There are a lot of things to do in Uenomura in Northeastern Gunma Prefecture. This quaint town is surrounded by gorgeous green mountains, making it the perfect place to get away and relax for a weekend or holiday. Though there are a lot of unique sightseeing spots like Fujido Limestone Cave and Sky Bridge, some may just want to come and enjoy a relaxing day of onsen and delicious local food.
Shioji no Yu
Shioji no Yu is the perfect place to relax and experience one of Japan’s unique charms: onsen. Their spacious open-air baths are perfect for those who want to enjoy the charming Uenomura scenery while they bath in hot spring water rich in metaboric acid.
※ Water quality qualifies as a hot spring (onsen) according to the items in the separate chart of Article II of the Onsen Law for metaboric acid（weak acidic hypotonic cold mineral spring.）
|Address:||3487-2 Narahara, Ueno-mura, Tano-gun, Gunma-ken 370-1617|
|Entrance fee:||Adult (age 12 and over) ¥500, seniors age 70 and over ¥400, children (age 3 to 11) ¥300|
|Hours:||April to November: 11:00 to 20:00 |
December to March: 11:00 to 18:00
Closed on Tuesdays (although this may change depending on the season)
After a refreshing bath, why not try some of the local cuisine. We decided to try the handmade udon noodles at Yamazato, and we weren’t disappointed!
We went for the tempura sets (one with hot noodles and one with cold) when we visited. The thick homemade udon noodles were to die for, and the tempura was exquisite!
The older woman who runs the restaurant was kind enough to let us try her homemade spicy miso. I’m sorry to say that it isn’t on the menu, but she seems to be very keen on experimenting with new ingredients, and if you drop in you might get lucky like we were!
|Hours:||11:00 until udon sells out|
Closed Tuesdays and Fridays
After lunch you might want to try some of the local craft workshops. They have woodcraft, leathercraft, and indigo dying workshops available, and we decided to try leather.
First you pick the patterns you want from the wide selection of metallic stamps offered. Then apply some water to your leather strip and pound away!
This was only a test sample. Getting the pressure just right was a little tricky, but it wasn’t too difficult.
Once you’ve pounded your pattern in, it’s time to pick up a brush and some paint. I went for a green and purple color scheme, but there are so many colors to choose from, the possibilities are endless!
I hope you all can do a better job than me!
Villa Seseragi and Koya Onsen
After lunch and crafts, you might stop by the Roadside Station (Michi no Eki) or just head straight to Villa Seseragi to check in. This small western-style hotel is great for customers who may not be used to sleeping on futon mats on the floor. But if you want a more traditional Japanese experience, don’t worry! They have Japanese-style tatami rooms as well!
The lobby features a communal seating area with a massive window on one side looking out onto the river and the surrounding mountains. What a great place to relax after your bath.
Speaking of baths, the hotel’s onsen facility, called Koya Onsen, features water rich in fluoride that is said to have a number of health benefits. The hotel prides itself in the quality of its hot spring water, displaying its certifications on the wall as you enter.
Though the hotel has a western feel to it, they offer traditional kaiseki cuisine that is simply to die for. The menu features local ingredients, including Uenomura’s special Jukkoku Miso.
Everything was delicious, but the chef’s fish fritters stole the show.
And a trip to Uenomura wouldn’t be complete without a taste of inobuta pork, bred by mixing domestic pigs with wild boars. It goes great in nabe, adding a more complex flavor than your average pork.
〇 Rooms: 8 tatami rooms, 5 Western-style rooms, 3 mixed-type rooms (can accommodate up to overnight 82 guests).
Hot spring day pass: adults ¥600, children ¥400
Hours: 12:00 to 20:00 every day except Monday and Thursday (15:00 to 20:00)
|Address:||684-1 Katsuyama, Ueno-mura, Tano-gun, Gunma-ken 370-1613|
|For details see Ueno Shinkokosha Co., Ltd. |