6 selections of hot spring for two-day trip in Kansai
Every time winter comes, the lazy you try to cover all holes of your room to stay away from the cold wind and curl up on your mattress and blanket to expect some warmth. Just toss the blanket up and throw yourself in the frosty world outside your house, following the warm stream to meet the special oasis of hot spring, one of Japanese specialities. For your two-day trip around Kansai, let’s choose one from our 6 onsens suggestions from many hot springs across this region to warm up your cold and cheerless winter and discover the variety of festivals and cuisines at these onsens.
Fireworks at Kinosaki onsen
Wakayama Shirahama Onsen
About two hours and a half from Osaka, Wakayama Shirahama Onsen is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan together with Arima Onsen and Dogo Onsen with 1300 year long history. Facing the Pacific Ocean, the onsen is surrounded by gentle breeze, blue ocean and beautiful beach. You can soak your body in hot water of the onsen and enjoy some landscapes such as Senjojiki and Engetsuto. You can freely choose from open air bath looking at the ocean with breathtaking view, atmospheric public baths surrounded by green trees and fresh air and foot baths to soak feet. There are also many accommodations from luxurious resort hotels to inns or public bath houses for your night of two day trip.
Map link: Shirahama onsen
Admission: 100 to 1200 yen
Related link: http://www.nanki-shirahama.net
Hyogo Kinosaki Onsen
Located in northern Hyogo prefecture. Kinosaki houses many hot springs but the most famous are the seven public ones. This area is characterized by beautiful streets running along the picturesque Otanigawa River, building of 150 years old and willow tree-lined stone bridge saving ancient color. That is why visitors are interested in dressing up yukata with geta and walking around the streets to enjoy the atmosphere of the past. The waters of Kinosaki is famous for containing such elements as sodium, calcium and chloride that are really good for health, keeping an average temperature of about 42ºC. Besides, the area is well known for seafood especially crab available year round which is best during the winter months from November to March.
Map link: Kinosaki onsen
Admission: 600 to 800 yen depending on bath
Related link: http://www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp
Hyogo Arima Onsen
Arima onsen is surrounded by the cultural atmosphere of many shrines and temples with the changing seasonal scenery. The onsen has the history of over one thousand years as one of the oldest across Japan. Arima Onsen consists two kinds of hot spring: Ginsen called silver water including radium and carbonate and Kinsen called gold water with brown color of iron deposits that is good for skin and injury. There are many hot spring baths from public bath houses or ryokan baths. For your night staying, they offer large hot spring inns with various types of rooms compared with Imperial Palace Bessho along with Kobe beef, Tamba Jibie cuisine and fresh fish of the Seto Sea.
Map link: Arima onsen
Admission: from 500 to 2500 yen depending on bath
Related link: http://visit.arima-onsen.com
Kyoto Yunohana Onsen
Located in the west suburbs of ancient Kyoto, the hot spring surrounding quiet mountains with rich nature called Yunohana Onsen where you can enjoy the changing views of the four seasons through autumn leaves weeping in the garden around the onsen and the impressive view of about 20 minutes riding train Hozu from Kameoka going to Arashiyama. The onsen attracts tourists by its fresh and clean air floating over beautiful rural landscapes that can rarely be found in the middle of busy city. The legends tell that, many injured samurai warriors from the civil wars used to heal their wounds in Yunohana centuries ago. The hot spring now is well known for traditional Japanese cuisine using seasonal ingredients like mountain vegetables, freshwater fish and Tanba beef together with mushrooms and local sake.
Source: travel rakuten
Map link: Yunohana onsen
Admission: 900 to 2200 yen
Related link: http://www.yunohana-onsen.com/english/index.html
Shiga Ogoto Onsen
Ogoto Onsen was opened by Dengyodaishi Saicho and was developed in the Taisho period to become an attraction for tourism.Ogoto hot spring is located on the west shore of Biwa Lake with beautiful surrounding scene of Biwako Valley and Hikone Castle. Biwa lake which occupies most of Shiga area is the wonderful landscapes itself. Coming to Ogoto onsen, you will have a chance to enjoy the fantastic view of the lake and Mount Hiei area. All hotels and ryokans around the area have their own baths. Ogoto clear and colorless water is famous for the pH of 9.0 and the high simplicity of alkaline with about 36 ℃. which is good for healing neuralgia, muscle pain, joint pain, stiff shoulders, paralysis, bruise, chronic gastritis, poor circulation, fatigue, and skin problems.
Source: Biwako Otsu travel guide
Map link: Ogoto onsen
Admission: 600 to 2000 yen
Related link: http://www.ogotoonsen.com/english/index.html
Mie Ise-Shima Kashikojima osnen
Iseshima Kashikojima onsen is located within a park overlooking the Ago Bay with mild climate and unique evergreen plants of tropical weather. Visitors are advised to come to Iseshima after enjoying various attractions at Shima Spain Village. The accomodation occupies the total area of about 4000 square meters by 18 rooms with open air garden baths, spa salon and high-class resort hotels. Most of onsen baths overlook the ocean that can bring all your sadness away then pay amazing view of sunset back. They also offer a variety of delicious seafood, especially fresh catch right from the ocean. Women can also find whirlpool baths or salt saunas designed only for them.
Map link: Iseshima Kashikojima onsen
Admission: 750 to 1050 yen
Related link: http://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/index.html