Kinosaki Onsen - Visit Outdoor Hot Springs And Try Tasty Local Snacks
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Kinosaki Onsen - Visit Outdoor Hot Springs And Try Tasty Local Snacks

Hyogo 2017.10.18

At Kinosaki Onsen in Hyogo, you can buy a 1200 yen pass to gain one-day unlimited access to seven of the town's famous hot springs. Try some of the town's food, too!

Translated byLester Somera

Just a Kansai guy trying to get by

Written by Riho Takada

Do you know about Kinosaki Onsen in the city of Toyooka in Hyogo Prefecture? This onsen resort area is said to have been discovered thanks to a legend which claims that 1300 years ago, someone saw the spring waters healing the wounds of a stork.

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There is another explanation for how Kinosaki Onsen got its start. In the year 717, a famous priest named Dochishonin came to the area to pray to the four guardian gods of Kinosaki in the hopes of saving the sick, and the story goes that when he did so, hot springs burst from the earth. Whether either legend is true is up for debate, but at any rate, Kinosaki has a history dating back over 1300 years, and it is one of the leading hot spring areas in Japan.

Try the Famous Kinosaki Open-Air Hot Spring Challenge!

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The most alluring thing about Kinosaki is its tour of seven hot springs. Kinosaki has seven open-air hot springs within walking distance, so visitors can enjoy strolling from hot spring to hot spring. Kinosaki Onsen has a handy pass called the Yumepa which is used for this tour, and it gives holders unlimited one-day access to all seven springs (1200 yen for adults, 600 yen for children). The pass is sold at the counter of each open-air spring. This time, we will introduce Yanagiyu and Ichinoyu, two of the seven.

1. Yanagiyu

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Yanagiyu is famous for the legend that bathing in its waters will bestow the bather with the blessing of a child. Yanagiyu is notable for its depth, which will go up to a child’s head, and its comparatively high water temperature. Also, it is said that the waters are effective for treating wounds and swelling. There are two free foot baths outside. The one on the main street in the front gets crowded, but the one in the back is comparatively less-trafficked, so you can relax when using it.

2. Ichinoyu

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Ichinoyu is so famous it was given a name meaning “Japan’s number one onsen.” It is known for its cave hot spring, surrounded by rock faces. One of Kinosaki Onsen’s most popular open-air hot springs, lines form to enter in the evening.

Special Hot Spring Area Food

Kinosaki Onsen has plenty of shops, from restaurants and souvenir shops to fishmongers who handle fresh catches of the day. Let’s look at two of them.

1. Kinosaki Gelato Cafe Chaya

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At this shop you can make hot spring-boiled eggs to eat for yourself, which have soft yolks and firm whites. They are very easy to make. Buy eggs at the shop (three for 300 yen) and dip them in the hot spring source in front of the shop.

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After up to 10 minutes, they are done! Take them out of the water, crack their shells and enjoy your slightly jiggly boiled eggs. How firm the whites are will depend on how long you cook the eggs, so if you prefer firmer boiled eggs, you'll want to wait the full 10 minutes.

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The hot spring has some salt content, which imparts a faint saltiness to the egg. It was quite delicious. Even though it was a cold day in early February, customers were surging into the shop.

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There is also a foot bath, so you can soak your feet and warm up while you wait for your egg to cook.

2. Maruyama Karyo

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This shop’s famous item is the post-bath pudding, a syrupy masterpiece topped with brown sugar caramel sauce. They are made by hand every morning and there is a limited supply, so they sometimes sell out. Pick yours up early.

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Kinosaki Onsen is not just hot springs - the whole town is overflowing with charm. How about coming to escape the winter cold and get rid of your fatigue?

Kinosaki Onsen Access

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Finally, let’s look at how to get to Kinosaki. Train access from major cities like Osaka and Kyoto is the most convenient way to reach the area. From Osaka, take the Limited Express Konotori from JR Osaka Station (two hours and 40 minutes, 5600 yen). From Kyoto, take the Limited Express Kinosaki from JR Kyoto Station (two hours and 30 minutes, 4840 yen).

Information

Kinosaki Onsen
Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Yushima 357-1
Nearest Station: Kinosaki Onsen Station
Phone: 0796-32-3663
Homepage: Kinosaki Onsen Tourism Association

Kinosaki Gelato Cafe Chaya
Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Yushima 857
Hours: 9:30 - 17:30
Closed: Thursday
Credit Cards: No
Other Languages: English
Nearest Station: Kinosaki Onsen Station
Access: 15 minute walk from Kinosaki Onsen Station
Price range: Up to 999 yen
Phone: 0796-29-4858
Homepage: Kinosaki Gelato Cafe Chaya

Maruyama Karyo
Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Yushima 665
Hours: 9:00 - 18:00
Closed: Tuesday (open Tuesdays from November to March)
Credit Cards: Yes (JCB, AMEX)
Other Languages: English
Nearest Station: Kinosaki Onsen Station
Access: 7 minute walk from Kinosaki Onsen Station
Price range: Up to 999 yen
Phone: 0796-32-2361
Homepage: Maruyama Karyo

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