Kane Midori: A Stay At One Of Japan's Famous Onsens

Review of Kane Midori | Kusatsu 162
  • Trip101 Review
Published Dec 13, 2018

Kusatsu is one of Japan’s top-rated onsen. The sulfurous smell of these healing waters can be detected as soon as you enter this small mountain town. To take full advantage of these famous hot springs, you should plan on spending two nights here. Kane Midori Ryokan has been welcoming guests for over 130 years. Be forewarned that the staff at Kane Midori are not fluent in English and you might have to get creative to communicate.

It’s best to book your room on a website like Booking.com where viewing the room choices in English is a breeze. On Booking.com there are only two types of rooms listed, a Japanese superior twin or a Japanese twin. From my visit, I know they also have a Western-style room that features a raised bed instead of futons on the floor. You may have to contact the hotel to book this type of room, but I’d suggest the futon beds for an authentic experience.

Japan's biggest hot springs in volume

Kane midori futons

Once you arrive at Kane Midori, unpack and take a walk to the center of town to get your bearings. The Yubatake in the town square is the big natural hot spring where the hot water flows out of the ground at about 90 Celcius/ 194 Fahrenheit. This pool of hot spring water has the most volume amongst all the pools in the country! Next to the Yubatake is an outdoor hot pool where you can soak your feet if you like. Kusatsu has 13 public hot pools similar to this foot bath that the townsfolk maintain. Take a look around the town square and note shops and restaurants to visit later. Now that you have your bearings head back to Kane Midori and indulge in the perks of staying at one of the town’s best ryokans.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kusatsu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kusatsu

Private onsen

Yubatake kusatsu

To dive into the onsen experience properly, find the hot water pitcher and brew up a cup of tea. Don your yukata (Japanese robe), the special jacket available, and slippers, then head to the onsen pools provided just for hotel guests. When staying at a smaller ryokan like Kane Midori, you’ll tend to enjoy their hot pools with few other guests. I’ve stayed at many Japanese onsen hotels and ryokans and like them all, but I especially love the intimate feel of the smaller versions like Kane Midori.

Take your time enjoying the healing waters, but remember that 20 minutes in hot water is usually more than enough. If you choose to linger, try sitting on the edge of the pool with only your feet in the water to cool off your body core. The outdoor pools are a bit cooler than the indoor versions making it safer for a long soak in comfort. These healing waters are said to be excellent for exfoliation and promote healthy skin.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kusatsu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kusatsu

An amazing dinner

Men's bath kane midori

If you want to partake of the kaiseki dinner, be sure and let them know at least a day ahead. This multi-course meal is a highlight of a stay at Kane Midori and should be experienced. Colorful dishes that look like an art gallery set will be used to parade an assortment of seasonal delights upon your table. Enjoy traditional foods like teriyaki, sukiyaki, grilled fish, pickled vegetables, and more.

You can also choose to add the breakfast option, but beware; Japanese breakfast is nothing like a Western breakfast. Typical items are a raw egg, rice, salad, grilled fish, smoked fish, and miso soup. It took me several trips to Japan before I could eat most of the things provided at breakfast, and I’m a professional chef used to being bold when it comes to trying new foods.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kusatsu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kusatsu

A new adventure

Since a trip to Japan is about trying new things, I invite you to be brave and try Kane Midori. The lodging, food, and hot pools will be something to remember for a very long time. A ryokan visit like this is what every trip to Japan should include.

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Men's bath kane midori
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