This Hot Spring Outside Tokyo Is Known for Its “Golden” and “Silver” Waters
There's even a shrine that protects it.
Hot springs are a must during your trip to Japan. In Shibukawa City at the Gunma Prefecture, just 2.5 hours away from Tokyo, there’s an amazing hot spring resort called Ikaho Onsen known for its two types of waters, namely: kogane no yu (golden water) and shirogane no yu (silver water). Kogane no yu is brownish red in color, which is a result of iron presence in the oxidized water. On the other hand, shirogane no yu has a clear appearance.
The resort is also known for its 365 stone steps, which are lined with ryokan or Japanese-style hotels and souvenir shops. When you reach the top, you’ll see the beautiful Ikaho Shrine that protects the hot springs.
Aside from the onsen, there are other spots in the resort that you’ll find interesting. Should you plan to explore the place, we’ve listed down the shops that you can visit!
Ishidan no Yu
Before climbing up the steps, why don’t you take a quick dip in this public hot bath first? It has free-flowing kogane no yu that helps relieve body pain like neuralgia and lumbago. You’ll feel recharged and ready to take on 365 steps!
After going around for a while, head over to Isagoya, an old souvenir shop, to grab a bite. Get the monja-man for ¥260. A must-try Japanese street food, monja-man is a new Ikaho specialty that’s quickly gaining popularity, with as many as 100 pieces sold per day.
SARA’s Terrace Arraiya
On a chilly day, stop by SARA’s Terrace Arraiya for a warm bowl of udon topped with fukurodake, a rare Japanese straw mushroom. You can also try another popular dish called Joshu, a loin rice bowl of Gunma’s wagyu brand. Enjoy this meal for ¥1,728!
Souvenirs are a staple on every traveler’s shopping list. Do you want a unique item that will remind you of your fun trip to Ikaho? Consider the traditional Japanese footwear called geta! Prices start at ¥3,000 depending on size and material. Plus, you can choose your own thong design!
Toy, Coll & Car Museum
2145 Kaminoda, Yoshioka, Kitagunma District, Gunma Prefecture
Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (reception closes at 4:30 p.m.)
*Operating hours may vary depending on season.
One more tourist attraction you should check out is the nostalgic Toy, Doll & Car Museum. One of Japan’s biggest museums, it has toys, dolls, and cars from different eras on display. It’s all very reminiscent of Japan’s Showa period.
1-1 Uenohara, Shinto Village, Kitagunma District, Gunma Prefecture
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (activity ends at 4 p.m.; reception closes at 3 p.m.)
Snap double-tap worthy photos for your Instagram feed inside this impressive crane at Chikyuya. Made from old silk fabrics, the 13,556 hanging ornaments make this crane a picture-perfect sight. If you wish to create your own ornament, you may do so for ¥1,200.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walker™ (2017)