Local Train Station: Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi From Tokyo: Four daily express trains (Kusatsu Shin-Tokkyu) depart from Tokyo's Ueno Station on the Agatsuma Line. That train takes you as far as Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi Station. From Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi, take the JR Bus to Kusatsu Onsen (25 minutes). You are a 15 minute walk to Saino Kawara Onsen. Travel Time: From Tokyo to Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi Station, 1 hr 20 minutes. From Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi to Kusatsu Onsen by bus, 25 minutes. With the walk, the entire journey takes approximately 2 hours.
Price: Saino Kawara Onsen is open for day visits only. There is no hotel or ryokan attached to the hot springs, but there are many ryokan in the area. Entry costs Y500. Days Closed: None Day Visit Option: From April through November, 7am - 9pm. From December through March, 9am - 9pm. Credit Cards: None accepted
Onsen Specifics: Two large outdoor baths, one for men, one for women. Water Good For: Neuralgia, burns, rheumatism, skin problems, and many problems specifc to women. Water Composition: Sodium, Sulfer
If you like your onsen large, this is the place. Combined square footage of both springs is 5,382 square feet. By Japanese standards, enourmous -- and extremely unusual.
The onsen is very popular with locals. Remember, this onsen is a public onsen administered by the local municipality -- there are no ryokan attached to the hot springs. However, the area has many ryokan to choose from.
Two comments off the web:
"This is an extremely large open-air bath. The water is an unusual green, but the smell isn't bad. In spite of the size, the water is quite hot. With such perfect colors -- the green water and blue sky -- you can spend all day in the bath staring at the sky."
"It was great to be in the large bath. I enjoyed relaxing and looking at the stars at the same time. So big, it was like a pool."
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