Make the Most of Kusatsu Onsen With These 10 Hot Spring Inns!
Reputable as one of the three best hot springs in Japan, Kusatsu Onsen is located in northwestern Gunma Prefecture, and visitors sing praises for the quality and abundance of its many hot springs. The Yubatake hot springs, in particular, are a major attraction, and over the years, many exceptional inns have popped up around the area. The beauty of the four seasons makes soaking in the relaxing hot springs an absolute delight no matter the time of year, and hotels with open-air baths directly in the guest rooms are particularly popular. But with so many great options, where is best to stay? Let's take a look at 10 hot spring resorts in Kusatsu with guest rooms accessorized with private open-air onsen that will truly have you living a life of luxury!
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The Marvels of Kusatsu Hot Springs
Kusatsu Onsen has long been popular as a therapeutic hot spring for healing the body and mind and is famous for its highly acidic spring water boasting a pH of 2.08. It is said to be effective for neuralgia, joint pain, skin diseases, and high blood pressure. It also has deep sterilizing properties and, as most bacteria and microorganisms do not proliferate in it, it is known as the hot spring of longevity.
With more than 30,000 liters of hot spring water gushing out every minute, Kusatsu Onsen has the largest natural flow of water in Japan, and yet, still somehow retains the bounty of its natural beauty.
Relax at These 10 Best Hot Spring Inns in Kusatsu With Open-Air Baths Directly in the Guest Rooms
1. La Vista Kusatsu Hills
Located approximately 25 minutes by bus from Naganohara Kusatsuguchi Station, La Vista Kusatsu Hills is a beautiful facility that had its grand opening in September 2021. All guest rooms have an open-air bath, and the top floor houses Kusatsu's first panoramic onsen.
The guest rooms are Western-style rooms with a theme of the iconic German "Grimm's Fairy Tales." When integrated with the calming Japanese atmosphere, the hotel takes on a unique style of its very own. Each room has a theme, such as Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel and Gretel, and will bring back a flutter of childhood nostalgia. With wood furniture and warm-colored sofas and beds, these rooms will make you feel cozy at home.
Highlighting the more Japanese aspects of the hotel, the terrace has an outdoor bath with natural hot spring water. Soaking in the hot water of the Yukawa spring source in a bathtub made of hinoki cypress while admiring the peaceful scenery from the terrace will surely bring you solace.
The restaurant serves colorful Western-style course meals using local seasonal ingredients and for breakfast, you can enjoy a buffet of freshly picked local vegetables!
2. Hotel Sakurai
Hotel Sakurai is a 5-minute walk from the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal, not far from Yubatake. On top of the natural hot springs, you can see many of Kusatsu's unique attractions just by spending time at the hotel such as "yumomi," a traditional method of lowering the temperature of hot spring water by mixing it with a long plank, and Japanese "taiko" drums.
In addition to general guest rooms, there are also rooms with an open-air bath that are perfect for special occasions. They are decorated in a tasteful classic Japanese style and offer a relaxing and comfortable interior. The open-air baths are located on the terrace, allowing guests to soak while enjoying the magnificent nature of Kusatsu.
In the bathhouse, the hotel proudly draws from three water sources: Bandaiko, Sainokawara, and Watanoyu. The baths do not dilute or heat the spring water, so you can feel the spring water quality as it is without interference.
The large bath is one of the largest in Kusatsu Onsen, measuring approximately 30 meters. The greenery spreading out in the window and the sound of the hot spring water flowing constantly is pleasant and wonderfully calming.
3. Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya
Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya is located about an 8-minute walk from the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. The inn, which was built more than 50 years ago, has been renovated to create a modern Japanese-style structure with a contemporary design. Old folk tools and retro toys throughout the inn create a tasteful sample of what life was like when this "ryokan" was first built.
Each room has both a futon and a bed, so you can choose whichever you prefer. Rooms with natural hot spring baths and rooms rented in single unattached houses are also available and are recommended for those who wish to bathe in the hot springs at any time of the day.
The in-house restaurant serves dinner and breakfast by reservation only and offers a sumptuous Japanese menu with many small dishes at a reasonable price.
Yubatake is about a 10-minute walk away, and there is a convenience store nearby, making it convenient and suitable for strolling. Away from the busy tourist areas, the hotel will allow you to forget the stresses of daily life.
4. Itoen Hotel Kusatsu
Itoen Hotel Kusatsu is located approximately 10 minutes from the Kusatsu Bus Terminal by car or free shuttle bus. Being a short distance from Yubatake, the hotel offers a tranquil atmosphere where you can enjoy the forest air.
There are a number of different room types available such as Western-style rooms, Japanese-style rooms, and Japanese-Western-style rooms with tatami-matted living rooms and bedrooms. Some rooms also have balconies.
The large communal bath and open-air bath with free-flowing hot-spring water provide an excellent sense of openness. Especially in winter, you can enjoy a fantastic snow-viewing experience. The free private bath is also equipped with a smaller open-air bath, so if you wish to enjoy the hot spring in privacy, you are welcome to make a reservation.
After the spa, enjoy table tennis in the common space. You can play for one hour for free, so you can have fun with your friends or make new ones! There is also a game corner and a karaoke room for your enjoyment.
5. Kusatsu Hotel
Just an 8-minute walk from the Kusatsu Bus Terminal, Kusatsu Hotel is a dignified wooden building built in 1913 during the Taisho Period (1912-1926). The hotel has two main parts; an accommodations building with a sense of Japanese traditions and a modern onsen building.
