Visit Kinosaki Onsen

A cozy hot spring town renowned for its hot springs and atmosphere

ABOUT KINOSAKI ONSEN

Welcome to Kinosaki Onsen, one of the most charming hot spring towns in Japan.

A famous and popular hot spring destination for over a millennium.
The cozy atmosphere and 7 natural hot springs draw people in from all over looking for the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Three photos. One overlooking the willow-lined Kinosaki river, one of the front of Yanagi-yu onsen, and one of the hustle and bustle of the streets of Kinosaki outside Ichinoyu Onsen. All three photos are nighttime shots

The wonderfully-preserved architecture and authentic hot spring ambience can be seen and experienced along every street and alleyway. Listen to the rhythmic and calming clip-clopping of visitors' geta (traditional wooden sandals) as they stroll along the softly lit streets of Kinosaki Onsen.

  • 2.5 hours from Kyoto

    Kinosaki Onsen is conveniently located just 2.5 hours by train from Kyoto and 3 hours by train from Osaka. From either city, travelers can take a limited express train directly to Kinosaki Onsen Station. Very close to Kinosaki Onsen are beautiful beaches, a historical castle town, and adventurous highlands.

    Getting here
  • 1300 years as a popular hot spring destination

    Kinosaki Onsen has maintained its serene atmosphere and authentic old Japan allure for over 1300 years through its well-preserved architecture and onsen culture. Stroll along the willow-lined canal in a traditional yukata (light cotton kimono) and listen to the clip-clopping sounds of your geta echoing down the softly lit streets.

    More about Kinosaki's history
  • 7 tattoo-friendly public hot springs

    Seven hot springs are dispersed throughout town and are all within walking distance of one another. Each one has its own unique style and history. Most local ryokan and other accommodations include a ticket that gives you access to all seven for free with your stay. Alternatively, a day pass can be purchased if you aren't staying the night.
    It is also worth mentioning that all seven of the public bathhouses allow people with tattoos of any size, color, or shape.

    See all onsen
Three pictures: a stone bridge over the willow-lined Kinosaki river, people in colorful Yukata strolling the streets of Kinosaki, and crowds of people in colorful Yukata inside an old-fashioned Showa-style arcade

One of Japan’s most photogenic hot spring towns,
filled with nostalgia and old-world charm.

The town’s intimate ambience radiates romantic old-world charm. Arched footbridges crisscross over the town’s gently-sloped river, providing the perfect backdrop for photos. Much of the town’s architecture is well preserved and the traditional style of the town has been protected over the centuries. Wooden ryokan stand watch over the streets with a gentle glow from their rooms and silhouettes of guests can be seen people watching from their room.
One quiet street at the back of town takes you under the moss-covered cherry blossom trees and to a small shopping square.

A woman in colorful Yukata strolling past a traditional Japanese manor wall
People in colorful Yukata walking along the cherry-blossomed line river of Kiyamachi
Scenic shot overlooking Kinosaki river. People in colorful Yukata in the background
The back alley of Kinosaki. Traditional wooden styled buildings and blooming flowers
Kinosaki Onsen river and stone bridges during heavy snowfall

A quiet walk down Kiyamachi Street

This tree-lined lane that runs along the canal in Kinosaki Onsen's backroads sees less traffic and provides beautiful backdrops that are great for postcard-like photos.

Night cherry blossoms along Kiyamachi Street

Cherry blossoms line a kilometer-long lane along the canal, creating a soft pink canopy.

Evening stroll along the willow-lined canal

Street lamps gently light the way at night, Kinosaki’s most magical time.

Backstreets and alleyways with views

Wander up and down the narrow backstreets and alleyways. These secret streets hide charming scenery.

A winter wonderland covered in white

Snow covers the stone-arched bridges and the town in a soft white blanket, creating an ethereal sight.

  • A closeup of a buddhist statue sitting inside the dark and atmoshperic Onsenji Temple

    Onsenji Temple

    Visit the guardian temple of the hot springs and learn about the mysterious lore behind the temple’s kannon statue.

    Details
  • Japanese Elementary school children playing in the sakura blossoms as they walk to school along the cherry blossom lined riverside of Kiyomachi street.

    Community with tourism

    Kinosaki Onsen is not just a tourist town, it is home to families who have lived and run many local businesses for generations.

    Details
  • A couple looking over Kinosaki river, standing on a stone bridge

    Ryokan stay in Kinosaki

    Experience pure Japanese culture and wonderful hospitality at one of Kinosaki’s over 74 ryokan.

    Details

Relax in the 7 public hot springs, all of which are tattoo friendly.

It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk through Kinosaki Onsen from one end to the other at a leisurely pace. Along the way you will pass by all seven public hot spring bathhouses, each with its own charm and offering a relaxing soak.

Konoyu's outdoor bath

KONO-YU

Features:
Outdoor garden bath

Details
The doorway entrance to Konoyu One of Konoyu's covered pagoda-styled outdoor baths
The exterior of Mandara-yu Onsen at twilight, with it's green tiled roof and moody exterior lighting.

