Access Guide

How to Get to Shima

Last updated: March 28, 2024

Shima is a charming escape, tucked into the mountains of northern Gunma, and surrounded by forests. Shima Onsen is celebrated for its rejuvenating onsen waters. Explore the bright blue water of Lake Shima and the Shima River’s waterfalls. Easily accessible from Tokyo, reaching Shima typically involves a combination of express train and bus, or a direct highway bus.

Recommended Route

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You can reach Shima in around 2 and a half hours by train and bus from Ueno Station. Limited Express trains run from Ueno Station to Nakanojo Station. From there, you can take a bus to Shima Onsen Bus Stop in the heart of the onsen town. Alternatively, you can take a shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Takasaki Station. From Takasaki, transfer to a local Agatsuma Line train bound for Nakanojo Station, then take a bus to Shima Onsen Bus Stop.

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, express, and limited express trains and the Hokuriku and Joetsu shinkansen services at Ueno Station.

Limited Express Kusatsu-Shima

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

Nakanojo Station

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Trains departing from both Ueno Station and Takasaki Station have direct services to Nakanojo Station.

Bus to Shima Onsen

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From Nakanojo Station, take a bus (Kan-etsu Transportation) bound for Shima Onsen. Buses bound for Shima Onsen depart from Bus Stop No.1 in front of the station. The journey typically takes around 40 minutes. Buses depart approximately once an hour. You can pay the fare in cash or with a transportation IC card.

Goal: Shima Onsen Bus Stop

From the bus stop it is just a 2-minute walk to Ochiai Street in the heart of the onsen town and around 5 minutes to Shima Onsen Association, where you can get tourist information about the area.

Optional Route

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For a convenient and cost-effective journey to Shima, consider taking a highway bus from Tokyo Station. The Kan-etsu Transportation Shima Onsen Go departs from Tokyo Station to Shima Onsen Bus Stop. The journey takes around 4 hours, with rest stops along the way. Buses also depart from Haneda Airport Garden Bus Terminal. The trip from Haneda takes around 4 and a half hours.

Tokyo Station

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Buses from Tokyo to Shima Onsen Bus Stop depart from JR Expressway Bus Boarding Dock (Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit). Buy your ticket online or from a travel agency up to one month before you travel.

Goal: Shima Onsen Bus Stop

From the bus stop it is just a 2-minute walk to Ochiai Street in the heart of the onsen town and around 5 minutes to Shima Onsen Association, where you can get tourist information about the area.

Travel Tips

You can use the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Pass, and other JR passes for trains on this route. However, bus fares must be paid separately. There are many 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 buy bus tickets online, for up to one month before you travel. Find information on schedules and routes and buy tickets here.

Accommodation

Shima provides a wealth of accommodation. Choices range from grand onsen hotels and charming traditional inns to camping and glamping.

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