Water fountain offering iron enriched onsen water on the left

Ikaho is one of Gunma Prefecture's most renowned onsen. While not as famous as nearby Kusatsu, Ikaho's baths are nevertheless a unique experience due to the unusually high iron content of their hot spring water, which gives the water a reddish brown color and metallic taste. Bathing in or drinking the onsen water is said to be effective in treating certain disorders and ailments such as fatigue and poor circulation.

The source of the hot spring is found about 500 meters past the top of the stone steps. It can be viewed through a clear casing near the public outdoor bath (Ikaho Rotemburo). Ikaho has two public hot spring bath houses that are open to day trip visitors. In addition, many of the local ryokan along the steps open up their baths to non-staying guests during the day for a small fee (typically between 500 to 1500 yen).

Ikaho Rotemburo

Beyond the top of the stone steps past Kajika Bridge
Hours: 9:00 to 19:00 (April to September), 10:00 to 18:00 (October to March)
Closed: 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month (except for holidays)
Admission: 450 yen
The Ikaho Rotemburo is the town's large public outdoor bath (rotemburo) which was built just a few steps from one of the main hot spring sources in town. The rotemburo is gender segregated, and each side has both hot and warm baths, though neither is especially hot.

Ishidan no Yu

Lower portion of the stone steps
Hours: 9:00 to 21:00 (April to October), 9:00 to 20:30 (November to March)
Closed: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month (except for holidays)
Admission: 410 yen
This public onsen is located near the bottom of the steps, and features modest sized, gender segregated indoor baths filled with Ikaho's signature rusty brown hot spring water. The walkway leading up to the entrance is paved with stones that were salvaged from renovation work done to the stone steps nearby.

Ratings:    best of the best    best of Japan    outstanding

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