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Gunma Prefecture

Gunma Prefecture in Kanto DistrictGunma PrefectureGunma Prefecture is located at the northwest part of Kanto region.

There is flat land at the southeast part of the prefecture, and most cities of Gunma are in the area.

The prefectural capital is Maebashi city.
There is Takasaki city at just southwest of Maebashi. Takasaki is the important junction of railroad.

Joetsu-Shinkansen runs through the prefecture from north to south. It leads to Niigata facing Sea of Japan.
And Hokuriku-Shinkansen branches off from here. It runs toward western.

Other area of the prefecture is almost mountainous.
Particularly very steep mountains as much as 2,000 meters high lie along the northern prefectural border, and is a part of dividing ridge between the Pacific side and Sea of Japan side.

And along the western border with Nagano Prefecture, there are many popular mountains such as Asama and Shirane. They are 2,100-2,500 meters high.

In winter, the mountainous area has much snow. And the cold air lost the moisture blows down to the flat land strongly.
The winter dry blast in Gunma is well-known in Japan.

In the mountainous area, there are many popular hot spring resort.
Gunma is one of the prefectures with the most hot springs in Japan.

Tourist Guide of Gunma Prefecture




The climate in Maebashi
Average value 1981-2010 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Highest Temperature (deg C) 8.8 9.4 12.9 19.0 23.5 26.2 29.7 31.3 26.7 21.2 16.0 11.4
Lowest Temperature (deg C) -0.8 -0.4 2.6 8.0 13.1 17.5 21.4 22.6 18.9 12.5 6.5 1.7
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 21 33 56 79 91 151 183 185 215 93 43 13

Tourist spots in Gunma Prefecture

Gunma prefecture map

Mount Akagi /1/
Fukiware Waterfall /2/
Oze marshland /3/
Minakami hot spring resort /4/
Sarugakyo and Houshi hot spring resorts /5/
Mount Tanigawa /6/
Ikaho hot spring resort /7/
Mount Haruna /8/
Kusatsu hot spring resort /9/
Lake Nozori /10/
Mount Shirane /11/
Mount Asama /12/
Tomioka Silk Mill /13/
Mount Myogi /14/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Gunma Prefecture

Shorinzan Daruma FairShorinzan Daruma Fair (January 6, 7th)

It is the fair of Daruma doll held in the precincts and on the approaches of Shorinzan-Darumaji temple in Takasaki city.
About 200 years ago, the farmers around here had been in poverty in the famine. So a priest of this temple taught them how to make Daruma dolls, then they made and sold the dolls here. It was the origin of this fair.
Daruma doll is one of the lucky charms, so more than 200 thousand people visit to buy the doll every year.

Numata FestivalNumata Festival (August 3-5th)

It is the festival held in Numata city located in the north part of Gunma Prefecture.
Originally it had been the annual festival of Suga shrine and Haruna shrine in the city. Since 1970, it has been held as the annual festival of the city.
Many floats and mikoshis (potrable shrine) parade throughout the city.
Particularly the great long-nosed mask carried by many women as a mikoshi is unique.

* All photoes by Visual Gunma

Local foods and products in Gunma Prefecture

Kon'nyakuKon'nyaku

It is one of the popular Japanese food, and is like hard jelly.
Kon'nyaku has few calories and is hard to digest, so it is an ideal diet food. It has little taste, but has a little smell.
About 90 percent of ones in Japan are produced in Gunma Prefecture.
Common kon'nyaku is made in the form of plates. Sometimes we find kon'nyaku shaped like a ball.
Stringlike kon'nyaku is called "shirataki", and it is the important ingredient essencial for "sukiyaki".

Shimonita negiShimonita negi

Negi also one of the popular Japanese food, and is translated as "Welsh onion", "green onion" or "scallion". It is often used in various Japanese dishes as one of vegitables or as a condiment.
Shimonita negi is produced around Shimonita town located about 30 km west of Takasaki city. Strangely, it cannot grow outside Shimonita.
It is thicker than common negi, and the taste becomes sweet when it has cooked.

OkkirikomiOkkirikomi

It is a home cuisine in Gunma Prefecture, and is similar to noodle stew.
The noodle is not "Udon". After kneading dough and flattening out it, the noodle is made by cutting into about 1 cm wide strings.
Salt is mixed into Udon, but nothing is mixed with this noodle.
And this noodle is stewed with various vegitables in dashi soup with shoyu (soy sauce) or miso.

Yaki-manjuuYaki-manjuu

Manjuu is a traditional steamed cake filled with "an" (sweet bean jam).
Yaki-manjuu means "baked manjuu". Three of four manjuus without "an" are skewered, and they are grilled with coating sweet miso.
Manjuus without "an" are used traditionally, but recently manjuus with "an" are sometimes used.
It is said that the people in Gunma sometimes argue whether "with an" is orthodox or not.

Daruma doll in TakasakiDaruma doll in Takasaki

Daruma is the Indian priest who founded Zen Buddhism in early 6th century.
It is said that he had sat in Zen meditation for 9 years, and Daruma doll is modeled after his sitting pose. The doll came from China around the 18th century.
This doll is underslung, so when it has fallen, it returns soon.
About Daruma dolls, people find meaning that "Life is full of ups and downs", so they buy it as a lucky charm.
In Takasaki city, 80 percent of Daruma dolls in Japan are produced.

* Some photoes by Visual Gunma


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