Spot in Gunma Prefecture

Lake Nozori [野反湖]

Lake Nozori
Lake Nozori

Japanese azaleas around Lake Nozori
Japanese azaleas around Lake Nozori
Photo by Gugutto Gunma

Lake Nozori is a lake near to the border of Nagano Prefecture.
It is located about 20 km north of Naganohara-Kusatsu-guchi of JR Agatsuma Line the as crow flies.
(It is also the main station to Kusatsu onsen.)

Originally, the place was a marshland.
A dam was constructed in 1956, then the current lake was formed.

The lake is located at the level of about 1,500 meters.
Some say that it is Lake in the sky.

The altitude of the mountains around the lake is around 2,000 meters.
But, they look like hills with gentle slopes.

So, it is often said that the scenery resembles that of northern Europe closely.

Lake Nozori in autumn
Lake Nozori in autumn
Photo by Gugutto Gunma

Daylilies around Lake Nozori
Daylilies around Lake Nozori
Photo by Gugutto Gunma

Because the area had been a marshland, about 300 species of alpine plants are seen around the lake in summer.

Orange-colored Japanese azaleas are in full bloom in late June, and yellow daylilies are in full bloom in the middle of July.

The lake is about 3 km from north to south, and the width is about 500 to 800 meters.

The dam is on the north side of the lake, and a river flows out to the north.
And, the river flows to the Sea of Japan side.

But the main road leads from the south side in Gunma prefecture.

The route bus from Naganohara-Kusatsu-guchi station is operated from May to the middle of October.

Hanashiki Onsen (花敷温泉) & Shiriyaki Onsen (尻焼温泉)

Ryokan of Hanashiki Onsen
Ryokan of Hanashiki Onsen
Photo by Gugutto Gunma

Shiriyaki Onsen
Wild open-air bath in Shiriyaki Onsen
Photo by Gugutto Gunma

There is Hanashiki Onsen a hot spring resort in the middle between Lake Nozori and Naganohara-Kusatsu-guchi station.

It is said that Minamoto Yoritomo (1147-1199) who established Kamakura Government found the hot spring in 1192.

There is only a Japanese-style ryokan in this onsen.

Shiriyaki Onsen is about 800 meters west of Hanashiki Onsen.

There are a few ryokans in this onsen area, and an open-air bath is made in the river in front of the onsen area.

Hot water is gushing out from the bottom of the river, so we can take a bath in the river.

Of course, it’s free of charge.
But there is no fence and dressing room around the bath.

"Shiriyaki" means "burning buttocks".
The unique name came from an old tale that people healed hemorrhoids by putting hot stone warmed with the hot spring to the anus.

How to get here

By limited express "Kusatsu" of JR Joetsu Line and Agatsuma Line, about 2 hours and 25 to 30 minutes from Ueno to Naganohara-Kusatsu-guchi.
Or, from Takasaki, by local train of JR Agatsuma Line, about 1 hour and 30 minutes to Naganohara-Kusatsu-guchi.
Then, change to a route bus.

About 35 minutes to Hanashiki Onsen.
The bus is operated only 3 or 4 times a day.

The bus goes to Lake Nozori from May to the middle of October.
About 40 minutes from Hanashiki Onsen.

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