Enjoy a luxurious stay at one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan, Kusatsu Onsen. Explore the fashionable shopping and entertainment town of Kyu-Karuizawa and try some local sake and wine at a brewery ... More info ›
Enjoy a luxurious stay at one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan, Kusatsu Onsen. Explore the fashionable shopping and entertainment town of Kyu-Karuizawa and try some local sake and wine at a brewery.
With 5-star accommodation, hot springs, shopping and four meals, this is a perfect trip for those in the mood for an easy-paced vacation with that little extra quality.
The tour leaves Shinjuku at 8:50am heading to Kyu-Karuizawa, a fashionable neighborhood and main center of the hugely popular mountain resort Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture.
Upon arrival at Kyu-Karuizawa, you will have around an hour to explore the area which has a very laid back atmosphere and full of trendy restaurants, cafes and shops. The Prince Shopping Plaza and Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza are two of the major shopping complexes which are worth strolling through even if you're not in the mood to shop due to their pleasant and cosmopolitan ambiance. The local jams, coming in all sorts of fruit flavors, are a specialty of the area and definitely worth taking home as souvenirs.
Take a well earned sit-down on the bus as the tour moves onto Asama Shuzo Sake Brewery in Gunma Prefecture for a spot of sake and wine tasting. The brewery makes a range of Japanese sake, rice shochu and liqueur for you to try while the on-site shop offers quirky souvenirs such as homemade sake manju buns.
Pop back onto the bus again which then heads to Kusatsu Onsen, one of Japan's three major hot springs where you will stay overnight. Accommodation is Hotel Ichii, a certified 5-star hotel for over a decade and located right in front of the Yubatake, or hot water field in English, which forms the centerpiece of the resort. The yubatake churns out over 5,000 liters of water per minute and not only is it one of the main sources of spring water for Kusatsu, but it is one of the most productive sources in the country. The water bubbles to the surface at 70 degrees Celsius before being cooled down a little via wooden conduits and then distributed to the ryokans and public baths. The hotel is therefore a convenient base from which to explore the area and try some of the 13 public baths on offer. Why not catch a 'Yumomi' show too where performers dance around and sing folk songs around a bath as they cool the water with wooden paddles.
Feeling refreshed after a peaceful night's sleep, the tour will extend its stay a little in Gunma before heading back to Tokyo. The first stop is for some lunch in Numata (50 mins) and then a final chance to do some last-minute souvenir shopping (20 mins.) Estimated arrival back in Tokyo is 17:00.