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Fujido Cave

July 19, 2012 | Gunma Life | 1 Comment

If you’re looking for the perfect day trip in Gunma, look no further than Fujido Cave. Located in the southern-most tip of Gunma, this cave is the largest in the Kanto region and is known to attract nature-starved Tokyoites and outdoor adventurers alike.

The length of the cave is roughly 2 kilometers and takes approximately 40 minutes to walk through. You’ll see impressive stalactites, stalagmites, and other handsome rock formations with profound names such as “Lotus Tower,” “Pilgrim’s Staff,” and “Woman’s Changeroom.” Look out for the occasional bat as it flaps by overhead! No special footwear is required, but it’s a bit slippery in some places, so be sure to watch your step!

After emerging from the caves, why not check out the nearby Skybridge? Skybridge is a suspension bridge, spanning a valley 90 meters above the ground. In summer (and on weekends in the fall), the bridge’s built-in bubble machines release thousands of bubbles for your viewing/popping/frolicking pleasure. The daily event lasts 15 minutes; start times are 11:00, 13:00, and 15:00.

Hours: 9:00 – 17:30 (In winter the caves are closed early… call to inquire the exact time.)

Admission: ¥600. Buy tickets inside the little souvenir shop facing the Skybridge. The path leading up to the entrance of the cave is behind the shop.

Access: The only way to get to the caves is by car, as the bus service to this area is laughably poor. If you must use public transport, take the JR Takasaki line to Shin-machi station and take the 2 hour bus ride to Uenomura Yakuba (Ueno-mura town hall). From there, it’s an hour and fifteen minute walk.

For more information, visit Uenomura’s tourist info website (Japanese only).

Happy Caving!

Minakami’s Artisan Village

December 21, 2011 | Gunma Life | No Comments

If you have yet to make a trip up into the mountains of Minakami for an art-filled day, slap it near the top of your Gunma bucket list. Takumi-no-sato (たくみの里) is an entire village filled with far too many hands-on traditional Japanese art workshops to even consider doing every one in a day. (more…)

Kusatsu Marathon

June 3, 2011 | Gunma Life | 2 Comments

Kusatsu Marthon Runners

Waking to a blaring alarm clock at 4:45am on a Sunday is not everyone’s idea of a pleasant morning. But for me, May 29th was my first ‘marathon’ – something I’d been quite nervous and excited about for a long time! (more…)

For many of us ALTs in Japan, deciding what to do and where to go during the Christmas holidays can be quite the struggle. There is usually a split in numbers between those who are going back home, and the others who go off exploring. As foreigners we are often amused by Japan’s interpretations of Western holidays like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas, the perfect examples of such are elaborately displayed at Tokyo Disneyland! (more…)

Gunma’s Galaxy Waypoint 天文台

November 18, 2010 | Gunma Life | No Comments

The main place to view the stars in my hometown of Miami is at the local Science Museum. It is located at the edge of a sprawling downtown, so you have to fight through immense traffic just to enter the place. Then, there are the hoards of anxious people trying not to miss the last laser light show of the day. You have to ask an employee where to find the telescope, and they direct you down a dark dirty alley and up a long flight of stairs only to peer through a tiny sad excuse of a telescope.  (more…)

Melody Roads

November 2, 2010 | Gunma Life | 2 Comments

As if your car stereo pumping out mad J-Pop tunes is not quite enough to keep you entertained and awake while driving to your favorite Gunma tourist destination, Japanese engineers have designed numerous melody roads that consist of strategically spaced grooves in the road that rumble often unfamiliar tunes through your car, similar to the rumble strips you might be familiar with back home. (more…)

Ikaho Day Trippin’

October 14, 2010 | Gunma Life | 1 Comment

A few weeks ago I ventured north from home in the capital city of Gunma towards Mt. Haruna in search of Ikaho Onsen Town, a small town famous for beautiful mountain views and iron-filled hot springs. Ikaho is easily accessible by car, but for those of us without a set of wheels the trip may seem slightly more daunting. (more…)