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Mount Shirane (R, Shiranesan, often called Kusatsu-Shirane to differentiate it from other mountains called Shirane) is a series of volcanic peaks just outside the town of Kusatsu Onsen. It is a popular outdoor recreation area which offers hiking in the spring and summer, autumn colors in the fall and skiing in the winter.

Hiking is possible from mid April to early November and offers varying terrain and good views, along with a selection of trails starting at the town center or the Shirane Resthouse near the summit. The easiest and most popular walk is from the Shirane Resthouse to Yugama Crater Lake, which takes less than ten minutes along a paved trail. At the top you are rewarded by views of the sulfurous, baby blue Yugama Crater Lake and surrounding mountain ranges.

Getting there and around

Important note: all of the below-listed buses are currently out of service service due to the closure of tourist facilities around Mount Shirane.

The road to Mount Shirane is closed during winter from mid November to late April. Paid parking is provided at the Shirane Resthouse This is also where the bus stop is located.

From Kusatsu Onsen

From late April to early November, there are buses between the Kusatsu Bus Terminal in the town center of Kusatsu Onsen and the Shirane Resthouse (30 minutes, 1130 yen one way, one bus every 1-2 hours). Some - but not all - of these buses are operated by JR and are covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass and JR East Tohoku Area Pass.

From Manza Onsen

From late April to late October, there are infrequent buses between the Manza Onsen (Manza Prince Hotel) and Kusatsu Onsen that make a stop at the Shirane Resthouse along the way. The one way ride between Manza and the Shirane Resthouse takes 15 minutes and costs 430 yen. The buses are not covered by the any JR passes.

From Yudanaka, the snow monkeys and Shiga Kogen

From late April to early November, there are buses between Yudanaka Station in Yamanouchi and the Shirane Resthouse (70 minutes, 1700 yen one way, one bus every 1-2 hours) that stop along the way in Shibu Onsen, the Snow Monkey Park bus stop and Shiga Kogen. The buses are not covered by any JR passes.

