You Won’t Regret Taking a Detour at This Japanese Onsen Town
Two days are all you'll need!
Kinosaki is an onsen town that you can travel to if you have two days to spare in your Japan tour. As Kansai’s representative spa resort town, it boasts of a history of more than 1,300 years. There, you can take relaxing strolls, enjoy different crab dishes for lunch or dinner, visit seven onsens, drink in the spectacular view of Daisiyama, and many more.
Follow our two-day itinerary below to make the most out of your trip!
The Otani River, which flows through the town, is lined with yanagi (willow trees). In summer, rent a yukata and take a stroll through the river’s pathways.
Across the train station is the Sato No Yu onsen. There are five foot baths that you can try for free in the onsen town.
At the shopping district by the train station, you’ll come across lots of restaurants and shops that sell fresh seafood.
Day 1 (12 p.m.) - Oshokujidokoro Yamayoshi Restaurant
2/F SOZORO Bldg., 96 Yushima, Kinosaki Cho, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oshokujidokoro Yamayoshi only gets its quality crabs and seafood from a fishery company at Shibayama Port in Kasumi. At the restaurant, you can enjoy more than 15 types of crab dishes throughout the year. Among the must-tries is the Kani Tororo Bowl (¥1,300) which is topped with bits of snow crab, kasumi crab, pounded yam potato, and quail eggs.
Their Kani Tororo Bowl is loaded with crab meat.
A tip: Enjoy it with the restaurant’s homemade sauce and ponzu.
Inside the store are table seats and relaxing Zashiki seats.
The restaurant is located just in front of the station. On the first floor, you can order lunch boxes, like the Crab Sushi (¥880).
Day 1 (1 P.M.) - Yukata Specialty Store Iroha
Yukata Specialty Store Iroha
449 Yushima, Kinosaki Cho, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture
Open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. except for Thursday
Yukata Specialty Store Iroha is a yukata rental and selling shop that people strolling around the town can conveniently visit before or after checking in and checking out at their inns. At the shop, you can rent a yukata, a belt, and other kimono accessories. As part of the experience, the staff will help you dress up in your garments and also do your hair.
The yukata rental is priced from ¥2,160
The shop is right next to the Goshonoyu onsen, and rental is available for both men and women. What’s more, you can also purchase the same yukata you rented if you like.
Day 1 (3 P.M.) - Kinosaki Literary Center KINOBUN
Kinosaki Literary Center KINOBUN
357-1 Yushima, Kinosaki Cho, Toyooka City
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
KINOBUN is a literary center where materials such as the Kinosaki Onsen and other works of related writers are on display. Aside from this, Literature and Theater with Kinosaki Onsen, original works by Genichiro Takahashi , and adopted for the theater by Oriza Hirata as Japanese Literature Prosperous History, played by a theatrical company called Seinendan, is being exhibited until March 31, 2019.
Exhibition on the 2nd floor
The relation between Shiga Naoya and other writers who had written for a literature magazine called Shirakaba with Kinosaki are introduced and explained in books and letters.
You can also enjoy animated projection on manuscript paper and video installations, which express how the novel is interpreted onstage, at the center. There is a free footbath outside the building too.
Day 1 (4 P.M.) - Kobayashiya
369 Yushima, Kinosaki Cho, Toyooka City
Customers may dine-in from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and order a take-out until 10 p.m. The inn has no holidays.
One room for two people (inclusive of meals) costs about ¥12,960 per person.
Kobayashiya is an inn that was first established during the mid-Edo period (around the 1710s). Its building has a total of 13 rooms, including a room that overlooks the Otani River and a room facing the Japanese garden.
It is conveniently located near the outdoor onsen, Ichinoyu, and is perfect for people who want to explore outdoor hot springs.
Superior Room number seven can accommodate two to six persons and has a beautiful view of the Otani River. There are three other rooms that can accommodate two to four persons.
The inn’s building is a three-story lodge facing the Otani River.
Despite the place having a retro atmosphere, free Wi-Fi is available in all of the inn’s rooms.
The Tajima beef shabu shabu (front left) and sashimi dish plate (front right) in the picture can serve two persons. Dinner, made with seasonal ingredients, is offered until the beginning of November (¥21,600 per person).
Dinner starts between 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. You can also ask for a single order in addition to the course dish.
Day 1 (7:30 P.M.) - Ichinoyu
415-1 Yushima, Kinosaki cho, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture
Open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. except for Wednesday
The bath fee is worth ¥600.
Ichinoyu is the representative outdoor onsen of Kinosaki. Its building, which imitates the Momoyama-style Kabuki-za, is impressive. The origin of the name Tenkaichi was based on Dr. Shutoku Kagawa’s review on the mid-Edo period (around 1730) work called Ippondo Drug Selection.
