Takaragawa Onsen: Experience Onsen Day Trip from Tokyo

Last Updated: April 24,2024

Takaragawa Onsen is a serene hot spring resort nestled in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Renowned for its picturesque setting along the Takaragawa River, it offers traditional open-air baths, or "rotenburo," surrounded by lush forests and cascading waterfalls. The therapeutic waters, rich in minerals, provide a rejuvenating experience amid nature's tranquility. With a history dating back over a century, Takaragawa Onsen Gunma welcomes visitors seeking relaxation and cultural immersion in the heart of Japan's countryside. Here is the complete Takaragawa Onsen Japan Guide for you.

Table of Contents

1. Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

2. Overviews of Takaragawa Onsen Baths

3. Onsen Rules in Takaragawa Onsen

4. Takaragawa Onsen Nearby Attractions

5. How to Get to Takaragawa Onsen

6. Takaragawa Onsen Day Trip from Tokyo

1. Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

For anyone looking for a top-tier traditional Japanese stay experience and wishing to relish the region's hot springs, Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku is the perfect spot. Located in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku combines ryokan and onsen, and it is best known for its gorgeous and serene scenic views (it's particularly beautiful in winter). Its therapeutic hot spring waters and baths are among some of Japan's largest, providing sprawling and serene scenic views as it's situated alongside the Takaragawa River. Takaragawa offers both indoor and outdoor public hot spring baths (though nudity is not allowed, guests are required to wear a bathing suit), a massage parlor, and souvenir shops.

The guest rooms at this Takaragawa Onsen ryokan are designed in traditional Japanese fashion, boasting tatami (woven-straw) flooring, a TV, and shoji sliding screens. All beds are futon style with comfortable bedding. They include shared bathroom facilities and a complimentary yukata is provided.

Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku Ryokan serves both Japanese and Western breakfasts in its dining room. Guests may indulge in a choice between a kaiseki multi-course meal and a Japanese and Western-style buffet for their dinner. The areas surrounding the Takaragawa onsen also allow for a variety of recreational activities including hiking, skiing, and sightseeing.

At Takaragawa Onsen Gunma Japan, guests can indulge in a diverse array of culinary delights. Whether it's the crispy seafood tempura seasoned with green tea salt or the interactive experience of preparing shabu-shabu and grilled fish right at the table, there's something to suit every palate. For those craving lighter fare, cold dishes like pickled umeboshi plum and fresh sashimi are available, all served in the traditional kaiseki style.

2. The Baths Offered at Takaragawa

There are various baths optional for you to experience the Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku Minakami Japan.

Maka bath (Both gender bath)

The infamous 2160 square foot open-air Maka bath offers breathtaking views of the four seasons, with the autumn foliage being particularly stunning for visitors.

Hannya bath (Both gender bath)

The Hannya bath lies downstream of the river, separated by the Maka bath changing room. Its size is roughly half that of the Maka bath, offering a snug and refined ambiance along with a 50-tatami mat open-air spa. With half of the bath being shallow, it's a safe environment for children. Furthermore, visitors can engage with others who are not bathing, as the surrounding area allows for leisurely strolls.

Kodakara bath (mixed-gender bath)

The Kodakara bath is situated across the river from the Hannya bath. Formerly the largest in the Takaragawa hot spring complex, it has undergone a recent renovation, doubling its capacity to approximately 330 square meters.

Maya bath (female bath)

This premier women's open-air spa offers a luxurious and liberating experience for its bathers. Located at Takaraga's bottom stream, the recently renovated Maya bath boasts a capacity of 1,800 square feet and top of the line heating systems in both its washroom and living room.

"Super-size" bath

Unlike recent trends in motels, which merely circulate hot spring water, Osenkaku benefits from an abundant natural supply for its own super-sized bath. With a capacity of 20 soakers at a time, it's also the only Minakami Takaragawa Onsen here open 24/7.

3. Onsen Rules in Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen Gunma Prefecture Japan operates both outdoor and indoor mixed baths, gender exclusive onsens, and private onsens. Unlike traditional onsens, Takaragawa Onsen Minakami does not permit nude bathing or the use of swimsuits. Instead, all guests are required to wear a bath dress or yukata while enjoying the soothing hot springs.

Onsen Etiquette to Be Followed When Soaking in Traditional Onsens in Japan

Visiting an onsen in Japan comes with a set of traditional customs and etiquette ensuring a respectful and comfortable experience for everyone. Here are some general onsen etiquette guidelines to keep in mind when you are to visit the Kurokawa Onsen:

Clean Yourself Thoroughly: Before entering the onsen, it's crucial to clean and rinse off completely. Most onsen facilities provide shower areas equipped with stools, handheld showers, soap, and shampoo. Take your time to wash and rinse off all soap and shampoo before entering the hot spring.

