Find local products at Romantic Mura such as Ohya stone giftware, local glass, craft beer brewed on the premises, sweets and even edible bugs! (Photo: Stacy Kurokawa)

Romantic Mura: Fun for Everyone

Pool, onsen, beer, souvenirs, flowers, festivals...

Stacy Kurokawa   - 3 min read

Mura means village. Romantic Mura covers 46 hectares. The village area consists of a wide promenade with many benches and tables under some umbrellas and trees,  shops, stalls, and restaurants.

We inevitably land up at the soft ice-cream stand. Last time, they offered lemon, caramel, vanilla or caramel/vanilla swirl for ¥300. If by chance you drop your ice-cream, they will kindly sell you a second for ¥200.

Even if you don`t need fresh local produce, don't miss the farmer`s market area. You will find many local products/souvenirs. You can feast on ramen, gyoza, soba in the food court, baked goods from the bakery, or opt for a gorgeous meal at the restaurant. Most foods feature local ingredients. Find another restaurant in the Hotsprings/Pool building across the street.

Yusho Agri Onsen

If you want to soak in alkaline hot spring water outdoors, visit the onsen. The reception desk and entrance for that area is near the building`s rear entrance (change into slippers). A sign at the entrance (in Japanese) says “no gangsters or tattoos” as is common in Japan.

If you need a budget massage, try a coin operated massage chair. Professional massage service costs just over Y100/minute starting with thirty minutes (the same rate you would pay elsewhere in Japan).

Villa de Agri Hotel

Rooms overlook the forest. A western-style twin room is the better deal than futons on tatami. Your stay includes admittance into the hotspring. During the craft-beer festival in July, get a room, dinner, breakfast and all you can drink craft beer (evening) for ¥11000 per person; another package is dinner/breakfast and stay is ¥8100 per person (2016). Accompanying children/youth cost much less.

Villa de Agri Pool

For the leisure pool area, reception and entrance is near the front of the building. Take in the architecture – you can check out the pool before paying be looking through the windows behind the ticket counter. Swim suits and towels may be rented. Kick boards and swim caps are available to borrow (you must wear a swimming cap). Children must be at least three years of age, and toilet trained. Those younger than ten must be accompanied by an adult, in the locker room as well. Lockers are free. Be sure to remove all jewelry and shower before entering the pool area. The pool opens at 10, you can enter until 8 PM, and hang out there until 9 PM. Adults cost Y1230, middle school students Y610, and younger kids are Y560.

Getting there

It is a 40 minute bus ride from JR Utsunomiya Station`s West exit.

From Tokyo, it is 134 km, about an hour and 45 minutes by car. Romantic Mura is known as a highway stop (michi no eki) because the Tohoku Expressway Utsunomiya interchange (IC) is just five minutes drive down the road.

Stacy Kurokawa

Stacy Kurokawa @stacy.kurokawa

It's with a love of adventure that I came to Japan in 2003.  I  love getting off the beaten track and getting around by bicycle.  In 2020, I qualified as a Forest Therapy Guide.  I guide in parks in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture nowadays.