Need a break from the big city? View 42-hour itineraries from 13 cities.More
The highly touted hot springs at Kusatsu contain sulfur, iron, aluminum, and even trace amounts of arsenic. Just inside the border of Gunma Prefecture, the springs can be reached between April and November by a bus route across the Shiga Kogen ski area from Yudanaka, or year-round from Karuizawa. Every minute the yu-batake (hot springs field) gushes over 1,000 gallons of boiling
water, which is cooled in seven long wooden boxes and sent to more than 130 guesthouses in the village. The field is beautifully lighted at night.
Rimmed by mountains, Nagano has been a temple town since the founding of Zenko-ji in the 7th century. Before the 1998 Winter Olympics, a new...