Day Trip to Tomioka

Day Trip to Tomioka
2019-02-18 DAYTRIP TOKYO

Tomioka city is located in the southwest part of Gunma. Kabura River, a branch river of Tonegawa, flows through, and on the northwest side, there is a mountain called Mt.Myogi as a representative of Gunma. This area has been a sericulture area, and flourished by Kinuichi (silk market) during Edo period. Since they built goverment-owned Tomioka Silk Mill in 1872, this area has been developed by silk-spinning industry.
 
Tomioka Silk Mill was designated as one of the world heritage of “Tomioka Silk Mill and Silk Industry Ruins” in 2014. In addition, this area is known as one of Japan’ three beautiful spot. You can enjoy world heritage, historical shrines, or nature here in Tomioka: Mt. Myogi, a beautiful natural landscape with sheer rocks, Myogi Shrine which is located half-way up the Mt. Hakuun, known as the main peak of Mt. Myogi, or Kozukenokuni Ichinomiya Nukisaki Shrine.

 

1. Spot Ranking
2. Getting in
3. Other Area List

 

1. Spot Ranking

5th. Mount Myōgi

Mt.Myogi is a mountain located in the southwest side of Gunma prefecture. This mountain is known as a representative of mountains in Gunma, and one of the Jomo 3 mountains together with Mt.Hakuun and Mt.Haruna. Mt.Myogi is consisted of 3 peaks including Mt.Hakuun, Mt.Kondo, and Mt.Kinkei, and Mt.Kondo’ peak is the highest with 1104 meters in height. This mountain is also considered as one of Japan’s three beautiful spots, and the beautiful natural landscape of sheer rocks is its characteristics.
 
The form of this mountain created by fantastically-shaped rocks is just an art of nature, and it shows us different faces through the seasons. Since the view of the mountain is good if you look at it from far or climb up the steep mountain, many photographers or alpinists loves this mountain.
 
In addition, it is known as “the origin of modern mountain climbing” as an alpinist from England taught Japanese climbing technology for the first time here at Mt.Myogi. The altitude is not so high, but the view looking Kanto plains down the bottom is really refreshing.
 
There are 3 mountaineering course: “Ishimon Meguri” which is for every beginners, “kanto Fureai no Michi” which is for those who want to enjoy nature, and “Sancho Juso” which is for those who have enough physical strength and courage.
 
Please choose the one suitable for you and enjoy the lanscape and nature at Mt.Myogi. There is an area called “Sakura no Sato” on the southern foot of Mt.Myogi, and you can see about 5000 trees of cherry blossoms with 45 different kinds from mid of April to mid of May. Not only spring but also in autumn many tourists visit here for watching colored leaves. There is a shrine called Myogi Shrine at the foot of the mountain. There is no specific opening hour, and no admission fee required to enter the mountain.

Access

To get to Mt.Myogin: from Joshu Tomioka station of Joshin Electric Railway, take the train with Takasaki direction, get off at Takasaki Station and change the train to JR Shinetsu with Yokokawa direction, then finally get off at Matsuida Station. The train takes about 70 minutes, and the fare is 1200 yen. From Matsuida Station, you can taxi to get to Mt.Myogi, it takes about 10 minutes.
 
Since there is no taxi stand at Matsuida Station, please make sure you call the taxi to pick you up. (To call a taxi: 0273-93-1181 for Nishi Matsuida Station Tsubame Taxi limited company / 0273-85-6850 for Isobe Station Takasaki Station yard car Co.,Ltd. Isobe Sales Office) Expected fare for taxi from Matsuida Station to Myogi Shrine: 1500-1900 yen. In case if you go there by walk from Matsuida Station, it takes about 40 minutes.

 

Details

 

4th. Cafe Drome

Image is for illustration purposes

Cafe Drome is an old Japanese-style house cafe located near Tomioka Silk Mill. The name of this cafe comes from “Drome prefecture” in France which is a hometown for a French engineering instructor named Paul Brunat who worked at Tomioka Silk Mil. After This old house was built in 1872, and this cafe was opened after the renovation. This house used to be partitioned into 12 units (current: 7 units) and people who worked at the Mill often used at that time. You can spend a relaxed time with the aroma of coffee in the retro atmosphere, and if you go up to the 2nd floor, you can see the photos of Tomioka Silk Mill and streets at that time.
 
