Minakami is located at northern Gunma prefecture known as Minakami hot spring, one of the representative hot springs of Gunma prefecture. The hot spring area was founded in the Ganroku(1558-1570) in the Edo era and it was called “Yuhara no yu” because the hot spring was gushed out from the bottom of the Tone river. Along with the development of transportation system such as Jyoetsu line, this area became a big hot spring resort.
It’s a good viewing spot for Tanigawa mountain ranges and valley. There are many tourist spots such as Suwa Valley where people can enjoy the beautiful scenery all year around, Tanigawa dake ropeway with 360 degrees panoramic view, Tainenji temple known as hydrangea temple. Please enjoy viewing nature and strolling around the old nostalgic town which had been loved by many great writers.
- 5th Suwakyo Gorges
- 4th Tenichi Museum
- 3rd Taineiji Temple
- 2nd Tanigawadake Ropeway
- 1st Minakami Onsen
1. Spot ranking in Minakami area
5th. Suwakyo Gorges
Suwakyo Oohashi bridge is over the Suwa valley in Minakami hot spring. Suwa valley is located the south of the town and starts from Sasabue bridge. Along with the Tone river, people can find many interesting rocks. When people walk on a walking path along the valley, they can enjoy beautiful scenery. Suwa Oohashi bridge was built about 42 meters (137 feet) high from Tone River and bungee jump is a popular. Bungee jump started at this bridge since 2007, about 7000 people try to jump every year.
Over 50000 people succeeded to jump from this bridge. Family and friends can enjoy watching, taking photos and video with a fantastic view of Tanigawa mountains. Only people who are 15 years old or older, weight is from 40 kg to 105 kg can be apply. The opening months is from April to November (except Tuesday and Wednesday), from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Last admission is 4:30 pm). The cost of bungee jump is 7500 yen. This bridge is light up during night (until 10:00 pm).
There is another bridge called “Sasabue bridge” over the valley. It is a suspension bridge starts from 20 meters’ s (65 feet) rock wall and its length is 32 meters (104 feet).
It is the best autumn leaves viewing spot of Tanigawa mountains and the riversides of Tone river. Aside from that there are some other nice tourist spots such as Momiji Park which is famous for Japanese maples and Takigase where the surface of rocks are eroded by ranging stream, so please visit when you go to Minakami Hot spring. People can go to Suwa Oohashi bridge anytime with not admission fee.
If people would like to do bungee jump, please look at the information above.
Directions to Suwakyo oohashi bridge, take a bus (Kanetsukotu) bounds for Jyomou Kogen Iki at No.5 bus stop of Minakami station and get off at Suwa Jinjya mae bus stop. It takes about 8 minutes. The ticket fee is 330 yen. It takes about 7 minutes by walk from the bus stop to Suwakyo oohashi bridge.
4th. Tenichi Museum
Tenichi museum is a private museum in MInakami town in Gunma prefecture. It is in front of the rock wall of Tani River and the building was designed by famous architect, Jyunzo Yoshimura who also designed Nara national museum (New hall) and the residence of Rockefeller in New York. This museum was the last work of him. The works of art of Tenichi museum is a private collection of Isao Yabuki who was the founder of long- established tempura restaurant” Ginza Tenichi” in Ginza, Tokyo.
The restaurant was established in 1930 and became a kind of salon for many famous politicians, artists and writers. Mr. Yabuki built a large network between these people and one of them was Shigeru Yoshida who was a well-known politician lead Japanese society after World War Two. He asked Mr.Yabuki to protect valuable Japanese arts such as pictures and ceramics that had flowed out to abroad at that time.
Mr.Yabuki started to correct Japanese arts using his connections flowing his words. After his death, an incorporated foundation” Tenichi Art culture foundation” manage his corrections and Tenichi museum was opened in 1997. Minakami was chosen as a place for the museum because his villa was in this area and he escaped his family to this villa during the World War Two. In his corrections, there are “Reiko zo” of Ryusei Kishida, arts of Yuzo Saeki, Sotaro Yasui, Moriichi Kumagai, Lodan, Renoir, Picaso and ceramics of Korai and Richo. People can enjoy seeing great work of arts in cozy and quiet atmosphere surrounding by nature.
The opening hours is from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Last admission is 4:30 pm). It is open seven days a week. (It is close from January 6th to February 28th) The admission fee is 1300 yen/adult and over high school student, 1100 yen/child over elementary school student.
Directions to Tenichi museum, take tour sightseeing bus “Wakuwaku Go” at Minakami station. When you raise your hand to driver at any safety places on the route, the bus can stop to pick you up. It takes about 8 minutes. In 2018, this bus operated only weekends from April to November, everyday from August 1st to August 31st. The single ticket of the bus is 300 yen/ everyone (infant is free), one-day pass is 1000 yen/adult, 500 yen/child. If you take a taxi, it takes about 7 minutes, the cost is about 1800 yen.
