Saturday, June 24, 2023

Kinosaki Onsen


Kinosaki Onsen is a very popular hot spring resort located near the Sea of Japan Coast in the north of Hyogo;

Part of its popularity lies, I think, with the fact that it is only a couple of hours by express train from Kyoto and Osaka, and is, therefore, relatively easy to access.

For about a kilometer the banks of the river in the narrow valley are lined with Ryokan, traditional guesthouses, and while these all have their own hot-spring baths fed by the same hot water, there are seven public baths of different sizes throughout the town.

Visiting these seven public baths is suggested as the main cultural activity of the town. Putting on traditional yukata and wearing geta, the noisy wooden clogs, you walk around in the daytime and evening from bath to bath watching all the other visitors doing the same.

Of course, along with sitting in hot water, eating local delicacies is another of the cultural traditions associated with hot springs. In Kinosaki, being close to the sea, seafood is plentiful and in winter Snow Crabs are very evident.(photo 4). Local beef is also touted as a delicay.

Photo 2, above, is a display at the town train station featuring geta from each of the ryokan in the town.  Photo 10, below, shows Mandara-yu, one of the 7 public baths.

If eating and bathing is not quite enough for you, then Kinosaki does have some other attractions worth a visit that I will cover in future posts. In the meantime, here is something that I haven't seen covered in any of the numerous online guides to Kinosaki, a delightful karesansui garden

The previous post in the series exploring Toyooka in Hyogo was the Takuan Temple in Izushi.


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