One of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts, Kusatsu Onsen is nestled in rugged mountains along the “Romantic Road”. Its waters were first identified as having therapeutic benefits by the German physician Erwin von Baelz, with 13 baths now clustered in the town centre for public use.
Kusatsu Onsen centres around the Yubatake (“hot water field”), which is Japan’s most productive hot spring source and surrounded by shops. Watch as the hot spring water bubbles to the surface and is cooled in the wooden conduits before being distributed to the town’s public baths and ryokan.
Mingle with locals in the outdoor pools at Sainokawara Park or sink into the sulphurous waters of Otakinoyu’s wooden baths. In addition to a private ryokan, Kusatsu Onsen is home to numerous foot baths where you can soak your feet while exploring the town in traditional “yukata" and “geta" sandals.
Kusatsu Onsen is a 30-minute bus ride from Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station, which has regular trains from Tokyo. Haneda International Airport is around 3.5 hours’ drive from the town, while Narita International Airport is four hours away.