- I have some tattoos, will I be allowed in the onsens?
People with decorative body tattoos are allowed into the seven public onsens in Kinosaki.
However, some accommodations have different rules regarding their own in-house onsens. Whether or not you can use the onsen at your ryokan or hotel is at their discretion, so please check with them beforehand.
- How do I get from the train station to my hotel? Is there a shuttle? How much is it?
You can take a shuttle bus from the train station to your hotel. The bus is free for people staying at a hotel or ryokan in Kinosaki.
When you arrive at the train station, walk out to the front of the station (there is only one entrance) and you will see staff directing people to the buses. Please tell them what hotel or ryokan you are staying at, they will direct you to your shuttle. If you do not see a staff member you can go over to the information counter for help with the shuttle. The information counter is in front of the station, just across the street to your left.
- What are the bus shuttle times?
The shuttle bus does not have an official time schedule, instead it runs in accordance with the arrival and departure of limited express trains.
Generally the bus is available between 12:30pm and 6pm. If you are planning on arriving in Kinosaki later than 5pm we suggest letting your ryokan/hotel know so that they can arrange to pick you up from the station if needed.
There will be staff from the information counter standing in front of the station’s main entrance, they will guide guests to the shuttle bus. Please let them know what ryokan/hotel you will be staying at.
If you can not find staff or the shuttle bus after you arrive, walk out of the station and accross the street. You will see the “Information Counter” will be to your left.
Kinosaki Information Counter staff will be waiting outside the station to greet you and help you to your ryokan.
Hotel Information Counter
If you cannot find staff outside the station cross the street and go to your left.
Here you will find the Hotel Information Counter. There will be staff inside with information on the shuttle.
- Can I use my credit card for purchases?
There are very few businesses that accept credit cards. Japan is still mainly a cash only society.
We suggest bringing enough Japanese yen in cash with you to get you through your travels.
- Is there somewhere where I can exchange my money?
Yes. There is a currency exchange service at Kinosaki Onsen Tourist Information Center “SOZORO”. You can find SOZORO on the right as you leave JR Kinosaki Onsen Station, just accross from the bath house and foot bath of Satono-yu.
Business hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm (Open year round)
Foreign currency accepted: USD, EUR, TWD, CNY, HKD, THB
IMPORTANT: You can only exchange foreign currency into Japanese YEN.
Rates are updated at 12:00pm every day.
Coin transactions are not available.
SOZORO website: http://global.kinosaki-info.com/
- Are there any ATMs where I can withdraw cash?
Yes, you can withdraw Japanese yen from the ATMs located at the post office, and from the 7/11 ATM located at JR Kinosaki Onsen Station.
- Are there any laundromats or somewhere where I can do my laundry?
Some larger hotels offer dry cleaning services to their guests for an additional charge.
There are also dry cleaners located throughout the town, but they take time.
There are some coin laundromats in Toyooka near the station.
- Where can I store my luggage before/after check-in/check-out while staying in Kinosaki Onsen?
If your hotel or ryokan is unable to hold onto your luggage for you, you can leave your luggage at the hotel information counter. The counter is located in front of JR Kinosaki Onsen on the other side of the taxi/bus pool. There might be a small fee for this service.
There are also coin lockers located around the train station.
- Where can I rent a bicycle?
You can rent a bicycle for the day or by the hour from the Kinosaki Information Counter. There are three kinds of bicycles available. To rent a normal bicycle is 400 yen for 2 hours, then 100 yen per hour after that. Or 800 yen for the day. There are also electric bicycles or green Michelin bicycles. These are 500 yen for 2 hours and then 200 yen per hour after that. Or they are 1000 yen for the day. There is no deposit but you do need to show a form of ID (Passport) and contact information for where you are staying in Japan. Bicycle rental is available 9am-5pm.
- We are traveling with children, can I bring my son into the women's onsen or can my husband bring our daughter into the men's onsen?
