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Kinosaki Onsen

BEST "YUKATA" TOWN

in Japan

Yukata
The must have item for a Japanese Onsen Vacation

Yukata are a lighter, more casual form of kimono and are often used as lounge wear at hotels or spas in Japan. This is also true in Kinosaki Onsen, but here the yukata is more for every-day wear. It is an essential part of the town’s authentic Japanese hot spring style and a strong custom of the hot springs.
Today, just like 1300 years ago, anyone vacationing in Kinosaki Onsen will change into their yukata after they arrive and remain in their yukata until they leave. Every ryokan in Kinosaki provides their guests with a yukata, this is to help them relax and experience the authenticity of a traditional hot-spring town.

Why Kinosaki Onsen is the best Yukata Town in Japan

If you are wanting to immerse yourself in Japanese culture, and hot springs, then Kinosaki Onsen is a must visit. The town holds true to its cultural roots dating back over a millennium. Just like in the old days, guests clop through the town in wooden sandals called ‘geta’ and are dressed in various yukata. Dressed in this traditional wear they travel along the willow-lined canal that is lit by soft, ambient lanterns. The traditional onsen dress, yukata, and town’s architecture has been preserved over the years as part of the town’s culture and tradition. The safeguarding of these traditions has given the town its charming atmosphere and unique scenes like ones from a historical movie.

Experience a traditional Japanese onsen vacation with

1300 YEARS OF HISTORY

7 onsen experiences in 1 town

Kinosaki Onsen’s first hot spring was discovered over 1300 years ago. Today, there are now 7 hot spring bathhouses located within the town. Each bathhouse has its own unique style, from an ice sauna to bathing alongside a waterfall.
The yukata were also basically made to help you enjoy the hot springs even more. They are easier to slip on and off, they also absorb any excess water your towel didn’t get. Walk from onsen to onsen in your yukata, it’s about a 5 minute walk between each one.
The entire town devoted to the onsen

SACRED “LIFE” SOURCE

of the town

Since the discovery of the town’s hot springs over 1300 years ago, Kinosaki Onsen has treated them as more than just mere water.
They are sacred waters with the ability to heal and rejuvenate. In fact, the first hot spring is said to have been discovered when a stork was seen healing its wounded leg in the waters. Also, there is a story that says the hot spring from Mandara Yu is the result of a priest praying for 1000 days to save the town’s people from suffering.
Because of the legends behind the founding of the hot springs, it was and still is custom for people to visit Onsen-ji, the hot spring temple, to give thanks for the waters and pray that the waters may never wither away.
To the locals, the hot springs are an indispensable source of life for the town. They are an existence of nature; here the hot springs and the people exist side-by-side.

Don a yukata and anyone can

BECOME ONE OF THE LOCALS

Town life coexisting with local tourism

Kinosaki Onsen has welcomed a countless number of visitors, and while some may see it as a tourist destination, it is not. It is a hot spring town and community that just happen to be a popular destination for travelers. Visitors are warmly welcomed into the ‘soto-yu’ (public bathhouses) where local families also gather for their evening bath. Local ‘snack’ bars will invite you to sing along to karaoke with their regular patrons, and local events are open to anyone wanting to join in.

Ryokan

TRADITIONAL ONSEN VACATION HOTEL

The ryokan is a unique style and experience particular to Japan only. There are about 80 various ryokan in Kinosaki to meet a wide variety of needs.
There are ryokan that serve you your meals in your room, ones that serve them in their dining hall, and others that offer simpler stays without meals. However, the meals are an integral part of the ryokan experience. Start with a specialty sake, followed by fresh seafood or some of the highest-grade wagyu beef, with sides of locally grown seasonal vegetables.
Some of the ryokan buildings are also Cultural Properties of Japan.

Snow, sakura, fireworks, autumn colors

THE BEAUTY OF JAPAN’S SEASONS

WINTER -
Snow covered footbridges, scrumptious crab is scooped from the Sea of Japan, 30 minutes away ski resorts welcome skiers from all over and the hot springs feel especially warm.
SPRING -
Rows of cherry blossoms line the canal at the back of town creating a soft tunnel of pink over 1km long in late May or early April. Fireflies flicker to life in June along the same canal.
SUMMER -
Swim in the crystal clear waters at a white sandy beach to the north, fireworks explode in the night sky reflecting their brilliant colors in the river, mountain rivers provide a cool retreat from the heat.
AUTUMN -
Brilliant oranges, reds and yellows spread over the surrounding mountains, cool mountain breezes wash over the open hot spring waters, and energy from fall festivals flood the streets as elaborate shrines “clash” in the streets.
  • kinosaki winter snow
  • kinosaki spring sakura
  • kinosaki summer festival fireworks
  • kinosaki fall colors
skiing, lava flow hikes, sea cave kayaking, castle town

FIND SOMETHING TO DO FOR EVERYONE

Swim in the crystal clear waters of Takeno, kayak out to sea caves, hike an old lava flow, ski down the side of Kansai’s youngest volcano, tour behind and under the stage of a traditional kabuki theatre, walk an ancient castle town in a Kimono and much, much more.

As seen through a local’s point of view

MEET OUR LOCAL EXPERTS

Our site, Visitkinosaki, is filled with information gathered from local experts. Our experts will share with you points about the area that only locals know.