town in the hills below Mt. Haruna. Its iron-rich spring water, known as Kogane no Yu (“golden water”), is said to have rejuvenating properties. Ikaho Onsen is easily accessible by train and bus from Tokyo and Shibukawa. Joshin no Sato Hibikino is a stylish inn overlooking Mt. Haruna that offers both traditional and modern rooms that are ideal for a solo stay.

The town centers on 365 stone steps lined by restaurants, small shops, and ryokan inns. A short walk from the stone steps is Kajika Bridge, an elegant spot to enjoy seasonal scenery. A little further away, Mizusawa Kannon Temple is said to be over 1,300 years old. Try the delicious, chewy namesake Mizusawa udon noodles at restaurants that line the approach to the temple.

Rediscover your creative and playful side, by painting traditional wooden Kokeshi dolls at Usaburo Kokeshi. Master artisans here produce around 15,000 of these charming dolls a month. A short bus ride away from Ikaho Onsen, the world-renowned Hara Museum ARC showcases modern artworks in their regularly changing exhibits. You can stroll the outdoor sculpture displays and stop at the stylish cafe which features art-inspired cakes.

How to get to Ikaho and Haruna

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