The guest rooms have high ceilings and are open, modern Japanese style. Decorated with traditional Japanese techniques, such as wooden window frames, which are rare nowadays, they combine Japanese tradition and modernity, making for a comfortable layout that is very appealing.
Another attractive point of this hotel is that the bathtubs draw hot water from two sources, Sainokawara and Bandai. You will be able to directly compare the difference between the gentle water from Sainokawara and the stimulating water from Bandai when you soak in the splendid baths.
Adjacent to the hotel is the Kusatsu Hotel "Pedalo," an accommodation facility limited to three groups per day. Visitors can enjoy hot spring water at their preferred temperature in a stylish Shigaraki-ware bathtub here as well.
6. Aeruyado Takamatsu
Aeruyado Takamatsu is a 6-minute walk from the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal, and in addition to the natural hot spring water from the Yubatake hot spring, the hotel is fully equipped with a bedrock bath and sauna. The wood-grained interior and traditional handicrafts welcome you into a comfortable Japanese-style space.
All guest rooms are luxuriously furnished with a balcony, and some rooms even have an open-air bath. The spacious layout allows you to enjoy the mountains and cityscape of Kusatsu while feeling the fresh air outside on your balcony.
The natural hot spring is fed right from Yubatake hot spring and is a highly acidic hot spring with the highest efficacy of all the hot springs in Kusatsu, strongly promoting good health. The sauna and bedrock bath warms the body from the core, and you may just find yourself seemingly glowing after a nice long soak.
Although the hotel is aplenty with historic charms, there is even a PC corner and printers for workcations and long-term stays available free of charge. Naturally, all rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, so you can spend your time as you please.
7. Urakusatsu TOU
Urakusatsu Tou is located right in the center of town, about a 3-minute walk from Yubatake. The concept of the hotel is based on the idea of people feeling comfort through the harmony and balance of regular and irregular things. The flames of a bonfire or sunken hearth, the stream of bubbling hot water, the rustling of trees, and all the other natural elements will make you feel a sense of rustic nostalgia for a time and a place you never knew.
The inn uses the Jizo spring source which has been popular since ancient times as a therapeutic hot spring that, according to local legend, cures illnesses. The mild and gentle texture of the hot spring is relaxing, and the bathrooms are modestly lit, with only a little natural light.
Rooms are minimally decorated with the warmth of wood, made for relaxation and sleeping. You will be able to spend a relaxing time looking out the window at the Jizo Plaza as you reminisce about your trip.
At the restaurant, you can enjoy creative "kaiseki" dishes that can only be found here, incorporating a variety of cooking methods, including both Japanese and French styles. The restaurant offers a variety of exquisite dishes that express the natural beauty of Kusatsu and are complemented by gorgeous handcrafted tableware.
8. Ryokan Tokinoniwa
Ryokan Tokinoniwa is located about a 15-minute walk from the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal, and all 64 guest rooms have an open-air natural hot spring bath.
Walking barefoot down the tatami-matted hallway, you will reach a spacious guest room with an open-air bath. The bath water flows directly from Yukawa no Yu, which springs from the riverside itself. You can enjoy a sense of the extraordinary in the hotel's calm Japanese-style interior that will provide you with the perfect retreat from the daily grind.
There are a total of 23 different baths at the inn, each with water flowing from two different sources. You can enjoy the different qualities of each spring and feel the ample luxury of Kusatsu Onsen.
Complementary popsicles, a rest area overlooking the courtyard, and a spa are just a few of the services available to help you unwind after a nice long bath and watch your troubles melt away.
9. LiVEMAX RESORT Kusatsu Onsen
LiVEMAX RESORT Kusatsu Onsen is located about a 10-minute walk from the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal and offers reliable service backed by a nationwide hotel chain.
Proud of their large bathhouse, you can enjoy water sourced from Bandaiko, which is characterized by its high acidity. A relaxing soak in the hot spring water will refresh you and take the fatigue of your trip and make it all disappear. All guest rooms are also equipped with a semi-open-air bath, so you can bathe whenever you like.
Rooms are spacious and Western-style, with amenities such as 50-inch LCD TVs, sofas, and refrigerators.
The spa comes equipped with table tennis, mahjong, karaoke, and a game corner for after-bath fun. It is an open atmosphere where you can enjoy yourself with family and friends.
10. Kusatsu Onsen Boun
Kusatsu Onsen Boun is located about a 5-minute walk from Yubatake, and from early to mid-May, the 3,000 rhododendrons on the grounds are in full bloom, leaving the garden a blizzard of pink petals. The garden flaunts seasonal beauty throughout the year, with mountain cherry blossoms in spring, autumn leaves in fall, and snowy landscapes in winter.
Guest rooms with open-air baths allow you to soak in the hot spring water from the Sainokawara source, and in the open space connected to the garden, you can enjoy a relaxing and exquisite bath without being disturbed by your surroundings.
In the inn’s gallery, many seasonal flowers are arranged, offering a sample of nature's sentiments. The flowers are matched perfectly to the traditional Japanese interior, allowing visitors to experience the authentic beauty of Japan.
The spacious entrance and lounge welcome you into an extraordinary space, and you can enjoy the luxury that only such a premium travel destination can offer. Rent and try on one of over 100 different colored yukata and take a picture encapsulating your memories of your trip.
Life can be busy, tiresome, and stressful. But here at Kusatsu Onsen, all of that is far away and you can focus purely on enjoying the healing and sumptuous waters of one of Japan’s most sought-after hot spring towns. And to make your stay even more memorable, why not choose a hotel with open-air- baths directly in the guest rooms?
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.