TUJ Student Activities coordinated an overnight trip to Kusatsu, a town that is famous for its onsens (hot springs).
After a long bus ride, we made a stop to see snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park. If you’re interested in monkeys, check out my pictures from that detour in the post that precedes this one! This post is dedicated the time spent in Kusatsu.
Our room had a beautiful view of the mountains in the distance.
At the hotel, we had an incredible Japanese dinner.
Students got the chance to sing karaoke during dinner as well!
There were traditional rituals performed in the lobby of the hotel that night as well as a taiko drum performance.
Of course, there was also a drumming arcade game in the lobby that featured dancing dogs and macaroni. Of course.
The next day, we departed the hotel as a group for a tour of the town of Kusatsu, which is famous for its onsens.
The water at Kusatsu Onsen steams with heat and smells of sulfur. During our tour, we learned that it is often said that the waters at Kusatsu Onsen have healing powers for any pain… except a broken heart. The waters in onsens vary in color depending on the contents of the water. In Kusatsu, the water has a high sulfur content, which contributes to its green coloration.
Exploring the mountains is a cold task. For warmth, we stuck our hands in a hand onsen. Initially it was a bit painful because of just how hot the water is but once our bodies adjusted we regained our warmth – just what we needed to keep going!
After a long day of exploring the town, we rested and warmed up by dipping our feet in very hot water in an outdoor foot onsen. Feet turn red from spending a bit of time in such hot water, and at first it is a bit painful but again you get used to it.
There was a beautiful outdoor onsen that we were able to visit as well when we were in Kusatsu. It was a nice place to be able to wander, souvenir shop and onsen hop. (There are many free onsens in Kusatsu that one can visit, they are of different sizes and you have to bring your own towel!)