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They took a direct bus from Shinjuku to the hotel and they could stay in Kusatsu from 13:30 upon the bus's arrival on the first day until 15:00 the following day. Maho & Sae reported this 25 hour 30 minute getaway trip with smiles!

They took a direct bus from Shinjuku to the hotel and they could stay in Kusatsu from 13:30 upon the bus's arrival on the first day until 15:00 the following day. Maho & Sae reported this 25 hour 30 minute getaway trip with smiles!

【Day 1】10:00~14:00/Go to the hotel by a direct bus!

Maho and Sae have been busy with work and could not have time to enjoy snowboarding in the past few years. Finally they could get vacation at the same time and they decided to go snowboarding. Since it is their first athletic event after awhile, Maho & Sae chose "Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel" which is the ski resort where they can enjoy Onsen hot spring too.

"Tokyo & Shinjuku ⇔ Kusatsu Spa Resort Shuttle", a direct bus from Tokyo to the hotel, runs every day so they did not need to worry about driving a car on snowy roads to reach the resort. In addition, the hotel is very close to the ski resort and its Onsen hot spring is natural free-flowing. Due to those benefits, Maho & Sae had no doubts to quickly decide on this hotel!

Maho & Sae sent the majority of their luggage to the hotel in advance using a cost-effective delivery service, allowing them to travel light to Shinjuku station and depart at 10:00am. They arrived at Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel after about 3 hours and 30minutes.
Maho & Sae entered the hotel and found a luxurious entrance space in front where a fashionable wooden-design fire place welcomed them. The gentle heat soothed their faces and warmed their feelings.
It is necessary to apply for a specific package to use the direct bus "Tokyo & Shinjuku - Kusatsu Spa Resort Shuttle". The package allowed Maho & Sae to check in right after their arrival at 13:30, though ordinary check-in time is 15:00. They completed check-in procedures at the front desk and went to their room with the latest tourism information of the Kusatsu area.
Their room was the standard twin room. The room interior has a calm color base where they can spend peaceful time and is furnished with nicely designed chairs and a sofa. Maho & Sae took rest only for several minutes and then started preparing themselves to go walking in Kusatsu town.

14:15-17:30/Go to the symbol of Kusatsu "Yubatake"!

Maho & Sae visited a gift shop in the hotel while waiting for a town shuttle bus. A variety of souvenir goods were displayed on the shelves and they were impressed by the choices.
The original goods of Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel are popular, as they are not sold in town.
The bus arrival time came and Maho & Sae got on the town shuttle bus at the bus stop at the hotel entrance! It was only about 10 minutes from the hotel to the Yubatake.
"Yubatake (spring source)" is in the center of the town and exists as the symbolic tourism landmark of Kusatsu. Maho & Sae had seen the Yubatake on TV before but they were amazed with its unexpectedly big scale after they walked around it.
In addition to the Yubatake, Maho & Sae walked along Sainokawara-dori st. where there are many gift shops, sweets shops that are selling traditional sweet cakes like Onsen Manjyu lined up. After Maho & Sae came back to the Yubatake, by following their hotel front desk's recommendation, they went to "Ashiyu Cafe" of the Yubatake Souan where you can enjoy having tea and foot bath at the same time. The hot water for the foot bath is sourced from Yubatake's original spring.
It was a good time to visit the cafe as it was not crowded at that time. Maho & Sae ordered coffee and enjoyed chatting a lot while soaking their feet. They said "it was too comfortable to quit talking." with smiles.

18:00-19:30/The gorgeous dinner buffet waslip smacking!

Maho & Sae realized that they spent more time than they thought at the café but they did not need to rush because they knew that the return bus would stop in front of the Yubatake Souan cafe. It was just in time for dinner when they got back their hotel.
Dinner buffet was arranged at the hotel's main dining "Jyurin Garden". Foods were mainly from local areas in Gunma and various dishes including Japanese, Western, and Chinese were lined up. In the open kitchen, freshly fried Tempura and freshly prepared Sushi were served. In addition to meat and fish, an abundance of local vegetable dishes were offered.
In the restaurant, live piano music was performed and Maho & Sae enjoyed the luxurious atmosphere. After they were satisfied with their favorite dishes, they filled their "second stomach" with selections of desserts at the end. (LOL)

20:00/ Go back to the Yubatake again and laughed a lot!?

