Nakanojō is a town of 15,500 people (2020) in Gunma. Nakanojō is surrounded by high peaks of over 1000 m in height, with the Agatsuma River passing through the center of town from west to east. The town's area is 83% mountains and forests (197 km²).
Nakanojō is most famous for its biannual art exhibition, which is put up throughout the town.
The economy of Nakanojō is heavily dependent on seasonal tourism primarily in connection with its onsen hot spring resorts.
Nakanojo Town is a member of Japan's Most Beautiful Villages Association, which is rich in nature. Lake Okushima
Nakanojō is easily accessible by train from Takasaki station on the East Japan Railway Agatsuma Line.
You can reach it via Japan National Highways 145, 292, 353, and 405.
Several companies serve the town:
- Kanetsu Kotsu
- Nakanojo Municipal Bus (Naganohara Kusatsuguchi Station - Hanashiki Onsen - Nozori Lake)
- Takayama Bus (Haramachi Beisia- Nakanojo Station -Nakayama Motojuku)
- Highway Bus Joshu Yumeguri (Shinjuku Station-Nakanojo Station Entrance/Kusatsu Onsen) (JR Bus Kanto operates)
- Highway Bus Shiman Onsen (Shinonome Shako/Tokyo Station Yaesu Exit-Shiman Onsen) (operated by Kanetsu Kotsu)
Buses and taxis are available from Nakanojō station.
- The main draw of tourists to Nakanojō are the onsen (natural hot spring) resorts. There are two major hot spring resort areas within the town. The larger and more famous one is Shima Onsen, in the mountains to the north of town. The name means "forty thousand", and represents the 40,000 ailments the water is supposed to cure. The other resort is called Sawatari Hot Springs.
- Nakanojo Museum of Folk and History
- Nakanojō has three main festivals during the year. In winter, there is the Tori-oi Matsuri. This involves pounding on large drum all around town to scare birds (for good crops) or demons (for good luck) away for the new year. In summer, there is the Nakanojō Matsuri in August and the Ise-machi Matsuri in September. The Ise-machi Matsuri features the Yagibushi Folk Dance.
- When an automobile drives at 40 km/h over a special melody road section of Japan National Route 353 passing through Nakanojō, the vibrations will sound the tune "Always With Me" from the feature animation Spirited Away.