Hi everyone! I%26#39;ve just booked a night at the Boun hotel in Kusatsu Onsen and I%26#39;ve never been there before (I%26#39;ll be going in May) and I wanted to get your opinions and tips as to what the best route and transportation is in getting from Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen. The hotel website told me to do this:
*Tokyo - (Nagano Shinkansen, approx. 70 min.,5,750yen) - Karuizawa - (Spa Resort Liner, approx.60 min.,980yen) - Kusatsu Onsen
Seems to be the fastest way, but I don%26#39;t see where I can buy tickets for the Spa Resort Liner. Please help? And if there are any suggestions on other ways to get there that are better or easier, please share! My hotel I will be leaving from is located in Shinjuku.
Thank you all!
Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen
There is a limited express train that goes from Ueno to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi, where you can then connect on a JR Bus to Kusatsu Onsen. This could be an easier way.
If you want to take the bus from Karuizawa, the two bus companies that run the service are Seibu Kogen Bus and Kusakaru Kotsu.
Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen
We visited Kusatsu Onsen last year; also stayed at Hotel Buon, which turned outd to be a very nice modern ryokan. Pleasant and helpful staff. Great meals (breakfasts and dinners served in our room). We opted for a room with a private attached onsen. If you go to the ';Enjoy a hot springs ryokan'; link at http://www.kusatsu-onsen.org, Hotel Buon is featured in the photos giving a slightly different perspective from that shown on the hotel web pages. Mostly Japanese guests when we were there. The entire town is very walkable and has some unique areas associated with the extensive hot springs in the area. Yubatake is a short walk from the hotel, and Sai no Kawara Park is walking distance as well.
For transport, we did as Sammy Floyd describes: the LTD.EXP KUSATSU from Ueno directly to Naganoharakusatsuguchi and bus from there to Kusatsu Onsen. Check Hyperdia for train schedules and look for the limited express. The bus from Naganoharakusatsuguchi to Kusatsu Onsen is timed for passengers arriving on the train so makes for an easy transfer. Just walked from the train to bus, which left as soon as the passengers from the train were boarded. Both the train and bus go through interesting countryside. The train is about 2.5 hours and the bus about 30 min. If you have a JR rail pass, both are covered on it. We contacted Hotel Buon in advance by email to let them know the approximate arrival time, then telephoned them from the Kusatsu Onsen bus terminal (I can speak Japanese). They sent a van to pick us up. They also provided van transportation to the bus station on our departure. There is also an express bus from Shinjuku Station to Kusatsu Onsen; more information about that on the Kusatsu Onsen web page noted above. May should be a good time to visit the area. I hope this helps. Others on this forum were very helpful when we were planning our trip, so glad to pass this on.
Thank you so much for your helpful info!!
As cicimo wrote, the web-page said that they have a pick-up service from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal when you tell the arrival time.
The JR Bus called ';Joshyu Yumeguri Go'; takes you Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal from Shinjuku. It departs from Shin-Minami Guchi Station (=1F of Takashimaya Department Store). The fare is 3,200 yen one-way and 5600 yen RT. The schedule is 9 times a day, and 10:00 am departure bus doesn%26#39;t stop after Nerima station in Tokyo, and arrives at 13:40. According to Boun hotel%26#39;s Japanese web page, the JR bus is also introduced; however it seems not in their English site.
You live in LA, I think you used to drive. Why don%26#39;t you prefer a car rental? Driving to Kusatsu via Karuizawa is beautiful. Asama Shirane Volcano route is worth to visit. It is one of Japan Romantic Road. Very scenic. See one%26#39;s picture blog:
Thank you for the info JuneChan! I would LOVE to drive in Japan but aren%26#39;t the roads opposite than in LA? That would be very difficult for me to navigate...haha. But thanks for the suggestion. I would take the Bus route except I would prefer my travel time to be as short as possible. thanks again for your help!