Living StyleBy JPL
Resort Hot Spots: Minakami, Gunma
Life in the ‘Queenstown of Honshu’
Minakami has fast become the adventure capital of Honshu. The hot spring town, in the heart of the Tanigawa Mountain Range, is home to numerous outdoor companies offering white water rafting, kayaking, canyoning, mountain biking and Japan’s only bridge bungy jump. Hot springs are abundant, many with riverside rotenburo (outdoor baths), and best of all its less than two hours from Tokyo, making a long commute possible for those working in the city but wanting the country lifestyle.
Although the green season is when Minakami is really alive, there are a number of ski resorts in the area legitimizing the claim of the closest four-season resort to Tokyo. Foreign residents have been coming to Minakami for years, a number own homes in the area, yet relatively low-priced houses and land are available, though rental properties can be hard to find. Price, location and the variety of activities on offer make Minakami an interesting place for investors, developers and people looking for a convenient holiday home near Tokyo.
Access: The fastest way to Minakami is the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo or Ueno stations to Jomo Kogen (72 min.) then a bus from Jomo Kogen Station to Minakami Station. (15 min.). By car you take the Kanetsu Expressway direct to Minakami Interchange (about 2.5 hours).
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