Outdoor Fun in Minakami
Minakami, GUMMA
4 Days 3 Nights
  • Day 1
  • Tokyo – Minakami
Take a shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Jomokogen, 1 hour and 15 minutes.

On arrival at Jomokogen station, transfer by local bus to Minakami station.
You will be met by staff from Senjuan and transfer to the ryokan by shuttle bus.
*Please book in advance.

The little town of Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, is a popular destination for Tokyoites seeking nature and outdoor activities such as hiking and white-water rafting. The area is renowned for the quality and variety of its onsen hot springs, and it’s also a popular skiing destination, with a dozen or so ski hills in the area.

Check-in at Senjuan.

Staying at this beautiful ryokan, one of the finest in mountainous Gunma Prefecture, is a journey of discovery. Senjuan abounds in elegant touches that surprise and delight, reminding you that this is a very special place, with a unique approach to luxury.

After your arrival, you can take some time to relax in your traditional Japanese room and its private hot spring bath.

  • Day 2
  • Minakami
Today you may spend the day doing outdoor activities.

Minakami is well known for its onsen hot springs and outdoor sports.

WINTER – Skiing is a popular activity in the Minakami area. The famous Kagura Ski Resort Mt Naeba is only 1 hour away by car. This area is especially popular because of its relatively tranquil atmosphere (it’s much smaller than nearby Naeba and Gala Yuzawa), as well as its abundant powder snow and long (six-month) season.

Instead of driving to Kagura, you might instead like to check out another ski resort that is a bit closer. The Minakami Kogen Ski Resort is the closest ski resort to Tokyo. It is small and friendly, and the wide variety of runs offer something for everyone. Night skiing is also available on certain days.

The closest skiing to Senjuan is Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Area, 20 minutes from the ryokan by car. This midsize resort gets decent snow in winter, and has eight lifts serving nine ski runs. It offers terrain for all levels of skiers, as well as a half-pipe for snowboarders.

The owner of Senjuan, Kubo-san, was once an avid skier, so he has extensive knowledge of skiing in the area.

SUMMER – The Minakami area is a popular destination for outdoor sports, and In warmer weather you can enjoy rafting, canyoning, canoeing and bungee jumping. Spring is the best season for rafting, as the Tone River which runs through Gunma to Tokyo is flush with snow melt, and Minakami is known as one of the best places in Japan for this sport. Minakami is famous as the first site in Japan for bungee jumping (the jump site opened in 2007), and the bridge over the Tone River boasts a drop of 42 meters. Canyoning, known as sawanobori in Japan, is another popular sport in Minakami.

  • Day 3
  • Minakami
In the morning, you can discover the surrounding area by private car and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery.

You might visit the rugged Mt. Tanigawa, a popular hiking and climbing destination and one of Japan’s “100 Famous Mountains.” The hiking season begins when the trails become clear of snow in July, and lasts until about November. Autumn is especially popular, when the leaves turn the valleys into a riot of color.

The Tanigawadake Ropeway (cable car) goes to Tenjindaira, a popular destination for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. It also oasts spectacular views from the view terrace. From there, you could continue to Tenjintoge by taking one of the ski lifts, which operate in the summer for hikers.

The Tenjin-one trekking course, which takes about three to four hours, is both popular and lovely. Otherwise, you could start from Doaiguchi ropeway station and walk the 2-hour Ichinokurasawa hiking course. There are tons of other hikes in the area, all of which are lovely.
*The Tanigawadake Ropeway is closed for a few weeks every June.

Another station nearby, Doai Station, is famous as the deepest train station in Japan. Its nickname, “Mole Station,” is well deserved – to get from one platform to the other, you need to descend a long tunnel on foot for about 10 minutes to reach the platform from the ticket gate, down a 338-meter tunnel and a total of 486 steps.

If you feel like taking a slightly longer day trip, you could also travel by car to Oze National Park, 1 hour and 30 minutes by car from Senjuan.

This huge park, which straddles Tochigi, Gunma and Niigata prefectures, is a paradise of rolling green hills and mountainous areas, as well as huge marshes. It is a very popular destination for hikers from Tokyo, particularly in spring, when the skunk cabbages bloom right after the snow melts, and in fall, when the leaves change, creating a riot of color. There are any number of trails to choose from, of every length.

The park is also home to the Ozegahara Marsh, a beautiful stretch of natural open wetland. In many places, you can cross the marsh on boardwalks – a great way to get up close and personal with the fascinating plants and animals that live there.

One hiking course that is good for beginners is the one from Numayama-toge (pass) to Lake Ozenuma and the Oze Marsh wetland. It’s about 7 km long and takes about 3 hours to walk. The route takes you on boardwalks through the marsh with its lovely views, and past three stands of larch, perched on little islands, known as the “Three Larches.” In the distance, you can see the Mt. Sarabuse shield volcano. The route finishes up at the Oenuma Visitors Center on the eastern shore of the lake.

Or you could simply relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility at Senjuan.
The ryokan’s Sora aesthetic salon provides professional spa treatments for Senjuan guests, including facials, full-body and foot massages, and steam treatments, for both women and men. On Sora’s veranda, overlooking the river gorge, is a delightful footbath, open for guests to enjoy at any time (closed in winter).

  • Day 4
  • Return to Tokyo
Check-out from Senjuan.

Travel back to Tokyo by train from Minakami station.