MANDARA-YU

Features:
Outdoor ceramic barrel bath

Details
The small green and red outdoor baths of Mandara-yu Onsen The showering area of Mandara-yu. Visitors wash here before entering the onsen
Goshonoyu Onsen's open and expansive outdoor baths. Maple tree branches hang over the pools.

GOSHONO-YU

Features:
Full-scale open-air bath
Waterfall in the background

Details
Goshonoyu Onsen's exterior entrance at sundown. Lilypads cover the small ponds to either side of the entrance. Goshonoyu Onsen's bathing area, looking from the inside outwards. The forest lines the back of the bathing area, giving a sense of seclusion
Ichinoyu Onsen's exterior. The large beige stone building, with it's black tiled roof is impressive

ICHINO-YU

Features:
Indoor cave bath

Details
Ichinoyu Onsen's interior bath, surrounded by stones, gives the impression it is in a cave. It is filled with steam Ichinoyu Onsen's interior bath, filled with steam. Outside the window you can see the other cave-like interior bath
Yanagiyu Onsen exterior, moodily light at twilight with yellow lanters. A willow ('Yanagi' in Japanese) covers the entrance to the onsen.

YANAGI-YU

Features:
Cypress wooden bath
Free footbath out front

Details
Hot water flows out a wooden funnel into the pool at the corner of one of Yanagiyu Onsen's interior baths The wooden interior baths of Yanagiyu Onsen
The large round modern outdoor bath of Jizoyu Onsen

JIZO-YU

Features:
Separate kid-friendly area with cooler bath temperatures

Details
A large group of people in colorful yukata walking and talking around the entrance of Jizoyu Onsen The large interior washroom of Jizoyu Onsen, it has tiled floors and walls and also baths.
The modern tiled interior baths of Satonoyu Onsen at daytime. The decoration and ornamentation of the baths makes it seem almost gothic

SATONO-YU

Features:
Aromatic herb sauna
Observation deck with outdoor bath
Free footbath out front

Details
The steamy interior bathroom of Satonoyu Onsen Nightime photo of Satonoyu Onsen exterior. Footbaths outside the entrance are lit by yellow light and covered by a tiled Japanese style v-shaped roof. The door to the onsen is a circle.
Three photos: a woman target shooting at a nostalgic Showa-era arcade, A couple sitting on a bench in Yukata drinking Ramune, and a nightime shot of droves of people strolling the Kinosaki Onsen streets in their Yukata

Yukata Sozoro Aruki

Visitors of all ages can be found strolling leisurely throughout the town in beautiful yukata and geta. This strolling is sozoro aruki, a Japanese term meaning to walk leisurely and with no apparent aim.
This is a long-standing tradition of Kinosaki Onsen. From around dusk to dawn you will see more people in yukata than not. These yukata-clad onsen goers add to the traditional atmosphere of this cozy hot spring town.
While strolling through town, you can stop at various souvenir shops, cafes, and retro arcades in between soaks in the hot springs. Have a refreshing ice cream, relax in a cafe, or try your hand at an old Japanese arcade game.

A traditionally intimate stay

Kinosaki Onsen has over 74 ryokan, many of which are family owned and have been running for generations. They each value the importance of Japanese tradition. When staying in a ryokan you will experience pure Japanese culture, tradition, and outstanding hospitality called omotenashi.
With a wide variety of ryokan, it is easy to find one to fit your needs and budget. When booking, speak with your ryokan about special meal requests, like vegetarian dinners, or ask if they have a reservable private bath.

A shot of the dense shrubbery of Nishimura Honkan's Japanese garden
A private ryokan bath, filled to the brim and complete with colorful flowers floating above the water
A woman in a colorful pink floral yukata sitting, being served her meal by ryokan staff
Ryokan staff setting up a futon for yet-to-arrive customers

Beautiful gardens

Some ryokan have gardens, ranging from classically simple to beautifully extravagant. They are designed with Japanese aesthetics and philosophical ideas in mind, highlighting the natural landscape and seasons.

A private ryokan bath

Many ryokan have their own in-house hot spring style baths. Some also have reservable private baths.

Meals served with care and attention

Meals will be served either in your room or in the dining hall. Ryokan are devoted to using primarily local ingredients.

Japanese style futon beds

An attendant will lay out and put away your futon while you are away. These futons are simple and very comfortable.

Three photos: 3 futons laying on the tatami floors of a ryokan room, ryokan staff bowing in farewell to leaving customers at the ryokan exit, and ryokan stuff cleaning up a meal after customers have eaten

Kinosaki Onsen ryokan

Beautiful buildings that hold on to traditional Japanese architectural styles line the streets of Kinosaki Onsen. Each one with its own charm, and every last one with outstanding service. You can search for your perfect stay through this site by clicking the link below. Be sure to make your stay complete with a kaiseki dinner, a traditional Japanese banquet-style meal.