April 23rd (Fri) - 24th (Sat)

Onsen (Hot Spring) Festival 2021

Every year on April 23rd and 24th, a festival is held to commemorate Douchi Shonin, a Buddhist monk who is the founder of Kinosaki Onsen. This festival, called Onsen Matsuri (meaning Hot Spring Festival), is held on the anniversary of the monk’s death. In 717 AD, Douchi Shonin received a vision which told him to pray for the local people’s health for 1,000 days. After he did so, it is said that a hot spring shot up from the ground, creating Kinosaki Onsen.

The Buddhist monks from Onsenji, the temple where visitors often come to show their gratitude to Douchi Shonin, walk around town to each of the seven public onsen to pray for safety and prosperity of Kinosaki Onsen. It is a very special occasion to witness!

Over the course of two days there are processions by the monks of the various temples in town to each hot spring bath to pray to Douchi Shonin. During this festival you can also get discounts on tickets for various attractions and museums in Kinosaki Onsen, as well as free entry to three of the public onsen: Jizo-yu, Yanagi-yu, and Mandara-yu. At the end of the night, there will be fantastic fireworks over the canal!

Friday, April 23rd
10:30- Procession of monks between onsens | Shisho Shrine ~ each public bath
15:00-18:00- Waku Waku Treasure Hunt | Shisho Shrine
18:30-21:00- Lantern-decorating (write one’s thanks to the founder of Kinosaki Onsen on a paper lantern) | Shisho Shrine
21:00- Fireworks | Bridge near Jizo-yu

Saturday, April 24th
10:00- Mourning Prayer for Onsenji Temple Founder | Ryokan Association ~ each public bath
12:00- Buddhist Memorial Service in front of Douchi Shonin’s grave | Onsenji Temple
12:40- Buddhist Memorial Service | Onsenji Temple
21:00- Fireworks | Bridge near Jizo-yu

Both Days (Friday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th)
9:00-16:30- Viewing of the rare Jūichimen (11-Headed) Kannon Bodhisattva | Onsenji Temple
9:00-16:00- Kinosaki Ropeway Discount (adults 500 yen, children 250 yen; Onsenji Temple & Kinosaki Art Museum shared 300 yen admission fee)
9:00-16:30- Kinosaki Art and Literature Museum (Bungeikan) Entry Discount
10:00-16:00- Kinosaki Straw Craft Museum Entry Discount
7:00-23:00- Free Entry to Jizo-yu
15:00-23:00- Free Entry to Yanagi-yu
15:00-23:00- Free Entry to Mandara-yu