How to get to and around Kusatsu Onsen

Hotels around Kusatsu Onsen

Top rated in Kusatsu Onsen
Budget:
    • Soumeian
      Mid-range
      Situated in Kusatsu, 47 km from Jigokudani Monkey Park, Soumeian features accommodation with a garden, free private parking and a shared lounge. This 3-star ryokan offers luggage storage space. Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, the non-smoking ryokan has a hot spring bath. All rooms at the ryokan are fitted with a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box. At Soumeian rooms are equipped with bed linen and towels. An Asian breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Mt. Kusatsu Shirane is 15 km from Soumeian. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 108 km from the ryokan.
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    • Hanaingen
      Mid-range
      Hanaingen is an adult only accommodation situated in Kusatsu, just a 2-minute walk from Yubatake, or the hot water field in Kusatsu Onsen. Free private parking is available on site and free WiFi is available in all guest rooms. Guests who check-in before 18:00 will receive complimentary welcome sweets. Every room at this ryokan is air conditioned and comes with a TV. The entire property is non-smoking. There are 4 different types of private baths available on site that staying guests can use for free. The baths are equipped with shampoo, conditioner and soap created by Shiseido with Kusatsu Onsen. Complimentary breakfast that features healthy beans is provided at this property. Gozanoyu, a hot springs bath facility is a 2-minute walk away while Ohtakinoyu is a 7-minute walk from the property. Sainokawara open-air bath is a 15-minute walk or 5-minute drive from the property. Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort is 1.1 km from the property.
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    • Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya
      Mid-range
      Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya is located in Kusatsu. The property is a 10-minute walk from Kusatsu Yubatake and Kusatsu-Onsen Bus Terminal. Guests can find a private hot spring bath and Japanese restaurant on site. At the ryokan, all rooms include a flat-screen TV, fridge and wardrobe. Certain rooms feature in-room hot spring bath, while some rooms offer a kitchen with a microwave. An Asian breakfast is served each morning at the property. The shared lounge area includes activities such as game consoles, board games and playing cards. Guests at Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kusatsu, like skiing. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 78 km from Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya.
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    • Oyado Yukizumi
      Mid-range
      Located in Kusatsu, 46 km from Jigokudani Monkey Park, Oyado Yukizumi provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. This 3-star ryokan offers luggage storage space. The property is non-smoking and is set 14 km from Mt. Kusatsu Shirane. Guest rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, free toiletries and a desk. All guest rooms include a safety deposit box. An American breakfast is available daily at the ryokan. Oyado Yukizumi offers 3-star accommodation with a hot spring bath. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 107 km from the accommodation.
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    • Kirishimaya Ryokan
      Mid-range
      Kirishimaya Ryokan is located in the Kusatsu Onsen area, with views of the mountain and surrounding nature. Featuring public and hot-spring baths, the Japanese-style accommodation offers a massage service and free parking on site. Free WiFi is available in rooms. Rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring, traditional futon bedding and shoji paper screens. Each room is equipped with a fridge, a tea maker and a flat-screen TV. Guests can enjoy the areafs hiking trails, or relax with a massage. The hotelfs Shiriyaki-buro baths are said to help with back pain. A private hot-spring bath can be available, free of charge. Kirishimaya Ryokan is a 10-minute walk from Kusatsu-onsen bus terminal and a 25-minute bus ride from JR Naganohara Kusatsu Onsenguchi Train Station.
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    • Kusatsu Hotel
      Luxury
      Built in 1913, the Kusatsu Hotel exhibits the architectural style of the Japanese Taisho Era. Guests at the hotel can unwind in the indoor or outdoor public hot spring bath, a private-use bath or the soothing footbath. Only a few minutes walk to Museum of Kataoka Tsurutaro, Sai-no-Kawara Park and Yubatake Hot Springs. The property offers free WiFi at the lobby, free parking and free pick-up from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal until 20:00. Japanese cuisine is served in the privacy of the guestroom, while free coffee can be enjoyed in company of visiting birds at the Caf? Terrace. The Kusatsu Hotel is around a 5-minute walk from the Shirane Jinja Shrine and Sai-no-Kawara Hot Spring, and a 7-minute walk from Yubatake Hot Springs. Naganohara Kusatsuguchi Station is a 25-minute bus ride away. Rooms are decorated with a tatami (woven-straw) floor, shoji sliding paper screens and a low table with seating cushions. They have a seating area with a coffee table and chairs, traditional futon bedding and an attached toilet. Amenities include an LCD TV, a fridge and toiletries. In-room massages and beauty salon services can be arranged for an additional fee. A souvenir shop is available on site.
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    • Kusatsu onsen Futabaya
      Mid-range
      Kusatsu onsen Futabaya offers accommodation in Kusatsu. Free private parking is available on site. There is 1 paid public bath facility and 3 free public bath facilities within a minute's walk from the property, while Yubatake is also a minute's stroll away. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. Rooms come with a private bathroom equipped with a bath. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal, restaurants, bars and convenience stores are located within walking distance from the accommodation. Yubatake is 100 metres from Kusatsu onsen Futabaya , while Kusatsu Onsen is 400 metres away.
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    • Kusatsu KOTODAMA
      Budget-friendly
      Kusatsu KOTODAMA is a Japanese-style guest house that is located just a 4-minute walk away from Kustatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. The property is also a 10-minute walk from Yubatake hot springs field. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. Shampoo and hairdryers are available at the shared shower room. Several hot springs baths are located within a walking distance from the property. The on-site kitchenette has a microwave, electric kettle, kitchenware and some cookware that guests are free to use. There is a supermarket within a minute's walking distance from the property. Kusatsu Kokusai Ski Resort is 1.2 km away.
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    • ELE Hotel Onsen Ryokufutei
      Mid-range
      Indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths are on offer at ELE Hotel Onsen Ryokufutei Ε, which features traditional rooms with Yukata robes and a flat-screen TV. Parking is free, and free pick-up from Kusatsu Bus Terminal is available if reserved at time of booking. Private hot spring baths are available upon request, with extra charge. Guests at ELE Hotel Onsen Ryokufutei Ε sleep in futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor. Each room has sliding paper screens and comes with air conditioning, a private toilet, an electric kettle and both Japanese- and Western-style seating areas. The inn is a 25-minute bus ride from JR Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Train Station and a 10-minute walk to Kusatsu Yubatake hot spring. Shirane Shrine is about a 10-minute drive away. A Japanese breakfast and dinner are available for an extra fee, and must be ordered at time of booking. The reservable hot-spring bath is for free. The hotel has a curfew at 24:00. Guests cannot enter or leave the hotel after this time. You must inform the hotel in advance what time you plan to check in. If your check-in time changes, please update the hotel.
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    • Osakaya Ryokan
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, Osakaya Ryokan is located in Kusatsu, 46 km from Jigokudani Monkey Park and 14 km from Mt. Kusatsu Shirane. Featuring ski-to-door access, the 3-star ryokan has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Free private parking is available and the ryokan also provides a shuttle service for guests who want to explore the surrounding area. All units in the ryokan are equipped with a flat-screen TV and free toiletries. An Asian breakfast is available daily at Osakaya Ryokan. The accommodation offers 3-star accommodation with a hot spring bath. Guests at Osakaya Ryokan will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kusatsu, like skiing. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 107 km from the ryokan.
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