This floor still remains the clayey wall and beams, and you can feel its history of over 140 years. In addition, you can buy the silk scarf at this cafe. Gunma is known for its unique food culture using Miso and flour, and you can try sweets made with home-made Miso and flours made in Tomioka here at Cafe Drome.
 
Especially chiffon cakes here use Miso, silk(silk protein), and Pong mixed when they make dough, which is a unique menu. Their specialty coffee is also very tasty. Cafe Drome is open from 9:30-17:00, and closed on New Year’s holidays. The main menus are: espresso 450 yen, blended coffee 550 yen, cafe latte 600 yen, chiffon cake 600 yen, pudding with miso at the bottom 500 yen etc.

Access

To get to Cafe Drome: from Joshu Tomioka Station of Joshin Electric Railway, walk for 10 minutes. The cafe is 50 meters away from Tomioka Silk Mill.

 

Details

 

3rd. Myogi Shrine

Myogi Shrine is located in Mt.Hakuun, the main peak of Mt.Myogi, and has a history of about 1500 years. The shrine is in Myogicho in Tomioka city, and flourished as a place for mountain worship. The shrine is surrounded by old cryptomeria, and the shrine itself is Gongen-sukuri style and painted with black lacquer. The main hall, karamon, and main gate is designated as national important cultural properties, and the enshrined deity is Yamato Takeru. After the big renovation, Hakoso shrine is now back to its original gorgeous look. The highlight of this shrine is the sculpture made in the main hall.
 
Especially the dragon sculpture made in between the worship hall and the pent roof built atop the stairs is a must see. There are other sculptures in this shrine such as cranes, chrysanthemum or Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove on the transom or wall. All those sculptures and richly colors make the hall look more gorgeous. The subtle and profound atmosphere of this shrine has a beauty touching to visitor’s hearts.
 
In spring, there 200-year-old weeping cherry trees make a flower arch at the approach, and 100-year-old turmeric cherry trees blooms with yellow flowers. When you walk through the big Torii gate, you walk a steep approach towards the red main gate, and when you walk up to the 275 of stone steps, you’ll finally see the main hall. For elderly and children, there is a gentle sub approach for easy walk. The opening hour is from 9:00-18:00, and there is no admission fee to enter and worship in the precincts.

Access

To get to Myogi Shrine: from Joshu Tomioka station of Joshin Electric Railway, take the train with Takasaki direction, get off at Takasaki Station and change the train to JR Shinetsu with Yokokawa direction, then finally get off at Matsuida Station. The train takes about 70 minutes, and the fare is 1200 yen. From Matsuida Station, you can taxi to get to Mt.Myogi, it takes about 10 minutes.
 
Since there is no taxi stand at Matsuida Station, please make sure you call the taxi to pick you up. (To call a taxi: 0273-93-1181 for Nishi Matsuida Station Tsubame Taxi limited company / 0273-85-6850 for Isobe Station Takasaki Station yard car Co.,Ltd. Isobe Sales Office) Expected fare for taxi from Matsuida Station to Myogi Shrine: 1500-1900 yen. In case if you go there by walk from Matsuida Station, it takes about 40 minutes.

 

Details

 

2nd. Uenokuniichinomiya Nukisaki Shrine

Uenokuniichinomiya Nukisaki Shrine is a historical shrine located in Ichinomiya of Tomioka city. It was said to be built in 531, and the enshrined deity is Futsunoshi no Kami and Hime Ookami. According to Engishiki jinmyocho (a register of shrines in Japan) made in 927, this shrine is listed as a Myojin grand shrine(a shrine that enshrines a god with a strong power). The god of this shrine has a power for Josai-Shofuku(warding off calamities ad bringing in good luck)・Kaiun-yakuyoke (bringing in good fortune and warding off evil)・health・marrigage・safe childbirth.

 
The shrine is located at the lowland walking down from the approach, which is a very unique style in Japan. Main hall, worship hall, and two-storied tower were rebuilt by Togugawa Iemitsu, the 3rd shogun, in 1635, and they had a big repair by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the 5th shogun.

