Gunma Travel Guide

Gunma is a mountainous playground in the Kanto region, with probably the best adventure sports and hot spring bathing in all of Japan.

Gunma Featured Restaurants


Ajizukuri Setsugekka

Lunch: ¥4,000-4,999
Dinner: ¥6,000-7,999


Lunch: ¥2,000-4,000
Dinner: ¥2,000-4,000

Ramen Shibahama

Lunch: ¥999-999

Sushi Obana

Dinner: ¥20,000-30,000

Accessibly located in Kanto, Gunma Prefecture dips one leg into the urban sprawl which dominates the south of the region, but the rest belongs to beautiful, dramatic mountains. Here, you can get the full benefit of the hot springs and ski resorts of the Japanese Alps, just a round a 2-hour drive from the Japanese capital.

Located 1800 meters above sea level, the picture-perfect Manza Onsen has the highest sulphur content of any onsen in Japan, thanks to the active volcano which is perched on the side — Mt. Shirane. The nearby Kusatsu Onsen Resort is arguably the most famous in the country, and boasts the highest volume of water flowing through its springs, with dozens of bath styles to choose from. Both of these resorts are perfect places to relax after indulging in some of the prefecture’s more active pursuits.

This could mean anything from birdwatching in the marshlands of Oze National Park, getting your adrenaline flowing in the rapids of the Minakami adventure sports haven, or taking to the skies in a glider for a birds-eye view of this stunning place. As far as value for your time goes, the accessibility, beauty, and sheer variation offered in Gunma Prefecture is hard to beat.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to eat in Gunma?

Konjac is a Gunma specialty: a strange, chewy, jelly-like superfood that’s made of a type of potato, which is usually cut into strips and served in oden stew. Gunma yakimanju is another obscure local favorite. It’s a unique style of Japanese street food, made from a sweet bun that’s skewered, coated in miso paste, and grilled.

What are the best things to do in Gunma?

It’s all about the Japanese hot springs in Gunma, so get yourself along to these natural outdoor baths for one of the most relaxing times of your trip. If you feel yourself going soft from all that chilling, head to Minakami and paddle like hell down the rivers, or bungee off a bridge!

Best onsen to visit in Gunma?

The aforementioned Manza Onsen and Kusatsu Onsen are top spots, as is Minakami Onsen. For something a little different, head to Nakanojo Onsen Town for their bi-annual art festival which draws in around half million visitors each time.

What is Gunma famous for?

The volcanic mountains provide some of the richest waters in the country to its onsen hot springs, so the baths here are thought to have especially strong rejuvenating qualities. The ease of access from Tokyo has helped it become a popular weekend R&R retreat.

What to buy in Gunma?

The town of Takasaki in Gunma is known for its iconic daruma dolls — small, rotund idols of a famous Buddhist priest who is said to grant you wishes, especially at the start of a new year.
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