With the flowing clean waters of Agatsuma River to the South, the hot spring known as Onogami Onsen is surrounded by luscious green, blessed with a water rich environment. The festival is held as a way for the locals to share the appreciation they feel from day to day, and in hopes of hot spring development. It boasts a variety of events, one of them being the Yu Kumi Shiki (a ceremony to show the peoples gratitude to the flowing onsen waters, that is fetched to the rhythm of the Shakuhachi flute playing in the background, led by an armor clad warrior) that provides the hot water used in the popular Bijin no Yu, or "Beauty hot water." There are many more activities, like hands-on soba making work shops, performances of Onogami Onsen Taiko, a local drumming team, a procession of local kids including a float, an open terrace market selling local specialties and a free market. This is a warm festival where you can savor the rich nature through the famous hot springs, and enjoy the heart and soul of local hospitality.
Onogami Onsen is famous for its hot spring full of skin enriching minerals referred to as Bijin no Yu. The beauty spring "Sachi no yu" is open for free on the day of the festival. The hot spring has a thick soft texture to it that makes your skin silky smooth. They also have moisture gels and skin lotions that contain minerals taken directly from the facilities spring source, that are worth a try too.
Pongashi is a type of old time snack that every one knows. Made from rice and other grains, it expands and makes a popping sound (hence "Pon") when cooked in a high pressure pot. It is a rice puff snack with a soft sweetness to it. This is the perfect chance to get a good look of the snack jumping out of the pot, a site that is no longer seen so much these days.
Though the festival is held in April, temperatures can rise when it is sunny out. Please be sure to drink plenty of fluids, and rest inside the facility when needed. Be careful not to overheat.
Those with tattoos and those who are drunk may not be permitted inside the hot spring.
Access to the venue
JR Onogami Onsen on the Agatsuma Line
Held at the parking lot of Onogami Onsen, Sachi no Yu
Address: 305-2 Murakami, Shibukawa City, Gunma Prefecture
A 2min walk South-west from the station.