Things to Do in Toyooka / Kinosaki Onsen
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Where to Relax in Kinosaki Onsen
- Located just under three hours from Kyoto by train, Kinosaki Onsen is a historic town nestled in a valley, surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes this corner of Hyogo has to offer. For the ultimate in relaxation, a trek to this hidden hot spring village is the perfect place to unwind and lose yourself for a few days. Filled with a number of historic ryokans and relaxing public baths, here’s a guide to some of the best places to spend the day and the night while at Kinosaki Onsen. Mikuniya Ryokan Mikuniya Ryokan Mikuniya Ryokan is one of the most important places on this list when it comes to really enjoying everything Kinosaki Onsen has to offer. The on-site restaurant has two different meal options for dinner, succulent Tajima beef or fresh seasonal seafood. When it comes to the baths, this is where Mikuniya shines. These public baths are surrounded by stunning gardens giving guests the pleasure of bathing in the open air but maintaining complete privacy. The ryokan also offers Japanese calligraphy classes, here you can learn all about traditional calligraphy and try your hand at drawing your own characters. The staff will even give you your name in Kanji (Chinese characters). Located an easy three minute trip from Kinosaki’s main station, a stay at Mikuniya Ryokan is definitely one you won’t forget. Mikuniya Ryokan Satonoyu Onsen Satonoyu Onsen Located directly next to the station is Satonoyu. Though this is a day onsen, its beautiful panoramic views and impressive outdoor bath situated on the third floor observation deck make it a must visit location if you’re in the area. Sweat it out in the sauna filled with aromatic herbs or cool down in the popular ice-sauna for a unique and refreshing experience. The baths have both Japanese and Western sections, which alternate between men and women depending on the time of day, so chances are you’ll have to visit twice to try them both. The Japanese section is a classic style onsen, while Western section is similar to those found in European resorts. Koyado Enn Koyado Enn Sitting an easy three-minute walk from JR Kinosaki Onsen Station, Koyado Enn is one of the area’s newer ryokans, but certainly worth a visit. Opening in September 2013, this hotel offers new style accommodation with old-world charm. The ryokan has 11 rooms including semi-double rooms, twin rooms, Japanese rooms and Japanese-Western hybrid style rooms. They also have two indoor hot springs. The ryokan’s restaurant options are spread over two levels. On the first floor sits Cafe 3rd (also stylised as Cafe IIIrd) which serves up western styles breakfasts. On the second floor is Irori Dining Mikuni which offers a dish of Tajima Beef for dinner, which is definitely worth trying to truly get a taste of Hyogo. Yanagi Yu Onsen Yanagi Yu Onsen Finally, Yanagi Yu Onsen is another day bath worth checking out if you have a few days to spend in the area. In Japanese Yanagi means ‘weeping willow’, and this bath gets its name from the willows dotted street that runs along the exterior of the building. Yanagi Yu is also considered the onsen of fertility and safe childbirth. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
What to Do in Kinosaki Onsen
- The historic onsen town of Kinosaki in the far northern reaches of Hyogo Prefecture is primarily known for its hot springs, which are spread along willow-lined cobbled streets throughout the town in both public bathhouses and traditional Japanese ryokan inns alike. Many visitors to the town spend the day walking from one hot spring to another, dressed in yukata - the summer version of kimono - soaking up the atmosphere of old Japan. Relaxing, unwinding and bathing in hot springs is the main activity in Kinosaki Onsen, but that doesn't mean there aren’t other activities to keep visitors entertained as well. Here we have compiled a list of five things one can do in the town of Kinosaki Onsen. Rent a Bicycle Rent a Bicycle The first building you see when you exit Kinosaki onsen station on the opposite side of the road is the Ryokan Information Center. This building is primarily there to help visitors find a place to stay during their visit to the area, but they also offer other services including bicycle rental. They have both traditional pedal bikes as well as power assisted electric push bikes. Hopping on either of these will allow you to cover a lot more ground and see the sights much quicker than by foot. The Ryokan Information Center also doubles up as a tourist information center so be sure to pick up a map in your language, and get some tips for places to check out once you’re on your bike! Prices are very reasonable at 800 yen per day for a regular pedal bike and 1,000 yen per day for a power assisted electric bike. Opening hours are between 9am and 5pm every day. Visit an onsen Visit an onsen As stated above the main activity in the town of Kinosaki Onsen is visiting the hot springs and bathhouses. Virtually all of the hotels and inns in Kinosaki have private hot spring baths, but for those who aren’t staying locally or who want to experience the public hot springs as well, there are a total of seven bathhouses spread throughout the town. Visitors can either pay for the bathhouses they want to enter at their respective entrances or pick up a seven-bath ticket for 1,200 yen that grants access to them all. Visit Gokurakuji Temple Visit Gokurakuji Temple This large and rather picturesque Zen temple of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism is situated about 10 minutes from Kinosaki Station by foot. It features a large wooden gate that leads visitors through a beautifully kept traditional Japanese stone garden to the main temple hall and its sweeping roof. The temple is situated at the foot of a small mountain that is covered in thick green forest, giving it a rather different feel from the cobbled streets of Kinosaki town. The Buddhist monks at Gokurakuji Temple also offer zazen meditation sessions for visitors curious to give it a try. You will learn how to sit, breath, and become aligned with your surroundings through meditation in front of the stone garden. For further information on the sessions either pop in to the temple itself or enquire at the tourist information center. Drink onsen water Drink onsen water Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. In the town of Kinosaki people not only bathe in the onsen water, but they also drink it! Scattered around the town are several drinking water fountains that dispense hot drinking water directly from its source. There are cups available nearby which you can use free of charge too. The water is said to have several health benefits including the easing of digestive pains and constipation. Ride the Kinosaki Ropeway Ride the Kinosaki Ropeway At the far end of the town is a ropeway station from where you can board a ropeway that takes you to the top of a mountain, affording panoramic views over the entire town and beyond, as far as the Sea of Japan. There are two stations one can alight and board the cable car at: The first is situated halfway up the mountain, and the second is at the top, where there is a viewing platform and also a small temple. For those who are feeling energetic you can skip the ropeway and take a set of stone steps to the top - a very long set of stone steps! Taking the gondola cable car is obviously much quicker. A return ticket on the ropeway is 900 yen. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
Hyogo prefecture stretches from the north coast to the south coast on the western end of the popular Kansai region, encompassing verdant mountains, urban beaches, and fantastic historical sights. The prefecture's main attractions lie along the south coast at Kobe, the prefectural capital, a pretty harbor city best known for its production of the renowned Kobe beef, and Himeji, the home of Himeji Castle, one of the country's most beautifully preserved feudal castles, perched magically atop a hill.
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