High in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, the hot spring resort town of Minakami is one of Japan's top adventure destinations.
In winter the steep mountain slopes attract serious skiers and snowboarders and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available here. In spring all that snow melts in to the Tone River creating ideal conditions for white water rafting, kayaking and canyoning. The dramatic mountain scenery is also a great location for hiking and mountain biking, and its even possible to go bungee jumping or paragliding here.
Like all the best parts of Gunma, Minakami bubbles with natural hot springs and there's a great range of onsen bathing to try. Accommodation in the town ranges from backpacker style digs run by the adventure sport companies, to luxurious, secluded ryokan.
If you prefer gentler activities, Takumi no Sato may be for you. This is an arts and crafts village where visitors can try their hand at various workshops. Activities available here include washi paper making, indigo dyeing and bamboo weaving. There are also opportunities to see professional craftsmen in action. The village itself is picturesque - set among orchards and rice paddies with Minakami's mountains in the background.