Katashina, Kawaba, Minakami, Numata and Showa.Add a location!
Arguably one of the most famous waterfalls in Japan, Fukiware Falls is a must-see in Gunma. When the water is lower you can walk right out onto the rocks over the falls to get a great view. There is a 500円 fee for parking at the falls. Visit a local soba shop along the road for a post-falls lunch.
Oze National Park
Gunma’s biggest national park, Oze boarders Gunma, Tochigi and Niigata prefectures. It is a massive marshland with an extensive boardwalk system built to allow visitors to explore the area. Oze changes drastically with the seasons, from various flowers to fall colors, and is worth visiting several times a year. There are a few rest stations throughout the park as well as pay toilets. It is possible to hike a good bit of Oze in a day, or bring tents to stay for the weekend.
Oze-Iwakura Lily Garden
The largest lily field in the Kanto region, the Oze Iwakura ski fields have over 3 million lilies! Visit from early July to the end of August. Stroll through the various flower gardens and view the different kinds of lilies, or take the chair lift to the top for an aerial view. Try the lily soft cream at the top! Lilies are for sale if you feel inspired to create your own lily garden. 1000円 entry fee.
Malnuma is the first to open and the last to close. This ridiculously long season, from early November to mid April means six solid months of riding. Located high up in the mountains in Katashina village, Malnuma is an awesome ski resort with a gondola that will take you right to the top, meaning virtually no line-ups and guaranteed fresh powder all season long. There is a decent free-style park, and a bit of off-piste, as well as great groomed runs for beginners. There are some narrow and icy runs, and the lifts are old and slow, but riding the gondola all day makes it worth it. Be sure to try the ramen at the mid-way ramen house!
Ogna Hotaka Ski Resort
Ogna Hotaka consistently gets crazy dumps of snow, and this wide-open hill is good for riders of all abilities. It is not the most challenging of hills, but the runs are much wider than the typical ski resort in Gunma, giving you a lot more freedom to move around and explore the area. There is not much in the way of a park, but a few smalls kickers are scattered around to keep the park junkies happy.
Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm
This small temple in Kawaba houses an elaborate garden with streams, flowers, trees and wildlife. The views are stunning and the entire area is perfectly maintained year round. Take a walk through the main temple area and view some of the local artwork. Feed the koi fish that swim around the waterfall. There is a 500円 fee to enter the area, but the views are very much worth the small price!
Den En Plaza
Popular road-side station that makes a great afternoon hang out. There is a farmers market full of all local village produce, a yogurt shop that makes drinking yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products, a micro brewery with internationally awarded beers on tap, three restaurants, a sausage shop that has also won several international awards, a blueberry farm for picking in the summer, and plenty of grass to sit out and soak up the sun.
A brand new and very upscale traditional ryokan with an amazing indoor & outdoor bath. It is a little more expensive than most, at 1000円 for a bath, but the rustic surroundings and small museum make the trip worth while.
Kawaba Ski Resort
Kawaba has a good little ski resort. It is not the biggest and grandest of ski hills, but what it lacks in size it makes up with awesome powder! Kawaba is a bit higher up and gets massive dumps of fresh snow. There are great tree runs and off piste for the experts, and well groomed easy runs for the beginners. There is a decent free-style park and a “surf-ride park” for the park junkies. Kawaba city has great facilities, several restaurants to choose from, and Murasaki Sports if you need to do some shopping.
Kitchen Cafe Tokura キッチンカフェ と蔵
Kitchen Cafe Tokura is housed in an unassuming building next to Beisia. Don't be put off by the plain jane exterior of the restaurant, as a delectable array of international foods awaits you within those walls. From pasta to Japanese Braised Pork Belly, to Bibimbap, to Risotto, Tokura is bound to have something to satisfy your tastebuds. They also have a lovely assortment of desserts if you prefer to end your meal on a sweet note.
ラ・ビエール La Biere
A short walk away from Minakami station, tucked away in the picturesque streets of Yubara is La Biere Italian restaurant. La Biere is perfect for satisfying your post-onsen Italian pizza cravings. For ultimate happiness, please try the Four Cheese, Mushroom, or Eggplant and Bacon pizzas. Be sure to try the pudding for dessert too, which is from the cafe next door. When looking at the map, parking and entry in on the river side of the block.
