When visiting Kobe, there is only one must-go spot when you need a day to relax and visit numerous hot spring in the area. You can never go wrong when you visit the ever-popular Arima Onsen, one of the oldest hot spring towns in Japan. This spot is remarkably known for its array of golden hot springs and beautiful mountain scenery perfect for a day of relaxation.
Some visitors would sometimes opt to Hakone in the Kanto area, but this one in Kansai area is a pretty precious hot spring spots in Japan.
THE TALE OF ARIMA ONSEN
The Arima Onsen is one of the oldest, discovered nearly 1300 years ago. And surprisingly, unlike other hot springs, the Arima is not a volcanic one. According to the Ministry of Environment of Japan, Arima Onsen has 7 out of 9 natural components recognized for onsen curative effects. This feature totally differentiates Arima Onsen from other onsen around Japan.
For a brief background, there are only two types of hot springs that exists – Kinsen and Ginsen. Kinsen is gold water with brown color and iron deposits while the Ginsen is silver water that contains radium and carbonate. Both these types of hot springs are believed to cure skin ailments, muscle pain, and other various muscle and joint ailments.
ACCESS TO ARIMA ONSEN
From Osaka, take a quick 1-hour ride. If you are from Kobe, go to Sannomiya Bus Terminal and purchase the JR Kousoku bus ticket that goes directly to the Arima. Additionally, you can take the express bus from Shin Osaka and Shin Kobe bus terminals.
The following are some fun ways on how to enjoy your Arima Onsen trip.
SHOP AROUND THE ARIMA CITY CENTER
Right when you arrive in Arima, you can explore the downtown Arima and the city center. There are some sake stores, gift shops olden shop, and local soda cracker shop around then. In the downtown, there is also the Arima River and a walkway in the middle to help you stroll around the area.
CHECK IN AT TAKETORITEI MARUYAMA
This Taketoritei Maruyama ryokan, a tradional Japanese inn, awaits you with its hospitality. Guests will receive yukata, a casual style kimono, after checking in before you relaxed all your might.
TRY THE FAMOUS CARBONATED CRACKER
You should never leave Arima without having to try their famous carbonated crackers called Tansan senbei. This is a famous local soda cracker as it uses the carbonated hot spring water from Arima as an ingredient with additional ingredients like butter, egg, etc.
VISIT ARIMA KAGO
Arima Kago is a traditional bamboo handicraft shop and is the only manufacturer of bamboo crafts. It has even won the Outstanding Performance Award at the World Exposition. When you visit here, you can tour around and observe the manufacturing floor that generation of professionals have been using for centuries. They also manufacture tea tools and flower vases and other living ware items such as baskets, lunch boxes, and more.
RELAX AND ENJOY HOT BATHS
There are a lot of water baths that you can choose from the Arima area.
KIN NO YU
Kin no Yu is located the center of town and opens from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM with the admission fee of 650 yen. It has two indoor Kinsen water baths, an outdoor bath house and drinking fountain fed by thermal waters.
GIN NO YU
Gin no Yu has an admission of 550 yen and stands further back in the town. It has one large indoor silver water bath.
TAIKO NO YU
The Taiko no Yu is part of the Arima View Hotel and has a much expensive admission of 2400 yen. It has a large and modern hot spring facility that includes a historic bath. Plus, there is also an array of massage services, restaurants, shops, and rest areas.