[Touring] [Gunma Prefecture] Motorcycle trip to Kusatsu Onsen! A nostalgic journey through hot springs, history, and the scent of sulfur.

Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I toured from central Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen on a Harley Sports Glide (FLSB). Kusatsu Onsen is a hot spring area known as one of Japan’s most famous hot springs, where you can enjoy traditional scenery such as hot spring fields and hot springs. This time, I would like to introduce the charms of Kusatsu Onsen, how to get there, and the highlights.


What is Kusatsu Onsen?

Kusatsu Onsen is a hot spring resort located in Kusatsu Town, Agatsuma District, Gunma Prefecture. Located on a plateau at an altitude of 1200m, it is surrounded by beautiful nature throughout the four seasons. The source of Kusatsu Onsen was created by volcanic activity on Mt. Shirane, and boasts the largest volume of hot spring water in Japan. Kusatsu Onsen is characterized by its highly acidic spring quality, which has extremely high antibacterial properties and is said to be good for the skin. Kusatsu Onsen has about 100 different types of bathtubs, and you can enjoy visiting them with different colors, smells, and effects.

Route to Kusatsu Onsen

The distance from central Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen is approximately 200 km. I went the following route.

  • Take the Shuto Expressway and enter the Kanetsu Expressway.
  • Go north on the Kanetsu Expressway and exit at the Shibukawa-Ikaho Interchange.
  • Go west on National Route 17 and enter National Route 353.
  • Go north on National Route 353 and enter National Route 145.
  • Go north on National Route 145 and enter National Route 292.
  • Head north on National Route 292 and arrive at Kusatsu Onsen.

On this route, most of the roads other than the Kanetsu Expressway are mountain roads. There are many curves and hills, and the scenery is spectacular, but you need to be careful when driving. Especially in winter, there is snow and ice, so you need to take measures such as studless tires and chains. Additionally, there are few traffic lights and intersections along the way, and there are few places to rest. We recommend replenishing your supplies with gasoline and drinks in advance.

Highlights of Kusatsu Onsen

There are many things to see in Kusatsu Onsen. I especially recommend the following three.


Yubatake is a place that can be said to be a symbol of Kusatsu Onsen. Approximately 4,000 liters of hot spring water gushes out every minute, and the sight of it flowing down the wooden gutter is a sight to behold. There are many inns and souvenir shops around Yubatake. In addition, a traditional event called Yumomi is held in front of the Yubatake every day from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (until 3:00 p.m. in winter). Yumomi is a method of cooling and foaming the hot water of Kusatsu Onsen to enhance its effectiveness. Yumomi masters will show off their amazing skills while singing and dancing. The tour is free, but you can also try it out (for a fee).

Kusatsu Shiraneyama

Kusatsu Shirane is an active volcano that produces the source of Kusatsu Onsen. From the summit of the mountain, which is 2171m above sea level, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and lakes. There are various hiking courses on Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane. I recommend the Yugama Course. In this course, you will take the Mt. Shirane Ropeway to the middle of the mountain, and then walk for about 30 minutes to reach the crater lake called Yugama. Yugama is a mysterious scenery filled with the smell of sulfur and smoke. If you climb further from here, you can also see a beautiful pond called Shirane Oike'' and an old shrine calledShirane Shrine.” The Yugama Course takes about 2 hours round trip. When hiking, please bring appropriate clothing, shoes, and water. Also, regulations may change depending on volcanic activity, so please check in advance.

Kusatsu Onsen motorcycle parking lot

Kusatsu Onsen does not have a dedicated parking lot for motorcycles, but you can park your motorcycle in a public parking lot. I used a paid parking lot called Yubatake Kanko Parking Lot. This parking lot is located about 5 minutes walk from Yubatake. The bike fee is 300 yen per bike (24 hours). This parking lot does not have a roof, but there are security cameras and a manager, so you don’t have to worry.


This time, I toured from central Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen on a Harley Sports Glide (FLSB). Kusatsu Onsen is a hot spring area known as one of Japan’s most famous hot springs, where you can enjoy traditional scenery such as hot spring fields and hot springs. There are also plenty of activities such as Kusatsu Onsen Ski Resort and Mt. Kusatsu Shirane. If you go by bike, you will need to be careful about the mountain roads and winter weather, but you will be able to fully enjoy the scenery and the feeling of driving. I think Kusatsu Onsen is the perfect spot for a motorcycle trip. Please come and visit us at least once.

*The word Kusatsu Onsen translated into English is “Kusatsu Onsen”.