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
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.
An amazing dinner
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.
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.