Views from the Tanigawadake Ropeway (Photo: Qurren / CC BY-SA 3.0)
Views from the Tanigawadake Ropeway (Photo: Qurren / CC BY-SA 3.0)
- 3 min read

5 Autumn Color Destinations in Gunma

Hikes, onsen, and more in this landlocked prefecture

Gunma is one of Japan's handful of landlocked prefectures, and it's known for its onsen, ski resorts, and pristine nature. It's also a destination which is filled with some great spots to enjoy the changing leaves of fall, and list list covers five of them!

Oze National Park

If hiking is your preferred method of appreciating autumn's beauty, the Oze National Park needs to be on your must-visit list. The iconic autumn view here is of the grass turning shades of yellow and brown by the Ozegahara Marshland, and there are risen boardwalks along the route making it easy to trek along. Come wintertime, this area is typically blanketed in snow and rarely visited until spring arrives again.

Katashina, Tone District, Gunma 378-0411

Oze National Park is a popular hiking spot, especially in autumn
Oze National Park is a popular hiking spot, especially in autumn (Photo: 雷太 / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kusatsu Onsen

Gunma is known for its onsen, and Kusatsu Onsen gets touted as one of Japan's best. The waters here are said to assist with a range of ailments from muscle pain to skin issues, and the town itself is filled with plenty of atmospheric alleyways to explore. The charm is really emphasized when the crisp autumn air and vibrant leaves are added to the equation!

Kusatsu, Agatsuma District, Gunma

Kusatsu Onsen is touted as one of Japan's best onsen destinations
Kusatsu Onsen is touted as one of Japan's best onsen destinations (Photo: 雷太 / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Takaragawa Onsen

Another great autumnal onsen option is Takaragawa, and when online reviews offer glowing statements like "hands down the most beautiful scenery for an onsen experience" you know you're onto a good thing. The onsen is surrounded by trees, meaning that when the leaves begin to change you're greeted with a bounty of color while you bathe. It's equally as charming during the winter months when the area is covered in snow.

1899 Fujiwara, Minakami, Tone District, Gunma 379-1721

Takaragawa Onsen in autumn
Takaragawa Onsen in autumn (Photo: olemiswebs / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Myogi Jinja Shrine

Located on one of Gunma's most important mountains, Myogi Jinja Shrine has a history dating back to 537 AD. Getting there requires a trek up almost 300 stairs, but once get there you're rewarded with some beautiful autumn foliage that quickly makes you forget about the leg workout. If you can't visit during the fall season, the shrine is also popular in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

6 Myougi, Myougimachi, Tomioka, Gunma, 379-0201

Myougi Jinja Shrine
Myougi Jinja Shrine (Photo: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) / CC BY 2.0)

Tanigawadake Ropeway

If you'd like to appreciate the autumn leaves from a higher vantage point, the Tanigawadake Ropeway is the spot for you. A round trip will set you back ¥ 2100, and it'll have you feeling like you're soaring through the colorful trees. The ropeway runs in all seasons, so even if you can't visit in autumn it's a fun activity where you can enjoy the beauty of nature from above.

Fukiyama National Forest, Yubiso, Minakami, Tone District, Gunma 379-1728

Inside the Tanigawadae Ropeway gondola
Inside the Tanigawadae Ropeway gondola (Photo: Qurren / CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Elena Lisina a year ago
Outdoor onsen bath in autumn is a dream!
Elena Lisina a year ago
My list is SO long, Justin! :)) Actually, I've seen many places - my Japanese friends tell me I've seen much more than they. I need a new concept for the next trip, and I think of it.
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