3rd. Taineiji Temple
Taineiji Temple is Soto Buddhism sect temple in Minakami town in Gunma prefecture. When it was founded in 1309 in the Kamakura period, it was Tendai Buddhism sect temple. However, it declined and converted to Soto Buddhism sect temple after a part of spirit of deity of Enshu Kasuisai was enshrined at this temple. This temple played an important role for this town. For instance, it established Terakoya school in the Edo period, and opened Sugawa elementary school in the precinct in 1873. In the precinct, there are Sanmon gate, Main Hall, Temple Bell, and warehouse, and are designated as prefectural important cultural asset.
Taineiji temple is famous as Hydrangea temple. About 2000 hydrangeas are in full bloom in the end of July and that scenery is spectacular. “Shakyo” or copying Buddhism sutra is popular activity among travelers as well as curving a stone Buddhist statue. People can see fireflies at night in July. Its precinct has a quaint atmosphere if people like temples, they would love it.
Directions to Teineiji temple, take a bus (Kanetsu koutu) bounds for Jyomokogen at Minakami station and get off at Jyomo kogen bus stop. It takes about 25 minutes. The ticket fee is 620 yen. Then take another bus bounds for Takumi and Sarugakyo and get off at Takumono sato bus stop. It takes about 25 minutes. The ticket fee is 730 yen. It takes about 20 minutes by walk from the bus stop to Taineiji temple.
2nd. Tanigawadake Ropeway
Tanigawadake ropeway is a 10 minutes ride transportation that people can enjoy the great view of Tanigawa mountains. Mt. Tanigawa is the symbol mountain in Minakami Hot spring resort and one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan. Its height is 1997 meters (6551 feet).
As ropeway connects between Dogo near Yubiso hot spring and Tenjin Touge, anybody can enjoy the mountain. People enjoy looking at the breathtaking panoramic view on the ropeway and also seeing beautiful alpine plants such as Day lily and Shimotsuke-So between spring and summer near Tenjin Daira station (at 1319 meters height) or Tenjin Toge station (at 1502 meters height). Tanigawa mountain is also well-known as a great autumn leave spot.
Many people visit this ski resort for skiing and snowboarding in winter season. The opening time is from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays and from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekends from April to November. From December to March, it is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. (on weekends from February 24th, it is open from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. Gondola runs every 3 minutes and it takes about 15 minutes in one-way. (the fastest one takes 7 minutes.) The ropeway fee is 1230 yen/adult (one-way), 2060 yen(round-trip).
The child fee is a half price. The group discount is accepted over 15 people. The lift fee is 410 yen/adult and child (one-way), 720 yen(roundtrip).
Directions to Tanigawa dake ropeway, take a bus (Kanetsu kotsu) bounds for Tanigawa-dake ropeway at No.3 bus stop, Minakami station and get off at Tanigawada. It takes about 25 minutes. The ticket fee is 750 yen. (One-way)
1st. Minakami Onsen
Minakami is one of famous hot springs of Gunma prefecture. The hot spring area was founded in the Ganroku(1558-1570) in the Edo era. There are several tourist spots in this area such as well-known mountains, valley, waterfall, forest and ski resort. The town remains old atmosphere as if you were in Showa era and there are souvenir shops, an amusement center (like shooting game) and restaurants. Many great writers like Akiko Yosano and Yasunari Kawabata loved this hot spring and the “Minakami Kiko” written by Bokusui Wakayama is famous. Outdoor activities such as climbing mountains and Skiing have been popular and recently the popularity of rafting, canyoneering and canoeing has also increased.
There are several hot spring facilities for day trip visitors such as “Yuterume Tanigawa”. It has an open air bath and three sources of hot spring. In “Suzumori no Yu”, people can enjoy rich mineral hot spring which gushes out from the twenty million years old geological formation. It has an open-air bath and 2 inside large bath tubs made of Japanese cypress. As for food in Minakami, “Nama-Dorayaki” of Koarai Seika is very famous. It is a soft flat sponge cake stuffed with red bean paste and cream.
The texture is very soft and good taste. There are about 10 different kinds of cream such as Gyokuro Mattcha, café au let and blueberry.
Another shop, “Manjyu-ya Fueki” has same kind of Dorayaki and its Yunohana manjyu is also popular.
The opening hours is different depending on the shops and hot spring facilities.
Direcctions to Minakami Hot spring, take a bus (Kanetsu kotsu) bounds for Kamikogen eki and get off at MInakami Onsen. It takes about 5 minutes. The ticket fee is 250 yen.
2. Getting to Minakami Station from Takasaki Station
Directions to Minakami station, take JR Jyoetsu line bounds for Minakami and get off at Minakami station. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes from Takasaki station to Minakami station. The ticket fee is 970 yen. (One-way)
Getting to Takasaki Station from Tokyo
3. Other Area List
Ikaho Onsen, Shibukawa and Haruna
Shima Onsen – Nakanojo
Oze, Numata and Kawaba
Maebashi, Mt. akagi and Kiryu