Takaragawa Outdoor Hot Springs

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Winter Night - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Takaragawa Onsen Winter Night

Japan Tour Review

A majority of onsens in Japan are gender separated, where males and females go to separate rooms. However, Takaragawa Onsen is a mixed gender resort, making it possible for couples to stay together for a romantic getaway. Not only its onsen pools are mixed gender, but they are also entirely open-air and outdoor. With abundant Edo-era architecture in the surrounding, bathing in its hot spring pools is truly an authentic Japan experience. Better yet, this onsen resort is easily accessible from Downtown Tokyo Rail Station (see below for direction).

Japanese Onsen Rules

For hot springs in Japan, there are quite a few étiquettes and rules to follow:

Rule #1: Put towel on your head….not into the water, not along the pool side. It’s meant to pat dry yourself while exiting the pool, so you don’t make the floor slippery. No wonder you have to keep it dry until ready to use it. Make sense.

Rule 2: No clothes. Isn’t it obvious?!?! ò.ó No underpants, no swimpants, etc. Uh?!?! ò.ó Use the small towel provided to you if you’re shy when entering/exiting the pool. If the small towel doesn’t help much, just close your eyes; nobody will see you and you will not see anyone.

Rule 3: No tattoos. Tattooing is associated with Yakuza gang. Cover them up if you can. Otherwise, rent a private room for hot spring spa, which may not be as scenic as the outdoor public pool.

Rule 4: Relax and enjoy. Talk to your neighbours. Just make sure eye to eye contact, not looking down.

There are other rules, but the above are the interesting ones. Follow the rules, so that people won’t think you don’t have manners. Japanese are very self-disciplined.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Thick Winter Snow - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Takaragawa Onsen in Winter with thick snow

How to Get to Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen is located in a small town called Minakami, in Gunma Prefecture. It takes about 2.5 hours by JR Rail from Tokyo Station to Minakami Station. Starting from Tokyo Station, you take JR Joetsu Shinkansen to Takasaki Staion (about 75min), and then you take a local train JR Joetsu Line from Takasaki Station to Minakami Station (about 60min). After arriving at Minakami Station, you then take a local bus to Takaragawa Onsen; the bus ride costs ¥1060 (USD 10) and takes about another 30min.

The most difficult part about getting to Takaragawa Onsen is the bus schedule. Trains run frequently, but not so much for bus rides. In order to have a smooth ride, you should check the bus schedule and train schedule ahead of time and plan your trip so as to catch a bus in Minakami. If you miss the last bus, your only option will be taking a taxi, which can be very expensive in Japan!!! Any questions? Leave a comment below.

For bus and train timetables, check Takaragawa Onsen website.


Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Winter Night - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

A bridge at Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Yukata 浴衣 Geta 下駄 Sandogasa Hat 三度笠 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

At Takaragawa Onsen, all guests are provided Japanese clothes to wear. Yukata is a casual kimono for bathing. Geta are Japanese clogs. I brought along a Japanese bamboo hat called sandogasa hat, which I bought while visiting Narita Temple.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Higashikan (East Building) - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Higashikan (East Building) of Takaragawa Onsen is where my room is located. I chose to stay in this building so that my dinner would be served in my private room, instead of common public dining lounge.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Outdoor Hotspring 露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

The building in distance is one of the four huge, open-air hot spring pools at Takaragawa Onsen Resort. Look at that thick snow!!! What a contrast with steamy hot spring.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Mixed Gender Outdoor Hotspring 混浴露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Chillax at Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Mixed Gender Outdoor Hotspring 混浴露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

I spent my Christmas holiday at this hotspring paradise.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Outdoor Hotspring 露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Takaragawa River flows through the middle of Takaragawa Onsen Resort, creating a waterfall.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Outdoor Hotspring 露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Amazing outdoor hot spring with thick winter snow at Takaragawa Onsen Resort, Minakami, Japan. This is one of the best open-air, mixed-gender onsens in Japan.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Outdoor Hotspring 露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Steamy hotspring pool among thick snow.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Outdoor Hotspring 露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

This Japanese inn in Edo style architecture is one of the best places for authentic Japan experiences, from bathing in outdoor hotspring onsen to traditional multi-course kaiseki dinner, to sleeping in Japanese futon on tatami. I can go on and on about this amazing stay, but you will have to come visit this place yourself to find out. ^_^

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Outdoor Hotspring 露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Takaragawa Onsen Outdoor Hotspring during Winter Night

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Winter - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Located in the remote inner mountain ranges, Takaragawa Onsen often has heavy snowfall during winter. The resort also becomes very colorful in autumn from all the trees in the mountain. Winter and autumn are probably the best season to visit.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Winter - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Watefalls at Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Winter - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Lots of snow around Christmas time and the New Year...a good time to visit this resort.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Winter - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

A couple taking pictures.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Winter - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Steamy open-air hot spring pool

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Mixed Gender Outdoor  Hotspring 混浴露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Taking an epic dip in steamy hotspring among snow. The scenery is awesome.

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Mixed Gender Outdoor  Hotspring 混浴露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Takaragawa Outdoor Hotsprings

Takaragawa Onsen 宝川温泉 汪泉閣 Mixed Gender Outdoor  Hotspring 混浴露天風呂 - Minakami 水上, Gunma 群馬, Tokyo 東京, Japan 日本 | FollowPanda.Com

Takaragawa Outdoor Hotsprings

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