Exploring Gunma Prefecture
Gunma Prefecture of Japan offers some of the most stunning scenery and exciting tourist activities. From scenic waterfalls to world-famous hot springs, there is something for everyone. Plus, with its convenient location just two hours away from Tokyo, Gunma Prefecture is the perfect place to visit.
Let’s explore the wonders that you can experience in Gunma.
Must-Visit Tourist Spots
Gunma Prefecture in Japan is one of the best tourist spots that offers diverse cultural and natural attractions.
Here are some must-visit tourist spots to explore when in Gunma Prefecture:
1. Takaragawa Onsen: This hot spring resort lies at the junction of two rivers and offers stunning views, particularly during the winter season when snow covers the entire landscape.
2. Mount Haruna: It is a sacred mountain with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Gunma skyline from the top.
3. Ikaho Stone Steps: This picturesque attraction features a 365-step stone staircase through the onsen town of Ikaho, with a long history.
4. Oze National Park: This park features diverse natural attractions such as stunning wetlands, lakes, and hiking trails.
Gunma Prefecture is a perfect destination for visitors seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences.
Discover the Beauty of Lake Haruna
Lake Haruna is a breathtaking tourist spot in Gunma Prefecture, Japan’s hidden gem, that offers visitors an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Japan. Surrounded by lush greenery and mountain ranges, Lake Haruna is a scenic delight that offers activities such as boating, fishing, skiing, and hiking.
The lake is filled with different types of fish, making it a great destination for fishing enthusiasts. Visitors can also indulge in the breathtaking scenery surrounding the lake while hiking and skiing in winter.
Lake Haruna is a perfect destination to explore Japan’s natural beauty and immerse oneself in Japan’s unique cultural offerings.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to dip in the hot springs that are conveniently located in the area to experience the perfect end to a day full of activities.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tomioka Silk Mill
Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit attraction for tourists exploring Gunma Prefecture in Japan.
Built in 1872, Tomioka Silk Mill was the first of its kind in Japan and is recognized for its contribution to developing the silk industry in the country.
Visitors to the site can take a guided tour of the mill and learn about the history of silk production in Japan, including the techniques used in the past and the industry’s evolution over the years. The tour includes a visit to the various buildings of the mill, including the cocoon warehouse, where silk cocoons were stored and sorted, and the reeling plant, where the silk was spun into thread.
So, if you’re a history buff or interested in learning about the evolution of the silk industry in Japan, visiting Tomioka Silk Mill is a must-do activity when you’re in Gunma Prefecture.
Explore the History and Culture at Ikaho Onsen
Ikaho Onsen is a traditional hot spring town in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The town’s history and culture have remained preserved over centuries, making it an excellent spot for tourists to explore while visiting Japan’s Gunma Prefecture.
Explore Ikaho Onsen’s history and culture by:
Visiting the Ishidan (Stone Steps): The Ishidan is a 365-step stone staircase built during the Edo period, located in the center of the town. Climb up to the top to see beautiful views of Ikaho and the surrounding mountains.
Bathing in the Hot Springs: Visitors can relax in the many hot spring baths, each with its unique properties and views.
Strolling around the Town: Walk around the town’s preserved architecture, including historic ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) and shops offering souvenirs, sweets, and local products.
Ikaho Onsen is the perfect spot for tourists looking for an authentic Japanese hot spring experience with a touch of history and culture.
Must-Try Activities and Experiences
Gunma Prefecture, located in Japan, offers a range of exciting activities and experiences that any tourist should try, making it one of the best spots to visit in Japan.
Here are some must-try activities and experiences when exploring Gunma Prefecture:
1. Visit the Ikaho Onsen: This popular hot spring resort with a rich history offering therapeutic benefits and relaxation.
2. Trek Mount Haruna: An active stratovolcano and a famous destination among hikers.
3. Witness the Tomioka Silk Mill: Get a glimpse of history by learning about the heritage of the Japanese sericulture industry in Gunma.
4. Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Shibukawa Valley: A stunning valley with a river flowing through it, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and breathtaking sceneries to behold.
These are only a few of the many activities and experiences that Gunma Prefecture has to offer. Don’t hesitate to explore this wonderful destination and make the most unforgettable memories of your lifetime.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of Gunma’s excellent transportation system and rental services to help you reach these destinations conveniently.
Try the Famous Gunma’s Daruma Dolls
Gunma is a picturesque prefecture located in the Kanto region of Japan which offers a wide range of tourist attractions, including the famous Daruma Dolls. These Japanese traditional dolls are typically red, depict a bearded man (Dharma), and are believed to bring good luck to their owners.
