Manza, Gunma Prefecture

A couple of days ago, we went for a short trip to Manza in Gunma prefecture, an area for ski and onsen (hot spring) resort. It was about 6 hours bus trip from Tokyo. We spent the first night on the bus there, and the second night at Manza Prince Hotel. The scenery was so beautiful, everything was covered in thick snow.

After about three hours outside and the novelty of snow had worn off, we went to our room and changed to yukata (casual kimono) provided by the hotel before going for a hot bath. Spending some time with my husband and Sidra in an outdoor onsen under light snowfall while looking at the snowy hill was the best hot bath experience I’ve ever had! No pictures though.

Most onsen usually are separated between men and women, but there was one outdoor onsen for mixed gender in the hotel. It was nice that I could spend time with my husband and Sidra instead of sitting alone in women onsen. It was my first time in a mixed onsen though. Don’t worry, the women still kept their body wrapped in towel. On the other hand, most men are naked there, so I was a bit embarrassed. But since everybody kept their bodies under water (it was very cold outside the water, less than 0 degrees celsius!), there were really no need to worry about getting lots of ‘glimpses’. Unless you were deliberately looking around to find any!

Hope you are enjoying the holiday too right now!

pictures from my Instagram

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  • You must have taken a mirror image of the first photo. It look strange to me because in Japan and that part of Asia, the kimono should be left side over right. That being said, looks like you had a really nice time there! I miss the onsen …

    • verypurpleperson

      Oh I didn’t know that! The yukata were provided by the hotel to wear after bath, and we put them by ourselves 🙂

  • the pictures look awesome! 🙂 the co-ed onsen sounds nice! i share your sentiment sitting alone in ladies onsen looking awkward and no one to chat with! 🙂

  • What a beautiful trip and your family is lovely.I love your blog. I took my two daughters to Japan two years ago at Christmas and we had such a lovely time. We stayed at a Ryokan in Kyoto but didn’t make it to the Onsen but I wish we did!

  • Jenny in New York

    Sounds wonderful! I think I will try a mixed onsen on my next trip to Japan. I’m just a little worried about the towel. Problem is that I am not small – maybe average for an American, but I’m like an extra-large by Japanese standards. I’m wondering if I should bring my own towel to preserve a little bit of modesty. Something for me to obsess on ’til then… Thanks for posting about your nice trip!

    • verypurpleperson

      Hmmm I really don’t know the answer for that! Usually you have to use towel provided by the onsen, I never saw anyone using their own towel. But maybe they can make an exception for certain circumstances…. 🙂

      • Jenny in New York

        Thanks for responding to my neurotic wondering ; ) I guess I’ll just have to go-with-the-flow, and not worry about it! Happy New Year!

  • J

    I just ran across the link to your blog in the introduction section of the Whipup Flickr group. Ten years ago I spent time in Japan in the winter. Thank you for the very natsukashii photos of the lovely snow (and you’re adorable family). Have a lovely winter!

  • mary beth

    Beautiful pictures! Happy Holiday!

  • Lovely familly, have nice days 😉

  • Innana

    Such a nice and fun holiday! Wish we have snow here in Croatia :'(