Yumomi - Ritualistic Cooling of the Hot Spring Water
Gunma prefecture is an inland prefecture northwestern part of the Kanto region. In fact the prefecture in the map looks like right at the center of the Japan.
It is surrounded by Tochigi, Nagano, Saitama, Niigata and Fukishima prefectures all around it. It is said that the shape of Gunma in the map looks like a crane in flight.
Daruma Doll at JR Takasaki Station
Being mountainous terrain, Gunma prefecture is blessed with variety of nature, tall mountains and valleys. Gunama prefecture's hot spring spas (there are over 100 hot springs in Gunma) are famous in all of Japan and easily accessible from commercial cities like Tokyo and Yokohama. Japanese people like visit these spas to get relief from daily stresses. The picture above shows the "Yumomi" show. Yumomi is the method of cooling the water that gushes directly from the hot spring source. By stirring the water with 1.8 meter long paddles, the water is cooled to a suitable bathing temperature without being diluted. This entire show is done ritualistically with song and dance.
Gunma Mascot Gunma Emblem
Gunma prefecture is roughly divided in five areas; Agatsuma area, Tone/Numata area, West area, Central area, East area. The Takasaki City in the central/west area is easily accessible by both Nagano and Joetsu Shinkansens (bullet trains). From JR Takasaki station you can take local trains or buses to get to various sight seeing places in Gunma prefecture. Takasaki city in Gunma prefecture is known for Daruma dolls and they are sold everywhere in Takasaki city and in other places in Gunama prefecture.
There are nostalgic and historically significant temples and shrines in Gunma prefecture. The Bando pilgrimage circuit has two temples in Gunma prefecture and they are easily accessible by bus from JR Takasaki station. Click the link below to peruse the Temples and Shrines of Gunma prefecture.