Yes, small children up to the age of 10 years old may enter the onsen of the opposite gender if it is necessary. We ask that all children are accompanied by an adult at all times.
- Are all the onsens in Kinosaki natural hot spring water?
The seven main public bath houses are natural hot springs. A large majority of the ryokans in Kinosaki also use the natural hot spring waters to fill their onsen or ofuro (communal Japanese baths). However, because of Kinosaki regulations, all hotel and ryokan private onsen baths and rotenburo(outdoor baths) are regular water that is heated.
- What is the weather and temperature like in summer?
Summer in Kinosaki can be hot and humid. Summer like weather is usually from July to mid September. With an average high temperature of 33ºC(91ºF) and low of about 22ºC(71ºF)。The beginning of the summer can be rainy, because it is preceded by the monsoon season.
- What is the weather and temperature like in winter?
Winter months in Kinosaki are usually from December to mid March. Kinosaki does get snow. The snow can be very wet and heavy. It usually snows the most from mid January to late February.
- What is appropriate attire to wear in Kinosaki? Are jeans and t-shirt too casual?
Any attire is really okay, from jeans and t-shirt to something a little more dressed up. But we suggest wearing comfortable shoes good for walking. Also, if you are staying at a ryokan in town, it is highly recommended that you change into the yukata provided once you have checked in. You will notice that nearly everyone staying in Kinosaki are dressed in their yukata instead of their street clothes.
- How much does it cost to stay at a ryokan?
Prices range from about 7,000JPY to 30,000JPY or more per person depending on which ryokan you stay in and if your stay includes dinner and or breakfast. Also, depending on the type of the meal, prices can vary.
- I have a Japan Rail pass, can I use it to get to Kinosaki?
Yes, Kinosaki Onsen Station is located on the Japan Rail (JR) Line.
- Are there any private onsen? I would like to spend some time alone with my spouse.
Some ryokans do offer private baths that you can hire for an extra fee. Please check with your ryokan when booking a stay with them for details.
The public bath houses will not have private baths.
- What do we take or wear to the onsen?
What to wear:
If you are staying at a ryokan, you can wear the yukata and geta provided or your regular clothes if you prefer or if you are not staying at a ryokan.
What to bring:
Bring the onsen pass (you will receive this for free if you are staying at a ryokan) or money for entrance tickets (if you are not staying at a ryokan). Also bring a small towel for washing and pre-drying and a larger towel for completely drying off. You do not need to bring soap, shampoo or conditioner. The onsens will provide you with these.
If this is your first time please see the page on “How to use a Japanese bath>>”
- Is it okay to wash my hair at the onsen? I have really long hair.
Yes, you can wash your hair in the shower area. If you do not wish to wash your hair please tie your hair up or put it into a shower cap. If you have long hair as to where it will touch the bath water when you are sitting down in the onsen baths, please bring something to tie it up. It is considered rude to let your hair touch the bath waters.
- What is a ryokan?
A ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn. These styles originated in the Edo period (1693-1868) and were stopping places for travelers along Japan’s highways. Many samurai and fuedal lords made use of these inns.
The majority of ryokan are located in scenic rural areas and are more difficult to find in large cities like Tokyo.
Most, but not all, typical ryokans feature wooden infrastructures, tatami floors (woven straw mats), sliding doors and guest rooms with small balconies or verandas. They also have communal baths called ofuro, these are usually segregated by gender.
Some ryokan also offer breakfast and elaborate meals called kaiseki with your stay, this is why a stay at a ryokan might seem a little more expensive than your average hotel.
See here for more information on what it is like staying in a ryokan and ryokan ettiquite.
- Where is Kinosaki? How far is it from Kyoto?
Kinosaki is located near the Sea of Japan in Hyogo prefecture’s north. Kinosaki can be accessed easily by train from Kyoto in about 2.5 to 3 hours. (Depending on train times and types. Limited express trains are the fastest way to get to Kinosaki.)
See here for access information.