Here’s how you can experience the attraction:
Visit Shorinzan Daruma Temple located in Takasaki city, renowned for its 400-year-old history with Daruma dolls.
The temple is located near the base of a mountain and is decorated with thousands of Daruma dolls offered by worshippers.
You can also find a variety of Daruma dolls in souvenir shops around the temple.
Gunma Prefecture is also home to numerous hot springs, ski resorts, and natural attractions making it a must-visit destination for tourists visiting Japan.
Go Hiking and Enjoy Stunning Mountain Views
Gunma Prefecture in Japan is one of the best spots for tourists, offering a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, and the opportunity to enjoy stunning mountain views.
Here are some of the best hiking trails in Gunma Prefecture:
Mount Akagi: This mountain offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult.
Mount Haruna: This mountain is known for its scenic views and is a popular destination for hikers.
Ikaho Green Bokujo: This park offers a range of hiking trails and the chance to see farm animals and enjoy hot springs.
Mount Myogi: This mountain provides a challenging hiking experience, and hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Hiking in Gunma Prefecture is not only a great way to enjoy the stunning mountain views but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and discover the beauty of the region.
Experience a Traditional Tea Ceremony
Gunma Prefecture in Japan offers visitors the chance to experience a traditional tea ceremony, a beautiful and serene cultural practice.
The tea ceremony, or chanoyu, is an ancient Japanese ritual that involves preparing and serving matcha, a finely ground green tea powder, to guests. The ceremony is a true work of art, with every aspect carefully and deliberately planned, from the arrangement of the tea utensils to the movements of the host.
In Gunma Prefecture, visitors can attend a tea ceremony workshop or observe a live demonstration. These events provide insight into the tea ceremony’s history, philosophy, and aesthetics and offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage.
Experiencing a traditional tea ceremony is a unique and unforgettable way to immerse oneself in Japanese culture and deepen one’s appreciation for the art of tea-making.
Food and Cuisine in Gunma Prefecture
Gunma Prefecture is known for its traditional Japanese cuisine and offers some of the best culinary experiences in Japan. Visitors to Gunma can find a variety of local dishes and traditional ingredients like freshwater trout, soba noodles, mountain vegetables, and so much more. The region is also home to numerous sake breweries and sake festivals, adding even more to the culinary experience available in Gunma.
In this section, we will explore the unique and delicious fare available in Gunma Prefecture.
Local Specialty Dishes
Gunma Prefecture is home to some of Japan’s most unique and delicious local dishes that are worth trying for any tourist visiting the region.
Here are some of the must-try local specialty dishes in Gunma:
Okkirikomi: A one-pot meal made with wheat flour noodles, root vegetables, and local chicken or pork simmered in a savory broth made with soy sauce and miso paste.
Onishi-Nabe: A hot pot dish made with Japanese yam and local wild vegetables, such as fiddleheads, and mushrooms.
Harunama: A popular vegetable in Gunma that resembles a green onion, but with a distinct flavor and texture. It’s commonly used in miso soup and tempura dishes.
Mizusawa udon: Thick wheat flour noodles served in a light broth made with dashi and soy sauce.
Gunma pork: A local breed raised in Gunma known for its tender meat, rich flavor, and healthy fat content.
Visitors to Gunma Prefecture should also try local sake and craft beer to complement their meals. Pro tip: Explore the local food markets and restaurants for the ultimate food experience.
Taste the Savory Okkirikomi
Okkirikomi is a delicious and savory traditional dish from Gunma Prefecture, Japan. This hot pot is perfect for cold winter and is made with simple ingredients like wheat flour, sake, soy sauce, and dashi.
To make Okkirikomi, follow these steps:
- Mix wheat flour and salt in a bowl, and knead the dough until it becomes firm.
- Roll the dough and cut it into strips.
- Boil the strips of wheat dough in dashi until they become tender.
- Add thinly sliced pork, leeks, shiitake mushrooms, and other vegetables to the pot.
- Season with soy sauce and sake, and simmer for a few minutes.
- Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors and textures of Okkirikomi.
Gunma Prefecture is a great destination for food lovers and tourists looking for a unique cultural experience in Japan. With its beautiful scenery, hot springs, and delicious cuisine, Gunma is sure to leave a lasting impression on its visitors.
Pro tip: Try pairing Okkirikomi with a local Gunma sake for the ultimate dining experience.
Enjoy Fresh Local Produce at Kajikaen
Kajikaen is a popular location in Gunma Prefecture where you can enjoy fresh, locally-grown produce and experience the region’s unique cuisine.
