The World Economic Forum, an international organization involved in improving the world economy through educational, political, and business development strategies, has recently named Japan as the number 1 country encouraging travel and tourism development. With an index score of 5.2 and the global average score being 4.0, Japan is making notable strides in preparing to welcome back tourists through campaigns, multi-language support, and health and wellness measures.
As a celebration of this achievement, Visit Kinosaki is happy to share travel ideas unique to the Kinosaki area as we continue the preparations to welcome back inbound visitors.
Check out our list of recommendations below. We can’t wait to see you soon!
#1 Onsenji Temple Hot Spring Therapy Origins Tour (Kinosaki Onsen)
With an English-speaking guide, hike up the staircases from the foot of Mount Daishi to Onsenji Temple, Kinosaki Onsen’s guardian temple with over 1,300 years of history. Together with your guide and a temple monk, learn about the ancient tradition of paying one’s respects to the guardian temple before entering the seven mystic hot springs of Kinosaki, and experience the traditional method of honoring the hot springs for yourself.
Afterwards, ride the Kinosaki Ropeway visit the summit of Mount Daishi with your guide. Relish in the Michelin-starred view of Kinosaki Onsen below and try your hand at disc-throwing. Hitting the target is a sign of good fortune.
#2 Oriental White Stork Observation Tour (Toyooka)
Together with an English-speaking guide, visit the Hachigoro Toshima Wetlands in Toyooka, a wetland sprawling over 3.8ha and registered as a wetland of international importance with the Ramsar Convention. Observe storks in their natural habitat, coexisting peacefully amongst humans and fellow organisms that call these wetlands home.
Afterwards, visit the Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork and see storks up close amongst the green backdrop of Toyooka. Enjoy an English-language documentary about the local preservation efforts of the Oriental White Stork. After a visit to the local Morizu and Fukuda rice fields, enjoy a lunch consisting of Stork Natural Rice made with love by the locals.
#3 Geo Stand Up Paddleboarding (Takeno)
Set sail on a paddleboard and traverse the crystal clear blue waters of Takeno, a retro seaside town north of Kinosaki. With the instruction of a certified local guide, find your balance, stand up, and float around to the hidden gems dotting the coastline of Takeno.
Appreciate the local wonder of Hasakari Rock, a fallen stone that saved itself from the waters below by wedging itself in between two slabs of rock. Venture to the mouth of Monster Cave, created when an ogre smashed a piece of the coastline and tried to steal it for himself.
#4 100% Buckwheat Soba-Making Activity (Izushi)
Affectionately referred to as “Little Kyoto,” the castle town of Izushi located south of Kinosaki is a treasure trove of not only historical sites, but also local cuisine. The most famous of Izushi’s food scene is without question Izushi Sara Soba, buckwheat noodles served on five small plates.
Create your own Izushi Sara Soba under the guidance of an experienced soba craftsman. Using 100% pure buckwheat, learn every detailed step of creating Izushi Sara Soba from the very first stage of grinding the buckwheat in a traditional stone mortar.
After kneading, stretching, and cutting your dough, savor the fruits of your labor with a luxurious spread of soba you created along with Japanese soup stock called dashi, daikon (radish), grated yam, wasabi (Japanese horseradish), spring onions, and raw egg.
#5 Volcanic Rock Trekking (Kannabe)
Teeming with ski resorts, waterfalls, and mountains (one being an inactive volcano), the scenic highland town of Kannabe south of Kinosaki is an adventure enthusiast’s ideal playground.
One of Kannabe’s many unforgettable experiences is volcanic rock trekking, a favorite with the locals. Retrace the footsteps from a time long forgotten while trekking on a lava flow formation which erupted from Mt. Kannabe about 25,000 years ago.
Choose from a 3km or 6km roundtrip course, and together with a guide follow the hardened lava flow to hidden waterfalls and other magnificent natural wonders.
#6 Fields of Flowers (Tanto)
The homey farming village of Tanto, a 1.5 hour car ride from Kinosaki, offers a scenic country getaway, ideal for the traveller with a more tranquil respite in mind.
In the spring and summer, enjoy endless fields of flowers against a backdrop of green forests and blue skies. Spring welcomes the arrival of over 1 million tulips in a rainbow of colors, and during summer Tanto welcomes visitors to admire the beautiful scenery of over 500,000 sunflowers.