Experience Japanese hospitality in Kinosaki Onsen, the therapeutic bath of Kyoto

Walking through the streets while wearing yukata is a lot of fun at Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Tourist Information Center “The Four Seasons of Kinosaki”
Goshono-yu
Goshono-yu
Walk through the streets while wearing yukata
Walk through the streets while wearing yukata

Information about Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen is a hot spring town in the city of Toyooka, Hyogo. Visiting the seven sotoyu baths is a unique experience. The hot spring has been active for nearly 1,400 years and Kinosaki is said to be the origin of sotoyu touring. The Otani River streams through the center of the town, and rows of willow trees stand along the river. Atmospheric, three-story wooden inns stand side by side. This town is gorgeous with people in yukata. Stroll around while accompanied by the sound of clogs.

Visit the seven sotoyu baths

Yumepa is a bath coupon that allows you to enter any of the seven sotoyu baths as many times as you like. It costs 1,200 yen for adults (junior high school age or older) and 600 yen for children (3 years old or older). Drinkable hot water can be found in front of Ichinoyu and ashiyu (footbath) is available at Satonoyu, Yanagiyu and Ichinoyu. These features are highly recommended for anyone visiting the sotoyu baths.

Walk through the streets while wearing yukata

Wearing yukata is very common in Kinosaki Onsen. Before you visit the sotoyu baths, change into yukata. If your yukata has lost its shape, visit any of the nearly 30 spots in town that has a yukata goikenban (adviser) sign. They offer a leaflet showing how to correct your yukata. Bring your yukata to Iroha, a yukata store, and they will help you put it on. The store also offers yukata for rent or sale.

Feast on crabs and specialties until early spring

Full-course Matsuba Crab/Tajima Beef Sukiyaki
*Photo: Nishimuraya Honkan

Eat your fill of Matsuba crabs and Tajima beef

Located near the Sea of Japan, Kinosaki Onsen is also a popular gourmet destination to eat your fill of fresh seafood. Especially from November to March, locally caught Matsuba crabs are available. Try different ways to eat crabs, such as sashimi (raw slices), boiled, shabu-shabu (parboiled for a few seconds), a hot pot with vegetables. Tajima beef is another specialty that can’t be missed. The Japanese black beef from Hyogo Prefecture is characterized by its outstanding balance of lean and fine marbling.

Enjoy the thrill of Danjiri Festival

Danjiri Festival
Danjiri Festival

Danjiri Festival

With over 200 years of history, Danjiri Festival is annually held on October 14 and 15. This is a very special event for people in Kinosaki, during which schools and companies are closed. Many people from Kinosaki that currently live in urban areas return to their hometown to attend the festival. During the festival, mikoshi (portable shrine), two large floats, each with a stand, and two small floats for children are carried around the town. The mikoshi stops at each of the seven sotoyu baths for a prayer. This is accompanied by collisions of the mikoshi and the four floats. Danjiri Festival is an exciting event to behold.

Recommended destination near Kinosaki Onsen (1): Izushi

Townscape of Izushi
Townscape of Izushi
Izushi Eirakukan
Izushi Eirakukan

Experience the atmosphere of a castle town

Get off at JR Kinosaki Onsen Station, take a bus and you will arrive in Izushi in about an hour. Izushi is a historic castle town from the Edo period. Pass through the red gateways and arrive at the site of Izushi Castle, with the sight of the former castle town below. Izushi has many tourist destination including Izushi Karoyashiki, a former samurai residence that has hidden stairs. This is a small town that only requires about two hours to tour. Wear rental kimono and walk through the streets to better appreciate the atmosphere of the castle town. Izushi Eirakukan, a playhouse, was constructed during the Meiji period and still serves as a venue for kabuki and other theatrical and vaudeville performances. Eirakukan is open to the public when shows are not in session.

Izushi soba

Izushi has nearly 50 soba or buckwheat noodle restaurants. The town’s specialty is Izushi sarasoba, which is served on small plates. The Izushi Sarasoba-meguri Kinchaku Set (1,800 yen) allows you to visit three different soba restaurants and compare them. The kinchaku (drawstring) contains three Eirakutsuho coins, the currency used in the early Edo period, from 1603 to 1867. If you would like to know more about soba making, join a soba-uchi session for beginners.
*Reservation required.

Getting There About one hour on the bus bound for Izushi, departing from Kinosaki Onsen Station.
*The length of time may change depending on traffic conditions.

A tour bus operates on weekends, departing from Kinosaki Onsen for Izushi and other tourist destinations. Group tours are also available.

Izushi Karoyashiki

Admission: 100 yen for adults, 80 yen for high school and university students, free for elementary and junior high school students/(Hours open) 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

*No admission will be accepted after 4:30 p.m./(Closed) November 3, December 31, January 1 and during the period for changing exhibits

Izushi Eirakukan

Admission: 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for high school and university students, free for elementary and junior high school students/(Hours open) 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

*No admission will be accepted after 4:30 p.m./(Closed) Thursdays, December 31 and January 1

Recommended destination near Kinosaki Onsen 2: Genbudo Park

Genbudo Cave
Genbudo Cave

Natural monument: Genbudo Cave

Genbudo Park is a designated part of San’inkaigan National Park. The history of Genbudo dates back 1.6 million years ago when an eruption occurred. It is said that the solidification of magma may have created uniform cracks. Then the stones were removed by humans and hexagonal pieces of basalt piled up to form a cave. Some pieces of basalt cut from the cave are used to make revetments for the Otani River, along which Kinosaki Onsen is located. Genbudo Cave is designated as a national natural monument. Genbudo Park has four additional caves.

Getting There: About five minutes by taxi from JR Kinosaki Onsen Station. About 15 minutes by rental bicycle.