Kusatsu in particular is renowned for its reputed therapeutic effects. The water there has a strong level of acidity, giving it a power of sterilization that can treat everything from minor skin diseases, to diabetes or hypertension. For this reason, many Japanese people go to Kusatsu seeking recovery. Even in ancient times, wounded samurai journeyed across Japan to Kusatsu in order to heal their injuries.
Yubatake, literally "hot water field", is one of Kusatsu’s main drawing points, with its distinguishing smell the sulfur and vapor rising from the drains. Emerald green water cascades down from a wooden pipe above causing steam to rise up. Underneath the water's surface white mineral deposits, or ‘yunohana’, cluster together and form. Yunohana can be used at home as a bath preparation, and is one of the more popular souvenirs for travelers.
Kusatsu town has lots of small, charming alleyways for visitors to explore, as well as lots of small hot spring locations, like Otakinoyu with its large indoor bath, outdoor bath and ‘awaseyu.’ This includes four baths with different temperatures from 39°C–45°C.
Shirohatanoyu is a free bathhouse located next to the Yabutake.
At around 52 degrees, the water in Kusatsu requires cooling before people are able to enter the baths, using a method referred to as "yumomi" – the performances can even be watched.
Surrounding the heart of Kusatsu’s famous Yubatake lies Kirishimaya Ryokan, a Japanese style inn owned by Nakazawa-san. Howeve..