Kinosaki Onsen Resort / Vol. 1

By Kikki - Last updated: 土曜日, 3月 31, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Willow trees standing along The Ohtani River is the symbol of Kinosaki Onsen


Kinosaki (城崎町) was a town located in Kinosaki District, Hyogo Prefecture. The town is a popular hot spring resort at the north part of Hyogo Prefecture. It is on the west side of the Maruyama River flowing into the Sea of Japan, and the town is along the Ohtani River, a small tributary of the Maruyama River. On April 1, 2005 Kinosaki, along with the towns of Hidaka and Takeno, all from Kinosaki District, and the towns of Izushi and Tanto, both from Izushi District, was merged into the expanded city of Toyooka and no longer exists as an independent municipality.

Kinosaki is famous as a resort area, with Onsen based in its natural hot springs. In 1913, the writer Naoya Shiga came to Kinosaki and stayed there for three weeks. Kinosaki provided inspiration for his short story, Kinosaki ni te or “In Kinosaki”.

Readily accessible by rail, this fascinating center attracts thousands during holidays to luxuriate in the spas fed by geothermal sources below the town. Groups of visitors can be seen wandering the streets in ‘Yukata’ cotton kimono accompanied by the characteristic clicking of ‘Geta’ or the traditional wooden clogs one can see lined up in the entrance halls of the hotels.

A feature is the fountains in the square where mesh bags of eggs can be immersed and boiled while you wait. There are several small ponds of running hot water where one can sit by the edge of the road and relax while soaking one’s feet. A ropeway at the far end of the street take visitors to the lookout or one can walk there.

It is said that a wounded stork was found first, which healed the wound here in the 7th century.

In 717, high priest Douchi visited here. To help people with bad disease, he performed ascetic training here for a thousand days. Then new hot spring gushed in 720. It is current “Mandara-yu” hot spring, and Kinosaki hot spring resort was opened at that time.

In the popular hot spring ranking list made in the 19th century, Kinosaki hot spring was ranked the second of western Japan, after Arima Onsen resort. Many hotels and Onsen inns are on the both side along Ohtani River. And many willow trees are by the river, and the scenery is the symbol of Kinosaki.

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For travelers from overseas

As a certified guide-interpreter in English and also a writer of the website “Cool Japan Guide”, I am very happy to introduce ‘Kinosaki Onsen Resort’ in Hyogo Prefecture. If you have something to ask, like to make reservation, or need English speaking tour guide when visit there, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your kind cooperation, I am looking forward to your contact.

Please Contact Us/お問合せ

Introduction of the specialist for Onsen design


If you like to build a real Japanese style hot spring facility in your country, I would like to introduce one of the best Japanese architects, Mr. Hiroshi Ebisawa, who is the author of a technical book ‘ONSEN’ specialized in design for Japanese Style SPA. The bilingual book written in Japanese-English is published by Rikuyosha Co. ( which is available at most bookstores in Japan.

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