Experience Gunma Prefecture, Japan

Kusatsu Onsen

This onsen resort is famous as one of the three major onsen in Japan. The unique bathing method of jikanyu (timed bathing) and yumomi (water beating) are customs that have been passed down since the Edo period. In addition to the high spring quality, the atmosphere of the resort is attractive with the Yubatake (literally means hot water fields, a wooden facility for thermal moderation of the water) located at the center.

Also, this onsen resort boasts the greatest amount of hot spring water discharged in Japan. Among the top 100 Onsen selected by travel pros, Kusatsu Onsen has ranked No. 1 in Japan for 15 years in a row! In both name and reality, this onsen resort is representative of Japan.

Oze Nation park (Ozegahara)

Oze is Japan's largest highland marsh, and is famous as an area rich in rare and precious plants and animals. Located in Oze National Park, the marsh is said to have been formed in the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago. Because of the special geographical conditions of the highland basin, plants that evolved in the Ice Age are still growing naturally now. The beautiful scenery is especially enjoyable when the marsh is covered with blooming skunk cabbage in spring and day lilies in summer.

World Heritage-Tomioka Silk Mill

This is the symbol of "Silk Country" Gunma. It was the first model factory in Japan built by the Meiji government in 1872 to modernize raw silk production. The building adopts a unique construction method with wood pillars and brick and plaster walls. With other three silk industrial heritages in the prefecture, in 2012, it was selected to be the one which will be nationally nominated to the World Heritage List.

And June 2014, Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites were added to World Heritage List.

Gunma's great variety of plantation

Gunma Prefecture is not only close to the Tokyo metro area, it is also blessed with arable land that takes advantage of geological features with a difference of elevation and long periods of sunlight.

Many agricultural goods are produced that utilize this favorable location, and Gunma is known as one of the leading producers of vegetables in the country. In the north, highland vegetables such as cabbage are grown, and in the plains, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, Edamame and so on are grown in both greenhouses and in the open air.

Lettuce
Edamame “TENGU-JIRUSHI”
Cabbage

Also, various fruits including ume (Japanese apricot) and blueberries, boasting higher amount of production in Japan, apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, cherries, and peaches are grown here. Many orchards for tourists and other places exist across the prefecture and visitors can experience the bounty of nature and the joy of harvest there.

Apple

Favorable conditions for growing fruit such as long daylight hours and optimum day and night temperature differences makes it possible to grow delicious apples in Gunma.

A large portion of the apple grown in Gunma are of a high-quality variety developed and cultivated in Gunma.

 

Blueberry

As One of the leading producers of blueberries in Japan, Gunma grows and cultivates a large, juicy and richly textured variety of blueberries.

These blueberries can of course be eaten as is, but they can also be enjoyed in other ways such as with yogurt, with ice cream, or as jam. 

Strawberry

Gunma's Yayoihime is an exceptionally delicious, sweetly fragrant, and vividly colorful original variety of strawberry. It is carefully grown in rich soil with clear water and plenty of sunlight. 

Gunma Famous Food & Agricultural Products

Sukiyaki

If you want to try various vegetables and beef that Gunma prides itself on in one dish, sukiyaki is unmistakably the best option. Shimonita negi (leeks) with strong sweetness, Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, shirataki noodles, etc. in the pot—the ingredients that are perfect for sukiyaki are all vegetables proudly harvested in Gunma or are products made here. If you use a local soy sauce as the main seasoning, then you have an All-Gunma Sukiyaki dish.

Katsudon (Non-Halal)

Gunma is also one of Japan’s leading producers of pork, and many varieties of Joshu Brand Pork are produced that have flavors brought out by differences in the regions. If you visit Gunma, be sure to try the pork cutlets or the katsudon.

Yakimaju

Yakimanju are a local delicacy of Joshu (Gunma) known as the place that has produced wheat since long ago. Plain steamed manju are put on a bamboo skewer and roasted with charcoal flame, while being basted with a sweet and spicy miso sauce. The hot, freshly roasted manju have a habit-forming taste because of its fluffy texture and a rich scent from the miso sauce. 

Konyaku

Gunma prefecture holds Japan's highest amount of producing konnyaku. Because Gunma is a center of production of the konnyaku root, it can make nama-imo konnyaku, which is made straight from the root and no from powder like most konnyaku. Product are also shipped out nationwide.  

Characteristics

Daruma Doll

"Takasaki Daruma" doll which is one of the famous lucky charms in Japan.

Silk

Silk made from Tomioka silk worms is used to make clothing like neckties and scarfs, as soap and beauty products.