The romantic side of Kusatsu
Kusatsu is a great town for any visitor and the hot springs are outstanding. But what many miss is the romantic charm.
The strolling, laid back nature of the town brings with it quality time with your loved ones. Yubatake (hot-water field) is perfect for romantic holiday photographs during the day and the hot, steaming yubatake is even more spectacular and atmospheric in the evening when the beauty of the blue spring waters is magnified with sophisticated lighting.
In your hotel you will most likely have a yukata (a light kimono) and in winter and extra warm hanten (thick cotton wadded jacket). It's likely okay to use these outside the hotel and geta (Japanese sandals) may be provided. Strolling the town with it's distinct aroma and rising mists on a cold winter night, arm in arm with your partner, in Japanese dress, transports you back in time and is an extremely romantic experience. If you get cold, just take a dip in on of the public hot springs to warm your soul. The public baths are almost always segregated but the few minutes of separation makes the heart grow fonder and the rendezvous memorable. Or if you like you can search out one of the rare private baths and enjoy a soak together.
Activities for couples
Back to the daytime, one of the activities I enjoyed more than I anticipated while there was making a glass bead. In the center of the town there is a glass blowing workshop and if you book a day ahead you can try it yourself. It takes around 30 minutes is easy to fit in as part of your day. To make one glass bead costs just $20-$30 including materials for your own design. There's a choice of straps that are only a few dollars each. How romantic can it be to exchange an original glass bead with your partner!
Another great destination for couples is the Tsurutaro Kataoka Art Museum. Like other attractions in Kusatsu, the museum is only a few minutes walk from the center and is of a manageable size so easy to fit in to any part of your schedule. The museum's colorful signature style art pieces are fun to browse and there are a variety of replicas available in the gift ship that would look good in any home and would be a great souvenir from your trip. There is also a classy cafe including a menu Japanese deserts which make a perfect retreat before heading off back into the town.
To round things off it's worth reinforcing that the hotels are all really close to the town. The Japanese style rooms will often have a small lounge area with a sofa or chairs next to the window overlooking the town, garden or the mountains. Enjoy a romantic retreat to the quiet privacy of your own room with your beverage of choice and absorb the zen-like repose that can only find in Japan.
Kusatsu Gurasugura Glass Bead Making
Tsurutaro Kataoka Art Museum
My other articles on Kusatsu start here https://www.deepjapan.org/a/4349