In addition to a spacious public bath, the outdoor onsen also has a cave bath that can heal daily fatigue.
The cave bath looking like made out of hollowed-out natural rocks has a rustic air.
Each of the seven outdoor onsens at Ichinoyu provides different benefits, including inviting luck. It is even believed that if you take a bath at all seven onsens, you will be given seven lucky things.
However, holidays and business hours are different for each of the onsens. So, make sure that you check their schedules before you visit them.
The place is crowded with guests at night.
You can take a stroll at night to admire the unique and charming scenery.
Day 1 (9 P.M.) - Taniguchi Game Center
Taniguchi Game Center
404 Yushima, Kinosaki cho, Toyooka City
Open from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Taniguchi Game Center was established in 1954. There, you can enjoy 10 rounds of shooting game for ¥200 and win a prize according to the number of targets shot.
Note that it can get crowded on weekends. If you want to avoid the queue, we suggest that you go to the center after 10 p.m.
The key is to shoot firmly and stretch your arms slightly downwards.
The center is located along the main street between onsens Goshonoyu and Ichinoyu.
Day 2 (10:30 A.M.) - Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway
Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway
806-1 Yushima, Kinosaki cho, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture
Open from 9:10 a.m. (upward trip) to 5:10 p.m. (downward trip) except for the second and fourth Thursday.
The roundtrip fee costs ¥900.
The Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway connects the onsen town to the top of Daishiyama mountain. It spans a length of 676 meters and an altitude of 231 meters.
Once you get to the top of the mountain, you’ll find an observation deck where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Maruyama River and the Japan Sea. You can also visit the Onsenji Temple during a stopover in between stations.
Spend some time taking in the view of Daishiyama and Kinosaki during the 7-minute ride.
You can buy various souvenirs and postcards at the mountain foot stations. Since the trail is uneven and there are many slopes, make it a point to wear comfortable walking shoes.
The view of the Maruyama River and Japan Sea from the observation deck is magnificent.
Day 2 (10:40 A.M.) - Kinosaki Coffee Miharashi Terrace Café
Kinosaki Coffee Miharashi Terrace Café
806-1 Yushima, Kinosaki cho, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture
Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for the second and fourth Thursday
At Kinosaki Coffee Miharashi Terrace Cafe, you can enjoy your own roasted specialty coffee while relishing the spectacular view offered by the open-air terrace.
Hotdogs, made from Tajima beef and Yoka pork, and dumplings, made from organic ingredients, are also served at the cafe.
Hon Warabi Mochi Parfait (¥550)
The Warabimochi is made by craftsmen using carefully selected hon warabi flour.
The cafe’s Miharashi Dumpling (¥450) comes with an exquisite soy sauce-based sauce.
You can dine at the terrace seats and adjacent plazas.
The cafe also offers baked confections that make the perfect souvenirs for your family and friends.
Day 2 (12 P.M.) - Onsenji Temple
985-2 Yushima, Kinosaki cho, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture
Open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except for the second and fourth Thursday
The temple’s admission fee costs ¥400.
Onsenji Temple is an old temple that was founded in the year 738 by Dochishonin, who likewise established the Kinosaki Onsen. The main hall of the temple is considered the oldest wooden building in Tajima and was designated as an important cultural asset of the country. Every 33 years, the Eleven Faces Kannon Statue is made visible to the public for 3 years. This time, it started from last April. Tourists can visit the temple and take a moment to pray.
The Main Hall of Onsenji Temple
On top of the mountain, you can throw small dishes to drive the evil away.
You can purchase the small dishes at the Miharashi Terrace Café (¥250 for 3 pieces).
Day 2 (2 P.M.) - Souvenir Street Tajima · Tango good stuff shop
Souvenir Street Tajima · Tango good stuff shop
283-1 Imazuji Hieda, Kinosaki cho, Toyooka City
Open from 9 a.m. to 6:50 p.m.
Tajima · Tango good stuff shop sells special products from Toyooka and Tajima · Tango. Various items available at the shop like sweets, sake, seasonings, and crafts make for the best souvenir gifts. Moreover, the store sells several kinds of lunch boxes, including the Kinosaki Specialty, Kani Meshi (¥1,200).
Kinosaki Specialty, Kani Meshi
The fragrant rice mixed with crab paste and seaweed will undoubtedly leave you wanting a second serving.
Kinosaki Specialty Kani Meshi and Sukiyaki Lunch Box
Enjoy a lavish feast of crab meat, crab claws, kani meshi with baked scallops, and rich thick beef sukiyaki all at once with the Kinosaki Specialty Kani Meshi and Sukiyaki Lunch Box (¥1,200).
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kansai Walker (4 June 2018)