Access Guide

How to Get to Kusatsu

Last updated: March 28, 2024

High in the mountains of northwestern Gunma, Kusatsu offers skiing in winter, hiking during the warmer months, and a rich bathing culture to enjoy year-round. Kusatsu Onsen is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. Easily accessible from Tokyo, reaching Kusatsu typically involves a combination of express train and bus, or a direct highway bus.

Recommended Route

Recommended Route PC
Recommended Route SP

You can reach Kusatsu in less than 3 hours by train and bus from Ueno Station. Limited Express trains run from Ueno Station to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station. From there, you can take a bus to Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal in the heart of the onsen town. An alternative is to take a shinkansen or express train from Tokyo Station to Takasaki Station. From Takasaki, transfer to a local train bound for Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station, then a bus to Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. Another alternative is to take a shinkansen from Tokyo Station or Ueno Station to Karuizawa Station in Nagano and transfer to a bus.

Ueno Station

Ueno Station is a major transportation hub in northern Tokyo for trains heading to Gunma and the northern region of Japan. You can board local trains, express and limited express trains, and the Hokuriku and Joetsu shinkansen services at Ueno Station.

Limited Express Kusatsu-Shima

Actual design may differ from the image shown.

The Limited Express Kusatsu-Shima from Ueno Station reaches Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station in around 2 hours and 20 minutes. Note that all seats are reserved. The train is covered by the JR TOKYO Wide Pass and JR EAST Pass, and others.

Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station

img ag 01 rec 03 01
img ag 01 rec 03 02
img ag 01 rec 03 03

Trains departing from both Ueno Station and Takasaki Station have direct services to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station, the gateway for travel to Kusatsu. After exiting the station, you'll find bus stops located to the left. From here you can take a bus to Kusatsu Onsen and other destinations in Gunma.

Bus to Kusatsu Onsen

Actual design may differ from the image shown.

From Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station, take a bus (JR Bus Kanto) bound for Kusatsu Onsen. The journey typically takes 25 minutes. Buses are scheduled to meet the Limited Express trains. At other times, buses depart once or twice an hour. The bus is covered by the JR East Pass. If you do not have a pass, you can pay the fare in cash or with a transportation IC card as you exit the bus.

Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal

img ag 01 rec 05 01
img ag 01 rec 05 02

Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal is the main destination for public transportation to Kusatsu. Within the terminal, you'll find a ticket office where you can purchase rail and bus tickets, as well as a tourist information center, restaurant, cafe, shops, and coin lockers.

Goal: Yubatake

img ag 01 rec 06 01
img ag 01 rec 06 02

Once you arrive at Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal, it’s just a 6-minute walk to Yubatake, a hot water field that emits large quantities of mineral-rich water from Kusatsu’s main spring.

Optional Route

Optional Route PC
Optional Route SP

For a convenient and cost-effective journey to Kusatsu, consider taking a highway bus from Tokyo Station. The JR Bus Kanto Joshu Yumeguri Go departs from Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (Busta Shinjuku), to Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. The journey takes around 4 hours, with a 20-minute break at Kamisato Service Area.

Tokyo Station

img ag 01 opt 01 01
img ag 01 opt 01 02
img ag 01 opt 01 03
img ag 01 opt 01 04

Actual design may differ from the image shown.

Buses from Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal depart from JR Expressway Bus Boarding Dock (Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit). You can buy your ticket online or at the ticket machines near the bus boarding area. Several bus companies have services to Kusatsu, so check your ticket and departure information screens carefully to ensure you board the correct bus.

Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal

img ag 01 opt 02 01
img ag 01 opt 02 02

Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal is the main destination for public transportation to Kusatsu. Within the terminal, you'll find a ticket office where you can purchase rail and bus tickets, as well as a tourist information center, restaurant, cafe, shops, and coin lockers.

Goal: Yubatake

img ag 01 opt 03 01
img ag 01 opt 03 02

Once you arrive at Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal, it’s just a 6-minute walk to Yubatake, a hot water field that emits large quantities of mineral-rich water from Kusatsu’s main spring.

Travel Tips

The JR East Pass covers travel to Kusatsu by train to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station and by JR Kanto Bus to Kusatsu Onsen. You can use the JR Tokyo Wide Pass for trains in Gunma, but buses are not included. There are other passes and travel combinations to discover, so use the links below to find your ideal travel plan.

- JR East Pass
- JR Tokyo Wide Pass
- Japan Rail Pass
- JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass
- Information on the Limited Express Kusatsu-Shima

Save time and purchase train tickets and passes, and reserve seats online, before you travel.

You can purchase tickets for expressway buses from Tokyo to Gunma online, or at special ticket machines at Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (Busta Shinjuku). Book tickets and reserve seats for JR Bus Kanto services here.

Accommodation

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

Home Plan Your Trip Access Guide How to Get to Kusatsu