Arima Spa in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture is one of the oldest and best hot spring resorts in Japan along with Dogo Onsen Spar in Ehime Prefecture and Shirahama Onsen in Wakayama Prefecture. Arima is about one hour bus ride from Umeda (Osaka), the traffic center of North Osaka. It’s known as an oasis of Osaka and about 1.6 million people visit Arima Onsen every year.
The Arima Travel Bureau is near the bus terminal, and offers brochures and maps in English, Korean and Chinese, and assistants who speak these languages are available there as well. Arima has been a popular resort since the seventh century, but it was renovated as a resort for foreigners several years ago. You can find many foreign visitors strolling around Arima while young Japanese people are seen walking around and eating soybean ice cream or Arima crackers and drinking carbonated soda, especially in March when college students go on graduation trips.
This hot spring looks reddish brown because the water contains iron and sodium. You can drink water from Kinoyu Insen or ‘Source of Gold Hot Water’ which has an effect on the digestive organs.
You can have fun looking at souvenir shops, coffee shops with retro designs, noodle shops, paintbrush shops, Tansan Senbei Cracker shops and sake shops.
You can also soak your feet in warm water or ‘footbath’ for free at Kinnoyu.
Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a military ruler in the late 16th century is said to have visited Arima 15 times with his wife Nene to take baths for medical purposes. As a result, you can find many statues of Hideyoshi and Nene located around Arima Onsen. Nene paid visits to Arima many times as it was believed that Arima’s hot water was effective for pregnancy. But it didn’t work. These statues of Nene and Hideyoshi’s face each other from across the street.
This is a statue of Kappa, a water spirit with a red cap and a white muffler. He looks cold in winter so local people put these on him.
Various kinds of events are held in Arima all through a year. A “cosplay” (costume play) event was held on Feb.3, Bean Throwing Day.