After dinner, Maho & Sae went back to the Yubatake to aid the digestion of their large dinner meal. The main purpose was to see the fantasy of a lit up Yubatake. In addition, they were looking forward to listening to "Onsen Rakugo", a traditional comic storyteller event, that is held from 20:00 every night at Netsu-no-Yu, the most famous Onsen hot spring in front of the Yubatake.
Maho & Sae laughed a lot with the rhythmical and joyful comic stories and they felt their minds had become relaxed like their bodies become relaxed when soaking in an Onsen hot spring. The event lasts about 50 minutes, a suitable length for beginners. The entrance fee is 1,000 yen for adults and 500 yen for children (Age 4-11). If you make a reservation in advance from its homepage or phone call(0279-88-5118), the entrance fee is discounted.

21:30-23:00/Enjoy Onsen hot spring to be ready for tomorrow!

After the Onsen Rakugo, Maho & Sae shifted back to their hotel and looked forward to soaking in the hotel's hot spring. For your information, the last town shuttle bus is 21:30 from the town to the hotel. Maho & Sae decided to play table tennis before bathing so they came by the hotel front desk to register to use the table tennis facility (fee is required).

Maho & Sae played table tennis as traditionally many Japanese enjoy table tennis as entertainment on Onsen trips. Maho & Sae were inspired by Japanese table tennis athletes' performances in the Rio Olympic Games and it implies that the trend of playing table tennis on Onsen trips may be coming back.(LOL)
Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel facilitates varieties of indoor entertainments such as an all-year-round swimming pool, esthetic salon, karaoke, and game machine corner.
After competitive table tennis battling, Maho & Sae "finally" went to the hot spring bath. Kusatsu Onsen hot spring is one of Japan's top 3 Onsen hot springs as well as Gero Onsen in Gifu and Arima Onsen in Hyogo. There are 6 original spring sources in Kusatsu (Bandaiko, Shirahata, Yubatake, Sainokawara, Nikawa, Jizo) and Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel utilizes the Bandaiko, known for abundant volume, and the inside bath flows from the natural spring water.

Water in the Roten-buro, open air bath, is adjusted by adding tap water to be milder, perfect for those with sensitive skin. The common bath is open for 21 hours per day so customers can flexibly enjoy the Onsen hot spring anytime they want, such as before dinner, at night, and early morning.
Maho & Sae's bodies were fully warmed up and refreshed after the bath and their skin felt especially smooth and refreshed. That is one of Kusatsu Onsen hot spring's attractive features. Maho & Sae went back to their room and laid down on their beds after having a glass of water to avoid dehydration. Then they fell asleep immediately.
It is recommended to go to the Onsen bath in the early morning because it is delightful to see the beautiful snow-covered scenery from the open air bath in the morning daylight.

【Day 2】7:30-8:15/Fill their stomach with a delicious breakfast buffet!

As same as the dinner buffet, the breakfast is also a buffet at Jyurin Garden. The chef's order-made omelet is very popular. Maho & Sae took many kinds of dishes and ate a lot, which it seemed they almost could not remember how much they ate at dinner the previous night.
After breakfast, Maho & Sae went back to their room to change into ski wear, checked out of their room, and prepared themselves to go to skiing.

8:30-13:00/Challenge one of the longest slopes in Japan!

The weather was perfect on Day 2. Maho & Sae shifted to "Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort" by an exclusive shuttle bus from their hotel and went up directly to the Motoshirane Course at the top of the mountain by taking lifts and ropeways.

