If you are planning to spend a relaxing weekend away from the routine of the metropolis and away from the big cities then Takasaki, in Gunma prefecture about 100 km northeast of Tokyo, is certainly a leading option. The Hotel Metropolitan Takasaki is a great choice located conveniently next to JR Takasaki Shinkansen Station.
Entering the welcoming hotel lobby you quickly realise guests' relaxation is the hotel's main focus. Hotel Metropolitan Takasaki offers 141 contemporary, relaxing rooms across standard, twin, deluxe and premium room types - even a themed room based on Gunma and JR East's D51 498 Steam Locomotive. Rooms offer comfort and spacious surroundings, and all offer free Wi-Fi. Each sound-proofed room features a flat-screen satellite TV, a mini-fridge and an electric kettle. You can request in-room massages and laundry services at an additional charge.
The Brasserie Laurier offers Japanese and Western-style meals throughout the day, prepared using local Gunma ingredients. Table seating is offered both inside and outside the restaurant, offering al fresco-style dining albeit inside the hotel.
The hotel's convenient location allows you to easily reach some of Takasaki's best tourist spots. Why not spend a few hours visiting Shorinzan Darumaji Temple, which you can on foot from Gunma-Yawata Station (5 minutes from Takasaki Station). This is the temple where hundreds years ago the first Daruma doll, now symbol of the Gunma prefecture, was carved. The temple continues to host the country's largest and most famous Daruma market (Daruma Ichi) annually, held on the 6th–7th January.
At about 20 minutes by bus from Takasaki Station stands the statue of Goddess of Mercy, symbol of the city at a height of 41.8 meters and weighing 6000 tons. You can walk inside the statue and even climb up level with its shoulders.
Another interesting experience can also be found at the Daimonya shop, less than 1 km from Gumma-Yawata Station. Here you can buy different kinds of Daruma Dolls, and even join a painting workshop to make and decorate your very own Daruma doll to take home.