This farm-to-table restaurant prides itself on using only seasonal, fresh ingredients, with many of the vegetables grown on-site.
Some of the must-try dishes include the soba noodles, which are made from locally-sourced buckwheat flour, and the grilled pork and beef, which are marinated in Gunma’s famous Konnyaku sauce.
Kajikaen also offers a variety of activities, such as fruit picking and scenic walks, which allow visitors to experience the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
If you are looking for an authentic taste of Gunma, Kajikaen is a must-visit destination for foodies and tourists alike.
Indulge in the Delicious Tonkatsu
Tonkatsu is a delicious Japanese dish that originated in Gunma Prefecture and is now enjoyed worldwide. Made of breaded deep-fried pork cutlets, Tonkatsu is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
To make Tonkatsu, the pork is first sliced and then pounded to tenderize it before being coated in flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs. It is then deep-fried to perfection and served with a side of shredded cabbage, rice, and Tonkatsu sauce. Anyone visiting Gunma Prefecture must indulge in this delectable dish.
Gunma Prefecture is considered one of the best spots for tourists in Japan due to its natural hot springs, lush greenery, and delicious cuisine.
Popular Restaurants and Food Markets
Gunma Prefecture in Japan offers a variety of restaurants and food markets that serve traditional Japanese cuisine as well as international dishes, making it a paradise for food lovers and tourists.
Some of the most popular restaurants and food markets in Gunma Prefecture are:
1. Ikaho Soba – famous for its handmade soba noodles that are freshly prepared from locally sourced buckwheat flour.
2. Kiryu Yagibushi Ichii – a restaurant that serves local Gunma delicacies such as yuba (tofu skin), hōtō (noodles in a miso soup), and soba (buckwheat noodles).
3. Takasaki Food Market – a food market that offers various fresh and seasonal ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood that you can use to prepare your meals.
Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just want to try out some of the best cuisine in Japan, Gunma Prefecture offers a wide variety of dining options that cater to all tastes and preferences.
Savor the Flavors of Tsumagoi’s Food Market
Tsumagoi’s food market is a delightful experience for food lovers, offering a wide range of fresh, local produce and traditional Japanese delicacies.
Visitors can explore the market and indulge in delicious snacks such as grilled mochi, fresh sashimi, and sweet bean pastries. There are also a variety of local fruits, vegetables, and meats available for purchase.
Tsumagoi’s food market is a true representation of the region’s culinary culture and traditions, providing a great opportunity for tourists to sample authentic Japanese cuisine.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to try the local specialty, ‘Joshu Wagyu’ beef, which is renowned for its tenderness and flavor. Overall, Gunma prefecture is a hidden gem for tourists seeking a unique cultural and culinary experience in Japan.
Experience Traditional Japanese Dining at Shima Onsen
Shima Onsen, located in Gunma Prefecture of Japan, is known for offering a unique dining experience that showcases traditional Japanese cuisine.
Some of the must-try dishes at Shima Onsen include:
- Yugokoro Tofu: A dish that features soft tofu cooked in hot spring water with a dashi broth.
- Hatahata: A grilled fish dish that is a local specialty of Gunma prefecture.
- Onsen Tamago: Eggs that are soft-boiled in the hot spring water and served with soy sauce or ponzu sauce.
- Shima Hot Pot: A hot pot dish that uses locally-sourced pork and vegetables, cooked in a savory broth.
The dining experience at Shima Onsen also includes the opportunity to dine while wearing a yukata (a traditional Japanese robe) and sitting on tatami mats. This adds to the overall ambiance and traditional feel of the meal.
Enjoy a Scenic Meal at the Sukiyaki Restaurant Yorozuya Annex
Sukiyaki Restaurant Yorozuya Annex in Gunma Prefecture offers a unique dining experience in the midst of scenic beauty. The restaurant serves traditional Japanese sukiyaki, where thinly sliced beef is cooked in a hot pot with vegetables and flavorful sauce right at your table.
The restaurant is situated in a serene forest, surrounded by beautiful fall foliage in autumn and vibrant cherry blossoms in spring. Along with the delicious food, guests can also enjoy the scenic beauty and tranquillity of the Gunma Prefecture.
Gunma is famed for its hearty cuisine, such as grilled meat dishes, buckwheat noodles, and sake. The local ingredients are fresh and of high quality, making it a gastronome’s paradise.
Whether you’re a foodie or a nature enthusiast, Gunma Prefecture has something to offer to everyone, making it the best spot for tourists in Japan.
Pro tip: Book a table well in advance for Sukiyaki Restaurant Yorozuya Annex, as it tends to fill up quickly due to its popularity among locals and tourists alike.