Autumn leaves in Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

We have introduced the highlights that we, as Fixer, would recommend when filming in Gunma Prefecture with different themes; Part 1: Mountains, Part 2: Water locations and Part 3: Onsen (hot springs). In this article, we would like to write about the locations that we could not summarise so far.

Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku in winter

Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku is located in the northern part of Gunma Prefecture, in the town of Mizukami, and is famous for its huge open-air baths beside a mountain stream. It has four pools covering a total area of 850 square metres and a hot water volume of over 1,800 litres per minute, one of the richest in Japan. Its most remarkable characteristic is mixed bathing. However bathing suits are provided, so women and overseas tourists unfamiliar with hot spring culture can enjoy it without worry. It has been voted Best Onsen (Hot Springs) in Japan by Lonely Planet, and many visitors from all over the world enjoy this hot spring.

Fixer's Filming Tips
Address: 1899 Fujiwara, Minakami, Tone District, Gunma(2.5 hours drive from Tokyo)
Tel: +81 2781 75 2611
It is relatively easy to get TV filming permits because guests are wearing Yumomi or bathing suits.

Hotoku-ji Temple

Yuka-momiji in Hotoku-ji temple

Houtoku-ji is a temple in Kiryu City in western Gunma Prefecture, famous for its autumn leaves and Paeonia. It is a Zen temple founded around 1450 and built on this site to protect the back entrance to Kiryu Castle, which once stood here. The temple's main attraction is a phenomenon called Yuka-momiji, where more than 100 maple trees on the temple grounds reflect on the shiny polished floor, like reflections in a water mirror, making it a great filming opportunity. Different scenery can be enjoyed at different times of the year, but the most elegant time to visit is in autumn, when the floor reflects the red and yellow colours, along with the surrounding mountains, around mid-November. At night, of course, the floor is illuminated, creating a different atmosphere to that of the daytime. Apart from autumn, the area can also be visited for filming throughout the year, with fresh greenery showing its lush and vivid colours in spring and the 'Wind Bell Festival' in summer.

Fixer's Filming Tips
Address: 5 Chome-1608 Kawauchicho, Kiryu, Gunma(2.5 hours drive from Tokyo)
Tel: +81 277 65 9165
(Event Schedules)
Special exhibition of fresh green Yuka-momiji: 13 Apr - 19 May (2024) 
Wind Bell festival: 22 Jul - 18 Sep (2023)
Autumn maple leaf Yuka-momiji special exhibition: 20 Oct - 3 Dec (2023)
- Please note that parking is limited. Shuttle buses run from remote car parks during the event period.
- The Yuka-momiji can be filmed freely, but as the temple is crowded during the season, the use of tripods and monopods is prohibited in the precincts, main hall and all other areas.

Must eat cuisines in Gunma

Vesuvius Pasta at Buongiorno

Although Gunma is not far from Tokyo, it has a unique food culture and there are some dishes that you should definitely enjoy if you visit.

The first dish I would like to introduce to you is pasta. Gunma boasts the fourth largest production of wheat in Japan, and wheat-based cuisine has flourished here. In 1968, an Italian restaurant called Shango opened in Takasaki City, one of the centres of Gunma Prefecture, and became the starting point for pasta culture in the prefecture. Shango's recommendation is the restaurant's original pasta called Vesuvius, a very hot version of pes. It is a kind of soul food for the people of Takasaki.

Aged Beef GGC steak

Another recommendation in Gunma is the hamburger steak and steak at GGC. The meat dishes are very tasty and are made from wagyu beef called Jyoshu beef, which is matured for more than a week before being cooked. I would personally recommend the "Aged Beef GGC steak", which is made from aged skirt steak meat wrapped in bacon.

Shango - Ton-ya-mach Main Store
Address: Chome 10-24, Tonyamachi, Takasaki, Gunma
Tel: +81 27 361 5269
GGC - Takasaki Main Store
Address: 1 Chome-28-2 Midoricho, Takasaki, Gunma
Tel: +81 27-362-8887

So far we have introduced some of the wonderful sights in Gunma Prefecture that we have not been able to recommend. We will continue to introduce wonderful places and great filming opportunities in Japan.

Please read athere articles featuring Gunma.
Gunma Part 1: 2,000m mountains just 1 hour or two from Tokyo
Gunma Part 2: Water, gift from the mountains
Gunma Part 3: Hot Spring Kingdom
Gunma Part 4: Other attractions

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