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Goin’ Japanesque!

Takaragawa Onsen: A Popular Secret among Newly-weds

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This is Takaragawa Onsen’s main building in Gunma Prefecture. As the snow thaws, the currents grow stronger. This area is a recent hotspot for newly-weds. With that in mind, I’m going to show you 4 types of secret rotenburo (outdoor hot springs) and I hope you’ll enjoy the 4 different seasons shown here. 

 

1. Maka bath – Both gender bath, Opened 24h

(まかのゆ) (摩訶の湯)

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The first is called Maka no Yu (“yu” meaning bath). Built in 1940, it’s the most famous rotemburo at Takaragawa. It’s as wide as 120 tatami mats, allowing for plenty of room to soak in the hot waters and relax. It’s also very unique for being a mixed-bath, which is what makes it perfect for newly-weds. Surely there’s nothing better than coming here on your honeymoon and spending time in the onsen together! It’s open 24-hours. 

 

2. Kodakara bath – Both gender bath, Opened 24h

(こだからのゆ) (子宝の湯)

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The second is called Kodakara no Yu. This bath is famed for its enormous size: a full 200 tatami mats wide! This is a powerful onsen, making it possible to truly enjoy all of nature. There’s a saying in Japan, “Kodakara ni megumareru” (to be blessed with children), and this message of caring deeply for one’s children is where this bath got its name. 

 

3. Hannya bath – Both gender bath, Opened 24h

(はんにゃのゆ) (般若の湯)

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Hannya no Yu is different from the other onsen; it’s small and shallow. It’s nothing exciting but it’s great for bathing together with your small children. 

 

4. Maya bath – Women bath, Opened 24h

(まやのゆ) (摩耶の湯)

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Maya no Yu is special for being women-only. (In Japanese, a bath for only women is called “onna yu”). Nowadays this is pretty common but at Takaragawa all of the onsen are mixed-bathing so it really stands out. It’s about 100 tatami mats wide and feels very open. 

Yuami-gi

(ゆあみぎ) (湯あみ着)

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As I said before, Takaragawa Onsen is special for being mixed-bathing. However, I’m sure there are some women who are a little nervous about mixed-bathing. But don’t worry! If you’re not comfortable, you can enter the bath wearing a special swimsuit called a “yuamigi”. 

 

Osenkaku

(おうせんかく) (汪泉閣)

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Of course, it’s not just onsen either. Guests can stay right in the adjoining Japanese-style inn (called a “ryokan”). Be sure to check out the video on the ryokan at the bottom of this article. :) 

Yukata

(ゆかた) (浴衣)

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Guests can pick the pattern for the yukata they’ll wear within the ryokan. Pick one that really speaks to you! This is one thing to enjoy during your stay :) 

<POINT>

Do You Know the Difference Between a Kimono and Yukata?

Yukata are often used as pajamas in ryokan and are very lightweight, thin clothing worn while going to summer festivals. You can wear them without anything underneath or over your underwear. There are many slim obi as well.

Kimono, on the other hand, must be worn with a juban (underrobe). You never wear a kimono without anything underneath or just in your underwear. Even putting one on can be a pain! lol 

Osenkaku Official DVD (English)

There are many sight-seeing spots like this also outside of Tokyo. This time I showed you Gunma but stay tuned to find out where I’ll take you next :)

Information: Takaragawa onsen and Osenkaku

Address: 1899 Fujiwara, Minakami-machi Tone-gun, Gunma
Access: Takaragawa onsen and Osenkaku
Open: Check-in 14:00, Check-out 10:00
Phone: 0278-75-2611
Price: Overnight stay about 13500-yen ~ (2 guests/room)

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