Discover the Top 10 Hidden Spots in Kinosaki Onsen

Shisho Shrine photo via VisitKinosaki

Insider recommendations to enjoy like a local

After hot spring-hopping and enjoying an exquisite ryokan meal, travelers to Kinosaki Onsen can enjoy the town like a local by visiting these ten spots:

1. Walk the backroads of Kinosaki?

Yu no Yama Park photo via VisitKinosaki.com
Yu no Yama Park photo via VisitKinosaki.com

All visitors are familiar with the main willow-lined canal street, but some of Kinosaki’s less-traveled roads also provide beautiful views. Visitors can stroll down Kiyamachi Street and see gorgeous cherry blossom trees at the beginning of April. Be sure to trek up to the hidden views at Yu no Yama Park and the red torii gates at Benten Shrine in Benten Park.

2. Relax at a cozy café

Cafe by Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash
Cafe by Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash

Kinosaki Onsen is full of modern, stylish cafés that can help you relax even more during your stay. One of these cafés is OFF. Kinosaki, which first opened in 2018 and became an instant hit with locals and tourists alike. Stop here for a lunch plate with all local and organic ingredients or a scrumptious dessert.

3. Pray at Shisho Shrine

Shisho Shrine photo via VisitKinosaki
Shisho Shrine photo via VisitKinosaki

Visit Shisho Shrine, the guardian shrine of Kinosaki Onsen that is said to house the deity that protects the hot spring town and its people. During the warmer months, worshippers can cleanse themselves in a flower-filled chozuya (water pavilion) before paying their respects to the enshrined gods while appreciating the colorful blooms floating alongside their hands.

4. Collect hot spring stamps

Guests participate in a “stamp rally,” as it’s known in Japanese, by purchasing a pamphlet with a map and hopping to stamp collection sections at various accommodations in town. One will find a special stamp for a said pamphlet at each bathhouse. Some inns offer the chance to get a commemorative gift for completing this hot spring pilgrimage.

5. Enjoy some local sweets and snacks

strawberry daifuku photo by chotda via Flickr cc
strawberry daifuku photo by chotda via Flickr cc

Kinosaki’s streets offer many different types of sweets and snacks. For sweets, some local favorites include creamy cheese tarts from Yuagari, limited edition strawberry daifuku from Minatoya, and ice cream from Itaya. At Tajimagyu Delica Chaya, try a Tajima gyuman, a bun filled with Tajima beef, or a kaniman, a bun filled with crab.

6. Soak in the town’s footbaths

Within Kinosaki Onsen, there are 5 footbaths throughout town: outside of Satono-yu, outside of Yanagi-yu, near Ichino-yu, near the Ropeway, and outside of the Kinosaki Literature Museum. Free to use, these footbaths are perfect for refreshing tired feet. The Kinosaki Literature Museum offers gentle handbaths as well!

7. Observe the fish markets

Crab Market photo via VisitKinosaki
Crab Market photo via VisitKinosaki

As Kinosaki Onsen is close to the Sea of Japan, fishermen sell their catches to the fish markets and eateries in town. The area is especially known for winter snow crabs. One shop, Okesho Fish Market, was established in 1925 when the current owner’s grandmother began selling fish to support her family. Choose from any one of the fresh fish on sale on the first floor and Okesho will prepare and serve it to you upstairs.

8. Hike up Mt. Daishi

Onsenji Temple photo via VisitKinosaki
Onsenji Temple photo via VisitKinosaki

Mt. Daishi presents a hiking course through the lush forest in the back of town with a dense tree canopy and little stone guardians. Visitors can hike 15 minutes up halfway to Onsenji Temple or 45 minutes to the top of the mountain. The hot springs in the town below provide a great place to rest afterwards.

9. Bike to the Genbudo Caves

Genbudo - Basalt Caves and Park photo via VisitKinosaki
Genbudo – Basalt Caves and Park photo via VisitKinosaki

Rent a bicycle from the SOZORO Kinosaki Information Center, located right across the street from Kinosaki Onsen Station. Ride across the Maruyama River to reach the Genbudo Caves in about 20 minutes. Genbudo is a sight to behold, with 5 caves made of columnar joints formed over 1.6 million years ago.

10. Explore one of the nearby towns

Toyooka’s Retro Architecture
Toyooka’s Retro Architecture

Kinosaki Onsen has much to offer, but we would also recommend visiting one of the nearby towns. The area is home to Izushi, the historic castle town; Takeno, the retro beach town; Toyooka, a downtown hub home to bag-making and the Oriental White Stork; Kannabe, the green highlands; and Tanto, the quiet countryside.

Follow Out of Town Travel Blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest if you want more travel and tech-related updates.

Read:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.