The altitude at the top of the slope is over 2,100m. Enjoying both the excellent panoramic view and the quality of snow is the classic feature of skiing in Kusatsu. They fully skied in the morning and for their last run they challenged the 8km course run, one of the longest course runs in Japan, from the top down to Tenguyama course at the bottom going non-stop.
At the top of the Tenguyama course, you can enjoy looking over the Onsen town which makes you realize how close Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel is to the ski resort. Due to the short distance, you can maximize your time and fully enjoy skiing.
You do not need to worry if you do not have any ski gear since the Ski Room annexed to the hotel offers rental services. Ski wear sets in addition to ski equipment sets and snowboard sets are offered in the rental service, therefore, you will be ready to go as long as you bring ski accessories like gloves, beanies, goggles, and socks.

Due to the rental service you can move about easily all during the entire trip due to not needing to lug around heavy equipment and luggage. Do not forget to purchase lift tickets at the hotel front desk to enjoy the benefit of the hotel's special discount for customers. (The number of applicable tickets is limited and the discount is not applicable in some special periods like during the New Year's holiday period.)

13:30-15:00/Go back to hotel to enjoy the private Onsen hot spring. Lunch & Tea time until departure

Maho & Sae enjoyed more skiing after Noon then went back to their hotel, and reserved a private open air Onsen hot spring. They washed off after skiing and were satisfied with the relaxing hot spring bathing.
Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel facilitates 5 "private open air baths" that are connected to 6-10 tatami-sized Japanese rooms that are convenient to change clothes in after checking out of your room. 2 private bath rooms facilitate hinokiburo, cypress bathtub, and 3 private bath rooms facilitate round-shaped bath tubs that are made from chinaware called Shigaraki-yaki. All rooms are available 24 hours a day. The room charge is from 3,200 yen for 45 minutes (weekday).

Day-use visitors also can use those private bath rooms. Bathing fee in addition to room charge is required for day-use visitors.
Maho & Sae had lunch at the Chinese Restaurant "Shanghai" after bathing in the Onsen hot spring.
It is also good to spend relaxing time by having a cup of tea in the lobby lounge until the bus departure time. The lounge offers cake sets and sandwich sets that can be a lunch meal. Maho & Sae got on the return bus at 15:00. The traffic was not bad and they got back to Shinjuku around 18:30 as planned.
from Maho
In the beginning of planning, I thought for accommodations any place is OK because all Onsen hot spring are supposed to be good in Kusatsu. However, now I know that Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel is superior due to its closeness to the ski resort and convenient accessibility both from Tokyo and within the town by shuttle bus. I was amazed with the snow-covered scenery the open air Onsen hot spring.
Buffet style dinner and breakfast is good for women because women want to try wide varieties of dishes little by little. Additionally, I enjoyed Rakugo, traditional comic storyteller, more than I expected .(LOL)
from Sae
It was first time for me to go to Kusatsu. My sister arranged everything and her choice of Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel was right. It was so convenient that we could come to the hotel entrance directly from Shinjuku without driving ourselves by car and in the same way easily return to Shinjuku. Onsen hot spring, room, food, Yubatake, and ski resort, everything was great. I want to stay 2 nights to enjoy snowboarding and Onsen hot springs more next time.

Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel

Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel is a large scale resort complex that locates in one of Japan's iconic Onsen hot spring areas at 1,200m elevation. It takes about 5 minutes by shuttle bus from the hotel to Yubatake (spring source), the symbolic tourism landmark in the middle of the town. Additionally an attractive feature is it is only 1 minute to Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort by shuttle bus in winter. It is also popular as a summer resort and you can enjoy tennis and putting golf.

Photo・Article/Tomohiro Watanabe

Facility Information

Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel

Address
750 Kusatsu, Kusatsu-machi, Azuma-gun, Gunma 377-1711
URL
http://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/kusatsu-now-resort.en-gb.html

Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort

Address
158, Kusatsu-Shirane, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma 377-1711
URL
https://snow.gurunavi.com/guide/htm/r0038ens.htm

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