 
Those main hall, worship hall, and two-storied tower are all designated as national important cultural properties. The entire shrine looks very beautiful as the main hall and worship hall are richly colored and lacquered, and the two-storied tower is also lacquered. When Hatsumode( one’s first visit of the year to a shrine), they have festivals for the first three days of the new year: Saitansai on 1st/ Nikkushisai on 2nd/ Genshisai & Suitekishinji on 3rd, and during those days about 100,000 people visit this shrine.

 
When sakura season comes around late in Mar to beginning of April, you are able to see the Prunus yedoensis blooming just like covering the approach towards the torii gate. Those old trees have been there for over a thousand year, and they make the atmosphere more glorious. This shrine is open from 8:00-17:00, 7 days a week. No admission fee required to enter the precincts.

Access

To get toUenokuniichinomiya Nukisaki Shrine: from Joshu Tomioka station of Joshin Electric Railway, take the same line with Shimonita direction, and get off at Joshu Ichinomiya Station, and walk for 15 minutes.

 

Details

 

1st. Tomioka Silk Mill

Tomioka Silk Mill is a government-owned model silk factory built more than 140 years ago. This was the first government-owned model silk factory in Japan, and was built in Tomioka city of Gunma prefecture. At that time, raw silk made in Japan was highly evaluated from overseas, and was the main product for export trade. After the Meiji restoration, the government thought of expanding the export trade of raw silk as the best way to get funds, that is why this Tomioka Silk Mill was built by the government.

 
The Meiji government brought an instructor named Paul Brunat from France in order to make the mill top level. Furthermore, the government let Paul to decide where to build the mill or even the construction detail. In addition, he brought machines and techniques from France, and trained modern skilled workers. This mill was transferred to the private sector in 1893, and stopped operating in 1987.
 
The building itself made of wooden frame and red bricks are still existing almost same way as it used to be, so you can visit this place and see the building as the birthplace of Japan’ modern industry. Silk reeling plant, East cocoon warehouse, and west cocoon warehouse located within this factory are national treasures.
 
Also, there is a house called “Brunat House” in this factory, where he used as his home. These buildings were registered as world heritage (cultural heritage) together with Tajima Yahei’ former residence (a building which became the origin of the modern sericulture farm architecture) under the name of “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites”. Watching the building itself is worthy, but they have a guided-tour with episodes, panel exhibition, or demonstration of spinning the raw silk so that you can learn 115 years of history of this factory.
 
For gifts, we recommend you buy some silk products. In addition, there is a shop named “Kinu Kobo” where they sell many kinds of silk products. Especially they have a demonstration of making the bubbles with silk soaps, so you can try the sticky and creamy foam. Also they have a demonstration of weaving.
 
Tomioka Silk Mill is open from 9:00-17:00(last entry: 16:00). The admission fee is 1000 yen for adults, 250 yen for high school/ college students, and 150 yen for elementary/junior high school students(free for pre-school child). If you are visiting in a group with more than 20 people, they have a different price. If you would like to go on a guided-tour, there will be additional 200 yen (100 yen for under junior high school students) required.

Access

To get to Tomioka Silk Mill: from Joshu Tomioka station of Joshin Electric Railway, walk for about 10 minutes.

 

Details

 

2. Getting to Jōshū-Tomioka from Takasaki Station

At Takasaki Station, change the train to Joshin Electric Railway with Shimonita direction, and get off at Joshu Tomioka Station. It takes about 40 minutes and the train fare costs 790 yen for one way trip.

 

Getting to Takasaki Station from Tokyo


 

 

3. Other Area List

Ikaho Onsen, Shibukawa and Haruna

Ikaho Onsen, Shibukawa and Haruna
 

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Tomioka

Tomioka
 

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Shima Onsen – Nakanojo

Shima Onsen – Nakanojo
 

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Oze, Numata and Kawaba

Oze, Numata and Kawaba
 

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Minakami

Minakami

 

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Manza Onsen

Manza Onsen
 

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Maebashi, Mt. akagi and Kiryu

Maebashi, Mt. akagi and Kiryu
 

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Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen

 

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