Kinosaki Onsen, which is said to be the birthplace of the onsen-hopping, has seven hot springs each with their own charm. Since ancient times, the people of Kinosaki have thought of the town as one large ryokan, with the inns as guest rooms and the streets as the hallways, while they welcome guests who come to enter the health-benefitting hot springs.
This mentality still lives on in the town. When you arrive at your ryokan, change into a yukata and relieve your daily fatigue by visiting the hot springs.
Kinosaki Onsen is a hot spring town with 1300 years of history behind it. As a hot spring town formed in ancient times, Kinosaki had at least 50 ryokan in 1870, coexisting and prospering together as one harmonious hot spring town. At the time, the town was not so much a sightseeing spot as it was a place for people to heal in the waters. Not only was Kinosaki a spot for healing, but it was also widely known as a place of deep spirituality.
Before entering the hot springs, visitors would first pay respects at Onsenji Temple, the guardian temple of Kinosaki.
Awarded a spot on the 2021 Top 100 Green Destinations List, Kinosaki Onsen is proud to be a town that cares for endangered species and conserves the natural ecosystem through sustainable farming.
Even within the hot springs, Kinosaki’s locals respect the local landscape through honoring the sacred hot spring waters. As a town that views itself as “one large ryokan,” sharing the public baths with one’s neighbors is the ultimate gesture of coexistence.
While staying in a ryokan, you can experience the onsen culture and eat delicious food. Come visit to heal the body & soul, and to experience traditional Japanese culture.
Unforgettable Kinosaki Experiences
Stay at a Japanese ryokan
A ryokan, a traditional Japanese style inn, is more than just a hotel and a place to sleep. Many of the ryokan have been family-owned for generations. Each one values the importance of Japanese tradition and takes pride in sharing these traditions with their guests.
In order to receive the hot spring’s health benefits, visitors to Kinosaki Onsen used to follow certain rituals at Onsenji Temple before entering the onsen. Learn from Onsenji Temple’s chief Buddhist priest these rituals and why they were performed.
Public bathing culture is deeply ingrained in the town’s daily life, and the seven hot springs are the highlight of Kinosaki Onsen. If you are staying at one of the accommodations Kinosaki they will offer a special pass in which you can use to visit the public bath houses. Each of the seven public baths are also tattoo-friendly.
Experience Traditional Crafts and Make Great Memories
Visit the workshop of an artisan of mugiwara zaiku, a traditional straw handicraft that is only produced in Kinosaki Onsen. After observing the craftsman’s delicate technique, make your own original straw craft design on a small box to keep as a lovely souvenir.