Minakami is home to the highest bungee in Japan. The guys that run the bungee are super chill and speak English. First jump is 7,500円, second jump is 4,500円.
The top adventure sports spot in Gunma, with awesome English speaking staff. White-water rafting, canyoning, snowboarding, snowshoeing, back country skiing/snowboarding, downhill mountain biking, caving, yoga, plus endless parties and events including Summer Splash & Snow Splash.
I Love Canoe
Located at Naramata Lake in Minakami. Do a full day or half day tour with an experienced guide. Super friendly and chill English speaking staff.
Take the gondola up Gunma's famous mountain for spectacular views of the Tone region. An adult one-way trip is 1200円 and return is 2000円
Hodaigi Ski Resort
Located high up in the Minakami mountains, Hodaigi gets crazy good powder dumps. This is the perfect hill for beginners as the runs are wide and long, with efficient lifts to get you back to the top. There are a few more challenging areas for intermediate riders, and some awesome off-piste if you can avoid the watch of the grumpy old lifties. There is a small but decent park with a few kickers and rails. Hodaigi is great for group trips as it is easy to laugh at your friend’s big fall from the main lifts!
Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Norn Ski Resort
Norn’s convenient location right off the Minakami IC makes it an easy and quick snow destination. It is not the biggest of hills, but it gets decent snow and there are some good runs for people of all abilities. Like Okutone, night skiing is available until 10:00pm on weekdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. There are no line ups and crowds and night, and the courses offer a few decent kickers and rails to keep the park junkies happy all night long.
Hours: 7:00am – 10:00pm (12:00pm on Friday & Saturday)
Okutone Ski Resort
High up in Minakami is this popular ski resort that has something for everyone. Okutone gets decent snow, and has runs suitable for beginners to intermediate riders. There is a decent free-style park, as well. Okuntone has great night skiing, until 10:00pm on weekdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Night and early-morning skiing courses are limited but there are virtually no line-ups and no crowds on the hill.
Hours: 6:00am – 10:00pm (12:00pm on Friday and Saturday)
Otherwise called Tengu Mountain, Kashozan is home to Japan’s largest Tengu mask, standing at 6.7m high, with a 2.7m nose. You can rent a tengu mask to make a wish. Different kinds of Tengu masks can be purchased at small shops along the road. Enjoy the amazing views of Numata from the top of the mountain.
An amazing selection of authentic Indian curries and delicious naan. With friendly service and great prices, this is the place to go for that hit of Indian food. You can't go wrong with butter chicken and a giant piece of garlic naan!
Fantastic Italian restaurant with a variety of noodles and pasta sauces. I recommend the pizzas with the black crust! Super friendly staff and very good prices. It is tucked away behind a Chinese restaurant and can be a bit hard to find, but there is plenty of parking out front.
Hands down the coolest hang-out spot in Numata/Kawaba, JHK is run by a lovely couple who love skateboarding, dancing, and live music, and have opened their dream cafe on the edge of Numata, boardering Kawaba Village. It is a funky cafe featuring lots of local art work and a super cool decor. The menu includes homemade sandwiches, bagels, fish & chips and more. A huge skate park with various jumps and half pipes is out back and it’s cheap to use. They have plenty of parties year-round with live music, DJs and dancers.
A large onsen right off the R120 with several different baths, including a jacuzzi and sauna and a large outdoor bath with amazing views of Mount Akagi.
Tanbara Lavendar Park
From late June to September the Tanbara ski fields are filled with over 50,000 lavender plants, making it the biggest lavender field in the Kanto region. 1000円 entry fee.
The only department store in the Tone region, Green Bell is certainly the biggest shopping area around. Most of the stores are shut down now, and there isn’t much left to see. There is, however, a big 100円 shop on the 3rd floor, an entertainment center with games on the 5th floor, and a sports center (The only gym in the Tone region) on the 6th floor.
Gym memberships are reasonable, the equipment is decent, and there are plenty of different classes to join.
Tanbara Ski Resort
This is a smaller hill that is excellent for beginners. There is a small freestyle park for the park junkies. Located just outside of Numata, Tanbara is one of the closer ski resorts to central Gunma, meaning you do not have to wake up quite as early to get there! The hill is covered in lavendar in the summer, making this a great visit year round.
Hours: 8:00am – 4:30pm