Takasaki City: connecting the Kanto and Shinetsu regions
Located at the northern end of the vast Kanto Plain, Takasaki, the representative city of Gumma Prefecture
Takasaki’s center town with various faces such as music, art, pasta, locomotive, etc. has unique shops, there are bustle of the capital city where people, things and information gather.
In addition, you can enjoy the scenery full of nature such as the Haruna and Kurabuchi areas.
Takasaki: a lucky city
Shorinzan Darumaji (Temple)
Within the precincts of this temple, birthplace of the Takasaki daruma doll, you will find a hall which displays daruma dolls from across the country. Furthermore, Daruma Market, held on January 6th and 7th every year, sees large numbers of people come here to purchase daruma.
Byakue Dai Kannon
The colossal 41.8m, 6000-t concrete Kannon statue, around the same height as a nine-storey building, can be viewed from the inside, too. While visiting the enshrined Buddha, you can also climb up to the Kannon’s shoulder.
This historic shrine has been attracting believers since ancient times. The main building, which appears as if integrated into the nearby rock, is impressively majestic. You can also savor the taste of the famous "Monzen Soba" here.
Takasaki: a city of art and music
Takasaki City Tower Museum
This museum, with its focus on Japanese-style paintings, was opened on November 15th 2001. It is just a two-minute walk from Takasaki Station East Exit. Soak up the tranquil atmosphere inside and enjoy a leisurely time here.
Takasaki City Museum
This museum mainly showcases modern art in the form of paintings, sculptures and designs. It stages about eight exhibitions per year, each of which oozes with variety. Its proximity to Takasaki Station means that you can freely drop by anytime.
Takasaki City Gallery
The Takasaki City Gallery is composed of 7 exhibition rooms of various sizes, in addition to a core hall, the Hello Forum (which hosts numerous outdoor events), a library of art info magazines and an Art Information Room.
Kamachi Yamada Museum
Beginning with paintings and prose, this house displays so many of the items left behind by Kamachi Yamada, a man who showed extraordinary genius through his pictures and writing in the mere 17 years that he lived. Even now, the museum attracts throngs of visitors, especially younger people.
Gunma Music Center
Designed by the master architect Anthony Lemonde, who significantly influenced modern Japanese architecture, this building's unique exterior - known as a "folded plate structure" - is a shining example of a Japanese modern architecture. It is also well-known for being the home of the Gunma Symphony Orchestra.
TAGO STUDIO TAKASAKI
Takasaki City has helped maintain this professionalrecording studio in conjunction with its operational director, Kunio Tago (a composer and music producer who was born in the city and continues to live here).
On the condition that they use music to generate publicity for Takasaki, the first-floor recording studio will offer both pro-musicians and specially-selected amateurs the chance to use top-class recording facilities for a nominal fee. The music produced here will be diffused to both the country at large, and across the world. The second-floor Citizen’s Lounge, meanwhile, is free to enter and houses both an area for ｋids and a place designated for light food and drink (extra charge）. It also stages talk shows and other events befitting of a culture institution on an ad hoc basis.
Takasaki Marching Festival
The Takasaki Marching Festival is an event designed to bring musical enjoyment to local people of all ages, ranging from pre-school kids to adults. Held every October, it is one of the major events which underline Takasaki's status as "A City of Music."
Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites
Tomioka Silk Mill
- The first genuine Japanese silk mill which introduced French techniques -
This institution was established in 1872 by the Meiji government as a state-run silk-reeling factory. It continued to consistently produce silk even after privatization, remaining at the cutting edge of silk-reeling technical development. It also took the initiative to help haul up domestic sericulture and the silk-reeling industry to a world-class level. The institution joined forces with the Shimada family, Arafune Cold Storage and Takayama-sha Sericulture School to lead the way in first developing, then mass-breeding, the finest form of silkworm. It is a shining symbol of an industrial building which harmonized eastern and western architectural techniques. Today, the main complex, including a 100m-plus wooden-framed brick silkworm storehouse and the silk-reeling factory, remains in complete form - exactly as it was at the time of its establishment.
