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Arima Onsen Add-On

Recommended Length: 3 days/2 nights / Best Access: Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe
Arima Onsen Details

Arima is a famous onsen town within the city limits of Kobe, but on the opposite side of the Mount Rokko mountain range from the city center. Located among steep 350 – 500m mountains, the narrow and winding streets lined with old traditional-style shops and restaurants run through the old town, and the intricate terrain grants the town a unique atmosphere. Even though the town lies in a natural mountain setting, it is close enough for Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto residents as an easy and popular day trip or weekend getaway.

Arima is blessed with three types of very different and unique waters not typically found at other onsen around Japan: one type of “Kinsen” (gold spring) and two types of “Ginsen” (silver spring). The Kinsen contains high levels of iron and salt which, when oxidized by the air, gives the hot spring a “golden” reddish-brown color. The water is said to help chronic joint and skin diseases such as neuralgia and arthritis. The Kinsen is also popular among women as it helps keep the skin moisturized and prevents the limbs from feeling cold. The two types of Ginsen are a colorless carbonic spring water, and a natural and mildly radioactive radon spring water. Carbonic springs are best known for their ability to boost blood circulation and the metabolism, help with the removal of lactic waste and eliminate edema. The colorless and odorless radon spring water contains minute amounts of radon and releases small doses of radioactivity which is beneficial to the body, promoting cell activation, boosting the immune system and relieving muscle aches and fatigue. When ingested, the Ginsen’s water can help treat gastrointestinal discomfort. When inhaled, it can help relieve suffering from bronchial diseases.

Arima Onsen is only a 30 minute drive from Sannomiya station, the main train station in Kobe, to the onsen. The central part of the town is small enough to walk around, and has a number of narrow streets lined with older, traditional Japanese style homes, shops and restaurants giving it a unique feel. And the small public bath houses add to the atmosphere.  Arima Onsen does tend to be a little more expensive but it is well worth it.

Arima Onsen Map
Sights in Arima

Onsenji Temple

In ancient times, before enjoying the hot springs, visitors were required to visit the temple.

Kin-no-Yu

Open: 8:00 to 22:00 (Admission ends at 21:30)
Closed: 2nd and 4th Tues each month (Wed if Tues is a holiday), Jan 1
Admission: 650 yen
Located at the center of town, Kin no Yu is the larger of Arima Onsen’s two public bath houses. It features two indoor “gold” water baths of varying temperatures for each gender. Outside the bath house there are a free foot bath (ashiyu) and a drinking fountain fed by thermal waters.

Gin-no-Yu

Hours: 9:00 to 21:00 (Admission ends at 20:30)
Closed: 1st and 3rd Tues each month (Wed if Tues is a holiday), Jan 1
Admission: 550 yen (Gin no Yu only), 850 yen (Gin no Yu and Kin no Yu)
Gin no Yu stands further back in the town, and is the smaller of Arima’s two public bath houses. It has one large indoor bath for each gender, featuring the clear, “silver” water.

Taiko-no-Yu

Hours: 10:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:00)
Closed: Small number or irregular closing days
Admission: 2400 yen (2600 yen on weekends and during holidays)
Part of the Arima View Hotel, the Taiko no Yu is a large modern hot spring facility, featuring a wide variety of indoor and outdoor baths filled with both of Arima’s waters. It includes a replica of a historic bath found at the onsen museum, large pots and fragrant saunas. In addition, there are massage services, restaurants, shops and rest areas.

Goshobo

Daytime Hours: 11:00 to 14:00
Closed: Weekends and public holidays
Daytime Admission: 1650 yen
Overnight Stay: From 23,000 yen per person including 2 meals
Goshobo, one of Arima’s oldest ryokan, opens its baths to non-staying guests during daytime. Its main baths are atmospheric indoor stone pools for each gender, filled with Arima Onsen’s famed “golden” hot spring water.
Arima Onsen Photo Gallery
Side Trips

Arima Onsen Ropeway/Mt. Rokko

From the Rokko Arima Ropeway, which connects the top of Mt. Rokko with Arima Onsen in about 12 minutes, passengers can enjoy close-up views of the dynamic beauty of Mt. Rokko, where nature’s expressions change as the seasons turn.

Mount Rokko, at 931 meters (about 3050 feet) is the highest peak in the Rokko mountain range, which provides the pleasant green backdrop to the city of Kobe. Panoramic views of the heavily urbanized Hanshin region (Kobe and Osaka) can be enjoyed from the mountain and are particularly spectacular around sunset.

Various small tourist attractions can be found on Mount Rokko, including a botanical garden, a music box museum, a pasture with flowers and sheep, Japan’s first golf course and Rokko Garden Terrace, a tourist complex with a few restaurants, shops and an observation deck.

A circular bus line (running in clockwise direction only) connects the various attractions with the top stations of both the Rokko Cablecar (going to central Kobe) and the Rokko Arima Ropeway (going to Arima Onsen).

For something different, you can take the cablecar, bus and ropeway from Kobe to Arima Onsen (or reverse). From Sannomiya or Hankyu Umeda Stations, take the Hankyu Kobe Line to Rokko Station. From there it is a ten minute bus ride on bus number 16 to the base station of the Rokko Cablecar. The cablecar ride up the mountain takes 10 minutes. From the top of the cablecar, it is a 25 minute bus ride to the top of the ropeway. There are numerous places to stop along the way between the two stations.

Pricing

From Kyoto

Travel Time: 90 Minutes
With JR Rail Pass: ¥65,778 per person based on double occupancy
Without JR Rail pass: ¥65,778 per person based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: ¥21,926

From Osaka

Travel Time: 60 Minutes
With JR Rail Pass: ¥71,259 per person based on double occupancy
Without JR Rail pass: ¥71,259 per person based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: ¥21,926

From Kobe by cablecar and ropeway via Mount Rokko

Travel Time: 60 Minutes
With JR Rail Pass: ¥65,778 per person based on double occupancy
Without JR Rail pass: ¥65,778 per person based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: ¥21,926

Inclusions

  • Bus tickets from Kyoto or Osaka
  • Recommended bus schedule
  • Detailed itinerary and directions
  • Appropriate number of nights at the Arima Grand Hotel with breakfast and dinner