Kinosaki Onsen which has a 1300-year history has been the famous onsen spot since Heian period. Moreover, it has the eulogistic name “Kaidai Daiissen” in Edo period.
There are seven public onsen bath houses on the hot spring street located across Otani river. The scenery of here is also very characteristic. Willow trees with stone bridge and town scape, and its atmosphere are very nice.
Everyone, Please pay special attention before bathing. Everyone has a different degree of tolerance for hot springs. If you feel more than you can endure the heat, it is better not to bathe barely.
Transportation: JR Kansai Wide Rail Pass applies to a direct limited express between Kyoto/Osaka and Kinosaki onsen.
Maps to the Kinosaki Onsen Town can be seen all over the area.
The most important thing to do at the “Top Hot Spring in Japan” is of course having a soak at the hot springs. During the week, the seven springs will rotate their closing schedule. If you want to visit all seven hot springs, be sure to visit during the weekend. The appearance and the schedule to the hot springs are as follows:
The Seven Hot Springs Information
Ichino-yu: the second most popular hot spring with a cave hot spring. Closed on Wednesdays.
Goshono-yu: the most popular of all, this one offers an outdoor waterfall hot spring. Closed on the first and third Thursday of every month.
Mandara-yu: smaller with fewer visitors, it’s possible to have the onsen entirely to yourself here. Closed on Wednesdays.
Satono-yu: located right on the left side of the exit of Kinosaki Onsen JR train station. Closed on Mondays.
Yanagi-yu: known for its willow fragrance, the onset here draws from an original source whose temperature is a scorching 58 degrees Celsius. Be sure to test it out before stepping in. Closed on Thursdays.
Jizou-yu: the most modern facility of all seven hot springs. Closed on Fridays.
Kouno-yu: the oldest of all seven hot springs with a hot spring located inside a scenic courtyard. Closed on Tuesdays.
This historic haven has scenic streets strewn all across town, along with rows of willow trees on the shore. Stone bridges and other street views offer a wonderful sightseeing experience.
You may soak your feet here. On the side you will see a stone tablet engraved with the words “Top Hot Spring in Japan”
If you are looking to go to the Main Hall located on the mountain side, you can take a cable car or a hike uphill (about 20 minutes on foot)
There are many foreign tourists in Kinosaki Onsen. The shops are very tourist-friendly
While you are here, be sure to try out cuisine made with Tajima beef or crab (11/6 to 3/20). The photos here show Tajima steak. I personally prefer the Tajima beef-don.
If you come here during the winter, you will enjoy spectacular scenes of snow, not to mention you can enjoy fantastic soaks with snow all around you!
After fully relaxing yourself at the Kinosaki Onsen, take the Kyoto Tango Railway to two Michelin two-star tourist sites. They are Amanohashidate, one of the Three Views of Japan and Ine, a traditional Japanese fishing village.