Tomioka (富岡) is a city in southwestern Gunma Prefecture, Japan.
By trainTomioka is served by the non-JR Jōshin Line, which runs from the nearby railway hub at Takasaki. The line has 8 stations in the city, but the main one is Jōshū-Tomioka. There are usually one or two trains an hour from Takasaki to Jōshū-Tomioka, taking 40 minutes and ¥790.
Jōshin Railway sells a combination ticket, which covers a return journey between Takasaki and Jōshū-Tomioka and admission to the Silk Mill, for ¥2140 (a saving of ¥440). They also sell a one-day free ticket (which allows unlimited travel on the line) for ¥2220.
The Jōshin Line is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass or the JR East Passes, but it is covered by the JR TOKYO Wide Pass, which is available to holders of non-Japanese passports. Note also that the Jōshin Line does not accept IC Cards (Suica, Pasmo, Icoca etc.)
By busTomioka Interchange on the Jōshin-etsu Expressway (about 2.5km south of the Silk Mill) is served by a fairly frequent direct bus service towards Tokyo:
- Seibu Bus and Chikuma Bus run 16 buses a day from Ikebukuro Station East Exit, Shimo-Ochiai Station, Nerima Ward Office, and Kawagoe-Matoba Bus Stop, taking 2 hours 5 minutes (and continuing on to Karuizawa, Komoro or Ueda). Two buses a day start back from Shinjuku.
- Chikuma Bus also runs 2 buses a day from Tachikawa Station North Exit and Tamagawa-Jōsui Station, taking 2 hours 10 minutes (and continuing on to Komoro or Ueda).
All of these buses cost ¥2100. You can buy two tickets for ¥3700, or 4 tickets for ¥7200.
Nippon Chūō Bus runs an overnight service from Osaka Namba (OCAT) and Kyoto Station Hachijō Exit to Nippon Chūō Taxi Tomioka Eigyōsho (on the main road 350m south of Nishi-Tomioka Station and 500m northwest of the Silk Mill), taking 8 hours 15 minutes and ¥9200 (¥16,560 return, valid for 10 days). Note that this bus leaves Tomioka for Kansai after 11:45pm, and arrives at Tomioka before 4:45am.
Jōshin Railway offers free bike rentals from 5 of its stations, including Jōshū-Tomioka and Jōshū-Ichinomiya.
address: 1-1 TomiokaJapan's oldest modern silk mill, which was in operation between 1872 and 1987. It was designated a Historic Site in 2005, an Important Cultural Property in 2006, and both a National Treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.
address: 1535 IchinomiyaThe Ichinomiya for Kōzuke Province (most of Gunma Prefecture). Much of the shrine is an Important Cultural Property.
address: 1 OkamotoThis is the type of zoo where you either drive through in your own car (in which case you must pay ¥500 for a guide radio, which is available in Japanese or English) or are driven around (¥500 for the safari bus, or ¥1300 for either the feed-the-animals bus or the off-road ranger tour in a four wheel drive). The most interesting animals are the white tigers and Japan's only Sumatran elephants; animals native to Japan include the snow monkeys (Japanese macaques), black bears, sika deer, and Japanese squirrels. There is also a rather child-centred amusement park with individually priced rides (¥200-¥400).
address: 1674-1 Kamikuroiwa