Kinosaki Onsen is known throughout Japan and the world as one of the best hot spring resort towns. Famous for it’s invigorating and therapeutic hot springs (onsen), the town, built entirely around the needs of visitors, has traditional charm recognized by travellers from around the world.
Nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains and sea, Kinosaki is filled with the tradition and culture of old Japan. Classic Japanese architecture, a willow and cherry blossom lined river, it’s easy to understand why Kinosaki attracts both Japanese and foreign visitors.
Stay in a Ryokan (Traditional Inn): Staying in a Ryokan is one of the best ways to enjoy Japanese “Omotenashi” hospitality and experience Japanese culture, cuisine and customs. Kinosaki has plenty of ryokan to choose from.
Dress the part: The Ryokans in Kinosaki offer guests Japanese Yukata (light kimonos that are easy to walk around in) to wear during their stay. Visitors are invited to stroll the timeless, pedestrian friendly streets of Kinosaki dressed in Yukata and wearing traditional Geta footwear as they make visits to the various hot springs, shops, restaurants and cafes. It is an atmosphere and charm of a bygone era that is simply not found anywhere else in the Japan of today.
Spa Hop: Kinosaki has a unique “spa hopping” system with a digital ticket so as visitors can enjoy the seven public bath houses located throughout the town and are not limited to the bath house of the ryokan where they stay.
The digital ticket can be used at all the public hot springs in Kinosaki for unlimited entrance. More convenient than carrying money or paper tickets, especially designed so visitors can walk the streets of Kinosaki in a Yukata without having to carry any bags or wallets. The digital ticket has a barcode which is scanned at each hot spring to gain entrance. It can also be used for payment at participating shops, restaurants, and attractions throughout Kinosaki.
Regional specialities: Being close to the Sea of Japan in the Hyogo prefecture region of Tajima, Kinosaki is well known is renowned for its fresh crab (snow crab), hand-made soba noodles and for Tajima beef, the origin of Kobe beef. The rice in the region is particularly good due to the wide spread use of organic farming practices.
Website: visitkinosaki.com English website allows you to check availability and book a stay at any of the town’s Ryokans. It also gives a helpful guide to using Japanese Onsen (Hot Springs), step-by-step instructions on how to wear Yukata and all about what it’s like to stay in a Japanese Ryokan. The website carries listings of festivals and events throughout the year as well as information about the plentiful tourist attractions in the region.
Access: Kinosaki Onsen is easily accessed by train, bus, car or even plane. From Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Himeji express trains (JR) to Kinosaki require only one or no transfers.
For more information contact: Tourism Garden
Alison Roberts-Brown, representative for Kinosaki Onsen & Toyooka City in Australia