Yubatake is the best hot spring water source in Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture. The abundant hot spring flows at 4,600L per minute, and the scenery is full of hot water and steam.
Surrounded by hot spring inns, restaurants and souvenir shops, it forms the center of the hot spring town.
Yubatake, which means "Hot Water Field", is located in the center of Kusatsu Hot Springs. Kusatsu Hot Springs boasts the highest number of natural springs in Japan, and Yubatake is the most abundant hot spring in Kusatsu. Yubatake is surrounded by a stone fence, and there is a tiled walkway around it. There is also a bench called the “Mt. Shirane Bench”, made in the shape of the famous Mt. Shirane of Kusatsu, and a footbath spot called the “Yukemuri-tei”.
What to See and Do in Yubatake
Yubatake and the surrounding area has a variety of attractions. Here are some points of interest and recommended spots that you may want to pay particular attention to.
Mokuhi and Yutaki: Yubatake's Unique Sights
In Yubatake, the water flows from the source through a series of seven long wooden gutters, called “Mokuhi”, creating a sight that is unique to Kusatsu Onsen and cannot be seen anywhere else. By the way, the mokuhi play the role of collecting the "Yunohana", which is the mineral deposits from the hot spring, and controlling the temperature of the hot water that is supplied to the surrounding inns. And the “Yutaki”, or hot water waterfall, is the point where the water from the source rushes down like a waterfall at the end.
At night, blue, purple, and white lights illuminate the gutters, lighting up the steam wafting up from them. The whole area is enveloped in a fantastic atmosphere, combined with the orange lights installed along the stone fence. Be sure to take a walk around Yubatake area at night.
Yubatake: Designed by Taro Okamoto
Yubatake is shaped like a gourd about 60-meter long and 20-meter wide, and there is a promenade around it so you can see Yubatake up close. It was designed by Japan's leading oil painter, Taro Okamoto.
The promenade is decorated with Taro Okamoto's designs, such as a unique pattern using tiles and the character for “grass”, which is the "kusa" in Kusatsu. Pay attention to the ground beneath your feet as you walk.
Popular Spots Around Yubatake: Yubatake Souan and Netsu-no-Yu
Around Yubatake, there are various spots such as hot springs, restaurants and tourist facilities. For example, Yubatake Souan is a hot spring inn that overlooks Yubatake. We especially recommend that you visit the footbath cafe there. It is a unique spot where you can relax and eat while soaking your feet in the hot spring footbath.
“Netsu-no-Yu” is a spot where you can enjoy the famous “Yumomi” show in Kusatsu. "Yumomi" is an action that stirs the hot water with a long board to lower the hot spring to a certain temperature, and has a long history. At Netsu-no-Yu, women dressed in traditional costumes perform the Yumomi show while singing, and you can also try it out for yourself.
Yubatake's Opening Hours and Fees
Yubatake is outdoors, and there are no business hours or entrance fees. Therefore, you can enjoy visiting it any time you like.
How to Get to Yubatake from Tokyo
If you are headed from Tokyo to Yubatake, first head to Kusatsu Hot Springs by train and bus. First, take the “Kusatsu Express” from JR Ueno Station and arrive at JR Naganohara Kusatsuguchi Station in about 2 hours 33 minutes. Then change to the JR bus and ride for about 25 minutes to the Kusatsu Bus Terminal. After getting off at the Kusatsu Bus Terminal, you can reach Yubatake in about 5 minutes on foot.
- Spot name: Yubatake (湯畑)
- Street address: Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma 377-1711
- Access: Ueno Station → [Limited Express Kusatsu] About 2 hours 33 minutes → Naganohara Kusatsu-guchi Station → [JR Bus] about 25 minutes → Kusatsu Bus Terminal ... about 5 minutes on foot
- Wi-Fi: Available (Varies by facility)
- Language: English, Chinese, Korean
- Credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Diners Club International (Varies by facility)