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Portrait of Allison Jeffers

Central Gunma Travel Guide
by Allison Jeffers

About this Central Gunma Travel Guide:

I put this travel guide together after a road trip I took with my husband. Therefore this guide is perfect for tourists or residents of Tokyo and nearby prefectures looking for a fun weekend away from major cities. 

Who is this travel guide for?

This Central Gunma Travel Guide is for the casual traveler of any age and anyone who wants to experience new things.

Total budget?

¥4,000 – ¥5,000 per person

A bridge at Tsukiyono Vidro Park in Minakami- Central Gunma Travel Guide

01

Enjoy when

Time to Get Creative

Tsukiyono Vidro Park

This roadside attraction brought me back to the road trips I took with my family as a child. The Tsukiyono Vidro Parks is a glass-themed amusement park consisting of a glassblowing factory, tourist workshop area, museum, shop, restaurant, and café. You need to book the glassblowing experience ahead of time; however, the painting, candle-making, and sandblasting workshops accept walk-in groups. Why not visit here and get creative?

(Location: Google Map)

02

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Through the Looking Glass

Ikaho Toy, Doll, and Car Museum

Walking into this museum is like entering a different universe. Marketed as a Showa Era (1926 – 1989) museum, you can easily get lost in the twisting corridors jam-packed with toys, teddy bears, arcade games, posters, and after that, classic cars. Anime fans will also be excited to see an exhibit of the tofu shop from Initial D! And don’t miss the life-size tanks facing each other in the garden.

(Location: Google Map)

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Ikaho Toy, Doll, and Car Museum. - Central Gunma Travel Guide
Photo of Mizusawa Kannon Temple - Central Gunma Travel Guide

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Explore Ancient Traditions

Mizusawa Kannon Temple
Founded 1,300 years ago, Mizusawa Kannon Temple is on the top of a steep hill and was built to honour Nio, the God of Wind and Thunder. Climb the steps lined with Japanese maple trees up to Niomon Gate. This colourful gate is undoubtedly the perfect spot for a photo. Continue up the stairs to see the main temple and surrounding buildings. This tranquil temple is a great place to stop and rest for a while.

(Location: Google Map)

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I’ll Drink to That

Tsuchida Sake Brewery
Nestled into the mountains, Tsuchida Sake Brewery is a sixth-generation family-run business established in 1907. Focused on traditional brewing methods, all of Tsuchida’s sake varieties are additive-free and have just three ingredients: rice, water, and koji. Brewery tours and sake tasting are available. Don’t miss the soft serve ice cream made with sake lees (a byproduct of sake brewing) perfect for a hot, sunny day!

(Location: Google Map)

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Tsuchida Sake Brewery - Central Gunma Travel Guide
My favorite places to eat in Central Gunma

$$ Upscale
Tamaruya (Mizusawa Udon Shop)

Photo of lunch set at Tamaruya (Mizusawa Udon Shop)
Mizusawa Udon is one of Japan’s “top three” udon noodle varieties. Locally-grown wheat is combined with mountain spring water and salt, then kneaded and aged for two days in a highly-secretive traditional method. The noodles are served cold with dipping soups. A typical lunch set at this restaurant (family-run and founded in 1582) can cost 1,000-2,500 yen per person. The restaurant’s general ambiance and the quality of the food made this experience well worth the price.

Location (Google)

$ Budget
Harada Farm Café

Lunch at Harada Farm Café in Gunma
Travelers on a budget may prefer Harada Farm Cafe. Like a typical Japanese “cafeteria-style” restaurant, you need to buy a vending machine ticket to purchase your meal. Most dishes are about 500-800 yen per person. After purchasing a meal ticket, hand the ticket to the staff, and they will bring your meal to your table. It’s quick and easy and of good quality.

Location (Google)
Itinerary (Ideas for a day trip)

Morning

Afternoon

Evening

Lunch

Dinner

Stay

Check out more guides here!
Portrait of Allison Jeffers
Local writer:  Allison Jeffers
Originally from the US, Allison moved to Utsunomiya with her husband in 2019. As an avid reader and enthusiastic home cook, her idea of “be prepared” is to never leave home without a book and snack. In short, she is always up for an adventure, she likes to explore Japan’s “off the beaten path” destinations and sample local foods.

See all of Allison’s local guides:  Allison Jeffers’s Travel Guides
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