Gunma is made up mostly of rural areas like mountains, plains, open fields and hot springs. It is a frequented place for people looking for hiking and nature trips. An interesting physical characteristic of Gunma is its ‘crane on a flight’ shape. There are many places and things to do in Gunma.
Kiryu is a great place to visit in Gunma. There are lots of scenic valleys and gorges around. The place was hardly touched in the ravages of the Second World War, so it has preserved most of its pre-war rural and urban architecture. Some visitors even regard Kiryu as a ‘bustling and active’ architectural museum.
2. Kusatsu Onsen
The Kusatsu Onsen is a well known hot spring resort situated in Gunma Prefecture, just at the northern western part of Tokyo. The hot water that flows through Kusatsu Onsen comes from Mount Kusatsu-Shirane. The hot spring resort is a popular tourist destination as it is highly recommended by doctors at Tokyo University.
3. Oze National Park
The Oze National Park is the biggest highland marshland of Japan. It was once part of the Nikko National Park but was separated in 2007. The place has a beautiful landscape, with lots of scenic fields, fauna, and flora. You can get to the park through Oshimizu, Numeyama, and Fujimishita.
4. Mt. Shirane
You can visit Mt. Shirane all year round and enjoy the beautiful and spectacular sightseeing areas around the mountain. The only time the place is not recommended for a visit is in winter. Otherwise, if you will come at other times aside from cold season, you will lush emerald green landscapes that change from spring to summer and then autumn.
5. Shorinzan Daruma Temple
Make sure not to miss the Daruma dolls of Gunma by visiting the Daruma Temple. The temple is located in Takasaki, the hometown of the Daruma Doll. You can make the temple as a side visit from your walks in the city center. The temple is a small museum, but you definitely don’t want to miss the chance to see the colorful dolls.
6. Gunma no Mori
The Gunma no Mori is a national forested park and can be reached around nine kilometers from the station. Also located inside the park are the buildings of the Gunma Museum of History and the Gunma Museum of Arts. There are a couple of beautiful spots to walk around the place, which you can also have some picture taking.
7. Mt. Haruna
Mt. Haruna is a big dormant volcano located in Takasaki in Gunma. You can reach the area by riding a bus from the station. You can reach the top in about one hour. The shrine in the mountain was created in 586 and provides a scenic location near the river. Buses come once an hour, but it should be worth the wait.
Take a break from your trip and get some sweet snack in Gunma. A popular Japanese sweet is the Yaki Manju. This food is broiled many, a Japanese styled bun poured with sweet soy sauce. Most food shops and stalls sell Yaki-Manju. You know this is popular as you will see long lines of customers in food stores.
9. Udon noodles
There are different types of noodles and you should at least try one kind in your visit in Japan. A popular noodle food in Gunma is the udon noodles. The Mizusawa udon noodles are considered one the best udon noodles in the country which is a bit thicker than other noodles. Gunma has several winter wheat products and udon noodles are one of them. You can order Udon in most restaurants in Gunma.
10. Mount Tanigawa
Gunma has several great mountains that you can visit. Mt. Tanigawa is located just at the border of Gunma and Niigata. Towering at around 1,977 meters, it is a popular exploration and hiking site for mountaineers. Many have died however for those who have explored the mountain through the years. You may want to get a good spot for some picture taking if you prefer safer exploration.
11. Mount Akagi
Another mighty mountain you may want to get a glimpse is the Mount Akagi. This mountain is low but broad, with an ellipse-shaped caldera summit. A lake called Lake Ono is located at the northern eastern part of the caldera. The local name “Akagi-Yama” can be translated into English as Red Castle.
12. Mount Myōgi
Considered part of the major mountains in Gunma, Mount Myogi is known for its weathered rocks that formed into amazing formations. The peak of the mountain has been regarded by some people as having rugged beauty. You can have a great view of the place as the foliage changes color throughout the seasons. The mountain has been mentioned in several video games, anime, and manga series.
13. Gunma Flower Park
A frequented tourists destination in Gunma is the Gunma Flower Park. There is wide range of flowers in full bloom that can be seen arranged in a different type of landscape arrangement. It is a spacious park with English Garden and Japanese Garden arrangement. It is open all year, with free parking.
- Address: 2471-7 Kashiwagura-machi, Maebashi-shi, Gunma
- Hours: 9am – 6pm (extends to 9pm on special nights)
- Fee: 500-700 yen (adults, with discounts for groups), Free for Junior HS and younger kids
14. Ikaho Green Bokujo
You can see a lot of animals in the Ikaho Green Bokujo like goats, dairy cattle, ponies, rabbits, and sheep. The place is surrounded by a lot of greenery as it is also near Mount Harunasan. You can experience some farming work such as milking cows, petting the animals, making butter and picking fruits like strawberries.
- Address: 2844-1 Kanai, Shibukawa-shi, Gunma
- Tel: +81-279-24-5335 (Ikaho Green Bokujo)
- Hours: 9am – 4pm
- Parking: Free (50 buses, 700 cars)
15. Konnyaku Park
A great place to visit in Gunma which you definitely don’t want to miss is the Konnyaku Park. Take a trip to the Konnyaku factory and see for yourself if you can also make a Konnyaku. A Konnyaku Factory Tour may also include free dishes and tastes. If you like to know how to make a Konnyaku, you need to make a reservation.
- Address: 204-1 Obata, Kanra-machi, Kanra-gun, Gunma
- Phone：+81-274-60-4100 (Konnyaku Park)
- Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (reception close at 4:30 PM)
- Parking: Free
- Fee: Free (factory tour), 200-500 yen for Konnyaku making lessons
Gunma has a lot of mountains, rivers, and national parks. You will definitely enjoy your visit in the place if you’re a nature lover. Otherwise, there are other activities to festivities to be part of, so just enjoy your travel so you can have a lot of memories and photographs when you get back home.
Have a good trip and travel!