Takayama-sha Sericulture School
- A sericulture educational institution which developed the standard modern Japanese silkworm rearing method known as "Sei-on-iku." (An eclectic combination of artificial warm-environment rearing and natural cool environment rearing) -
In 1883, Chogoro Takayama established the “Sei-on-iku” method for rearing silkworms, consisting of the harmonization of ventilation and temperature control. The following year saw the set-up of the Takayama-sha Sericulture School, a silkworm educational institution on this site, which diffused the Sei-on-iku method throughout Japan and on an international scale, establishing the technique as Japan’s silkworm-raising standard. The accommodation complex for trainees built in 1891, which doubled as a silkworm breeding room, proved to be the optimum structure for Sei-on-iku, and many trainees went to learn there.
Former residence of Yahei Tajima
- Via the installation of ventilating equipment in a tiled roof, this building became the protoype for the modern silkworm farm -
This is the part-house, part-silkworm breeding room built in 1863 by Yahei Tajima, the man who achieved greatness via the ventilation-centered “Sei-on-iku” silkworm rearing method. 25 meters wide and 9 meters deep, this two-storey tiled-roof house was the first to have a monitor roof installed for ventilation purposes. As a result of the works “The New Debate on Silkworm Rearing” and “The New Debate on Silkworm Rearing: Continued,” which Yahei penned in order to promote the “Sei-on-iku” method, this structure was copied by people across the country, and duly became the prototype for the modern-day silkworm farm.
Arafune Cold Storage
- The largest-scale silkworm storage facility in Japan, reliant on natural cold air -
This structure took nine years to build between 1905 to 1914. With the aid of air blown out from between rock crevices, this silkworm (egg) storehouse made excellent use of refrigeration technology to transform silkworm rearing from a once-yearly event to a several-times-a-year phenomenon. With three base caves, this storage facility was the largest of its kind in Japan, trading in over 40 prefectures and even extending its business dealings to the Korean Peninsula.
Other things to do in Gunma
Mizusawa Kannon (Mizusawa Temple)
Mizusawa Udon have been ranked among the Top 3 in Japan. And if you walk through the street lined with udon shops, you will eventually come across Mizusawa Kannon (Mizusawa-dera). Probably due to the presence of the Kannon, Asian tourists seem most conspicuous by their presence. If you visit in summer, you will feel substantial amounts of negative ions produced from surrounding lush greenery. With walking paths, stores and even stone statues related to the Zodiac in the vicinity, you will have so much to see and do that time will simply fly by. There are numerous sightseeing buses in the area, and foreign tourists seem particularly enamored of lucky charms. Many foreigners also stop by here after eating some Mizusawa Udon. With locally-produced vegetables sold in the car parks, you can enjoy the atmosphere of a Japanese local province.
Mt. Shirane Yugama Caldera
The rough, white crest of Mt. Shirane barely allows any plant life to thrive. Climb to the top of the walkway and you will be confronted with the emerald green hot-water caldera, right before your very eyes. You can also witness something akin to a lunar landscape.
Mt. Haruna and Lake Haruna
Cherry blossom in spring, fireworks in summer, crimson foliage in autumn, and a snowy landscape and illuminations in winter. Here is where you can enjoy beautiful scenes associated with each season. The charm of Lake Haruna is that you can enjoy highly fun excursions here, with something on offer for every season: camping, fishing (including the chance to catch pond smelts in winter), tennis, go-karting, boating and a ropeway. Haruna Shrine, located near Mount Haruna, is a prominent Gunma power spot. Many visitors choose to visit both the lake and the shrine.
Takaragawa Onsen (Hot Spring)
This hot spring was selected as Number 1 in Japan by the world’s most-read travel guide, Lonely Planet. It’s international fame was further enhanced when a Reuters journalist named it as one of the world’s Top 10. Foreign tourists visit here in their droves, and the impact of word-of-mouth seems never-ending. Increasing numbers of overseas visitors have led Takaragawa Onsen to adopt a more multilingual approach, starting with English and Chinese. This is certainly one of the reasons why foreigners find it easy to spend time here. There are also some Japanese Cultural Experience Plans on offer, which allow you to select from a variety of yukata and try your hand at either pottery or the spinning lathe.