No Swimwear: Unlike Western spas, onsen bathing requires complete nudity. Wearing swimwear is not allowed. It's essential to embrace this cultural norm and focus on the shared appreciation of the natural hot springs.

Tie Up Your Hair: If you have long hair, tie it up to keep it out of the water. This is both for cleanliness and to avoid getting hair in the onsen.

Tattoos: In Japan, tattoos are often associated with the yakuza (organized crime) and can carry a negative stigma. While attitudes are evolving, some onsen facilities may still have restrictions on tattooed individuals. It's advisable to check the onsen's policy beforehand. (Check Hot Springs in Japan That Allow Tattoos for further reading on Japan Onsen with Tattoos.)

Don't Soak Your Towel: When entering the onsen, bring a small towel with you. Keep this modesty towel out of the water by placing it on your head or folding it on the side of the bath. It's customary to use this towel for modesty when walking to and from the bath.

No Diving or Splashing: Onsen are places for relaxation, not for swimming or playing. Maintain a calm and quiet atmosphere to respect other visitors' tranquility.

Keep Noise to a Minimum: Onsen bathing is a serene and contemplative experience. Keep conversations hushed and avoid splashing water. Loud behavior can be considered disrespectful to others seeking a tranquil environment.

Rinse Off Again After Soaking: After enjoying the onsen, rinse off under the shower once more to remove any minerals from the hot spring water. This is particularly important if you plan to use other facilities or common areas.

Know the Gender Separation: Most onsens have separate bathing areas for men and women. Make sure you enter the correct section.

Be Mindful of Others: Respect the quiet and contemplative atmosphere of the onsen. Avoid staring at others and be considerate of the shared space.

By following these onsen etiquette guidelines, visitors can fully enjoy the therapeutic and cultural experience that Japan Hot Spring offers while respecting local customs and ensuring a harmonious atmosphere for all bathers.

4. Takaragawa Onsen Nearby Attractions

In addition to soaking in the soothing water in Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku Japan, there are still a lot of iconic attractions nearby worthy of your exploration. The Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku Ryokan is 10 minutes away from the Hodaigi Ski Resort and Minakami Kogen Fujiwara ski resorts. Okutone Snow Park is reachable within a 25-minute drive, while Sudagai Dam is only a 15-minute drive away.

Hodaigi Ski Resort: A 10-minute Drive from Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Hodaigi Ski Resort in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, offers diverse slopes for all skill levels amid stunning mountain scenery. With modern chairlifts and gondolas, including elevations up to 1,205 meters, accessing the peaks is convenient. Renowned for deep powder snow, it's a paradise for powder enthusiasts, featuring terrain parks and freestyle areas. Beginners benefit from equipment rentals and expert lessons. After a day’s skiing thrill, you can return back Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku Hotel to relieve fatigue in the therapeutic hot springs. Hodaigi Ski Resort promises an unforgettable winter escape amidst Japan's picturesque landscapes.

Minakami Kogen Fujiwara Ski Resort: A 10-minute Drive from Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Minakami Kogen Fujiwara Ski Resort, situated in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, offers a delightful winter retreat. With scenic views and optimal snow conditions, the resort features slopes suitable for all skill levels. From beginners to experts, guests can enjoy various facilities, including chairlifts and gondolas. At elevations up to 1,080 meters, visitors can relish panoramic vistas. Known for its family-friendly atmosphere, the ski resort is a great destination to enjoy family outdoor adventure before dipping into the outdoor baths of Takaragawa Onsen Japan.

Okutone Snow Park: A 25-minute Drive from Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Okutone Snow Park, nestled in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, offers a thrilling winter escape. With slopes catering to all skill levels and stunning mountain vistas, it's a favorite among snow sports enthusiasts. Modern facilities like chairlifts and gondolas ensure easy access to the slopes. The park's elevation, rising to 1,200 meters, provides spectacular views. Renowned for its lively atmosphere, it offers diverse activities like snow tubing and sledding, appealing to visitors of all ages. Don't hesitate to go skiing here when you visit the Takaragawa Onsen Gunma in winter.

