Experience the Wonder of Takasaki Part 1

Takasaki city

Takasaki is 50 minutes away from Tokyo on the Jouetsu-Hokuriku Shinkansen line. It is home to the nº1 hot springs in Japan, the Kusatsu Onsen, as well as to the Tomioka silk mill, which is a World Heritage Site. It acts as a connecting point between Tokyo and all of Gunma Prefecture’s sightseeing spots.
It is also known as “Daruma Town”, for its manufacture of Takasaki Daruma dolls, and can boast of having the highest production quantity of these in all of Japan. Besides this, it is popularly known for its numerous Italian restaurants, and every year hosts the “King of Pasta” gourmet event. This has earned it its second nickname, “Pasta Town”.
We will now guide you through all of Takasaki’s tourist spots, as well as all of its access routes to hot springs and sightseeing locations.

1. From Tokyo on the Jouetsu-Hokuriku Shinkansen line

You can reach Takasaki by getting on the Jouetsu-Hokuriku Shinkansen line from Tokyo station, and this trip takes around 50 minutes.

2. Arriving at Takasaki station!

Making Takasaki station our starting point, you can take a round trip through the hot springs at Kusatsu, Ikaho, Minakami and Shima, as well as visit Gunma Prefecture’s well known tourist spot, the Tomioka silk mill.

3. The local tour bus "Gururin"

To visit all of Takasaki in one day, we recommend the local tour bus “Gururin”. If you buy the “510 yen one day free-ride ticket” you can get on and get off wherever you want, and it has stops at the “Takasaki Byakui Dai-Kannon”, a giant white statue of the goddess Kannon, and at the “Shorinzan Darumaji Temple”. Its route also passes next to several well-known pasta restaurants and allows for an affordable and comfortable access route through our recommended tourist spots.

4. Kantakun from the station

You can also make use of the Kantakun service from Takasaki station station, which takes you around all the famous tourist attractions. You can buy a ticket at the “green ticket window” inside Takasaki station, and then get into the taxi. Apart from a route which takes you past the Tomioka silk mill, a World Heritage Site, you can also enjoy Takasaki’s famous tourist spots such as the Shorinzan Darumaji Temple, or the Haruna Shrine, and more.

5. To the Takasaki Byakui Dai-Kannon

To reach the Takasaki Byakui Dai-Kannon, you must get on a bus at the 8th boarding area of Takasaki station’s bus terminal, located by the west exit of Takasaki station. Get off the bus at the “Byakui Dai-Kannon Mae” stop (this bus ride takes about 20 minutes).

6. Takasaki Byakui Dai-Kannon

It proudly stands 41.8 meters tall, and weighs around 6000 tons. Built atop Kannon hill, and with a perfect view of the entire city, it is a symbol of Takasaki. When it was built in 1936 it was said to be the largest Kannon statue in the Orient, and in present times this spot has also become well-known for its cherry blossoms.

7. To the Shorinzan Darumaji Temple

To reach the Shorinzan Darumaji Temple, you must get on a bus at the 4th boarding area of Takasaki station’s bus terminal, located by the west exit of Takasaki station. Get off the bus at the “Shorinzan Iriguchi” stop (this bus ride takes about 21 minutes).

8. Shorinzan Darumaji Temple

This temple is famous for being the place of origin for the “Takasaki Daruma” dolls, of which this city is the largest manufacturer in all of Japan. Apart from the main temple building, where every year Daruma dolls are brought as an offering, there is also a whole building dedicated to displaying Daruma from all over the country.

9. To the Takasaki Daruma decoration experience

From Takasaki station it takes about 10 minutes to reach Gumma-Yawata station. Around that area you will find many workshops in which to experience decorating a Daruma doll.

10. The Daruma decoration experience

The Gunma Prefecture Daruma Manufacturers Cooperative (Daimonya) is about 10 minutes by foot from Gumma-Yawata station. To use Daruma as lucky charms, you must first paint one of their eyes on, and when the wish has been granted, then paint the other eye on. At these decoration experience workshops, you can paint the Daruma’s entire face on, and create your very own original Daruma to take home as a souvenir.


Click here for Part 2

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