Sudagai Dam: A 15-minute Drive from Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Sudagai Dam is a notable water management infrastructure located in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Constructed primarily for flood control and hydroelectric power generation, the dam also serves as a scenic spot for visitors. With its towering structure against the backdrop of lush mountains, Sudagai Dam offers breathtaking views and opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and picnicking along its reservoir. Additionally, the dam plays a crucial role in supporting the region's agricultural and industrial needs by providing a stable water supply. Sudagai Dam stands as both a functional engineering marvel and a picturesque destination for nature enthusiasts.

5. How to Get to Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen is a popular hot spring resort located in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Here is the transportation guide, including Tokyo to Takaragawa onsen and Minakami station to Takaragawa onsen.

Takaragawa Onsen from Tokyo:

From Tokyo Station, you'll want to ride the Joetsu Shinkansen northward to Jomo-Kogen Station in Minakami (1 hour) or Minakami station (1.5 hours). Aside from taking a taxi, Hotel Osenkaku Takaragawa offers a complimentary shuttle service to/from Jomo-Kogen Station (a 50-minute drive) and JR Minakami Station (35 minutes).

By Train:

●Take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Jomo-Kogen Station from Tokyo Station.

From Jomo-Kogen Station, transfer to the JR Joetsu Line and take a train bound for Minakami Station.

At Minakami Station, you can either take a bus or taxi to Takaragawa Onsen. Bus services are available, but the schedule may be limited, so it's advisable to check the timings in advance.

By Bus:

There are direct buses from Tokyo to Takaragawa Onsen. These buses usually depart from Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station. You can check with bus companies such as JR Bus or Kusatsu Onsen Bus for schedules and fares.

By Car:

For how to get to Takaragawa onsen from Tokyo, you can rent a car and drive from Tokyo. The journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions. From Tokyo, you'll typically take the Kanetsu Expressway to Minakami Interchange, and then follow the signs to Takaragawa Onsen.

Minakami Station to Takaragawa Onsen:

Once you arrive at Minakami Station, you can take a bus or taxi to Takaragawa Onsen. The bus journey takes around 40-50 minutes depending on the traffic conditions.

Alternatively, you can arrange for a taxi directly to Takaragawa Onsen, which should take around 30-40 minutes.

6. Takaragawa Onsen Day Trip from Tokyo

A day trip from Tokyo to Takaragawa Onsen is quite doable and offers a refreshing escape from the city. Takaragawa Onsen is located in Minakami Town, Gunma Prefecture, and is known for its picturesque outdoor hot spring baths (rotenburo) set alongside the Takaragawa River. Here's a general outline of how you can plan Takaragawa onsen day trip from Tokyo:


Departure from Tokyo: Start your day early in the morning. You can take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Jomo-Kogen Station or take a local train to Minakami Station. The Shinkansen ride takes about 70-90 minutes.

Arrival at Minakami: Once you arrive at Jomo-Kogen or Minakami Station, you can take a bus or a taxi to Takaragawa Onsen. The bus ride takes around 40-50 minutes, and taxis are also available.


Arrival at Takaragawa Onsen: Upon reaching Takaragawa Onsen, take some time to explore the facilities and the surrounding area. The onsen is nestled in a scenic valley with beautiful natural surroundings.

Enjoy the Hot Springs: Spend a few hours soaking in the rejuvenating hot spring baths. Takaragawa Onsen is renowned for its large outdoor baths, which offer a unique experience of bathing in nature. The changing colors of the leaves in autumn and the snowscape in winter add to the charm of this place.


Lunch: You can have lunch at one of the restaurants or cafes near Takaragawa Onsen. Many places offer local delicacies, including soba noodles and regional specialties.

Exploring the Area: After lunch, take some time to explore the surrounding area. You can go for a short hike along the Takaragawa River or visit nearby attractions like Tanigawadake Ropeway for panoramic views of the mountains.

Relaxation Time: Return to Takaragawa Onsen for another round of soaking in the hot springs or indulge in a massage or spa treatment for extra relaxation.


Departure from Takaragawa Onsen to Tokyo: As the day comes to an end, head back to Minakami Station to catch your train back to Tokyo. Make sure to check the train schedule from Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku to Tokyo in advance to avoid missing your train.

Arrival in Tokyo: Upon reaching Tokyo, you can either head back to your accommodation or explore the city's vibrant nightlife and dining scene, or you might want to have dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants the city has to offer. Whether you're in the mood for traditional Japanese cuisine or international flavors, Tokyo has something for everyone.

With this ultimate Takaragawa Onsen Japan Guide, why not plan a private tour to Takaragawa Onsen Gunma Prefecture? Contact our travel expert now!

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