Strolling The Kinosaki Onsen Town In A Yukata

Strolling The Kinosaki Onsen Town In A Yukata

Kinosaki Onsen Town is famous for its seven hot springs, but there's something equally wonderful about walking around this cozy town wearing a yukata. To really get the feel of Kinosaki, you should be strolling the Kinosaki onsen town during the day and night, only wandering around.

The Japanese call this "Sozoro Aruki"; walking just to walk. There's no set plan or destination; you're just there to soak in the sights and sounds, enjoying the simple pleasure of moving at your own pace through this friendly place. It's a unique way to see and fall in love with the town, feeling like you're part of its slow, relaxing rhythm.


Kinosaki Onsen Town


A Walk Among Locals In Kinosaki

Walking through Kinosaki isn't just about the famous hot springs; it's also about the community. Home to over 3,500 people who live their everyday lives here; shopping for groceries, working, and going to school—this town is much more than a tourist spot.

The friendly locals are always ready to welcome visitors from all over Japan and the world. Don't be surprised if school kids cheerfully say "good morning" as they head to school, whether they know you or not. It's this genuine warmth that makes a visit here feel like you're part of the neighborhood, even if just for a weekend.


Local school kids in Kinosaki


Riverside Views and Timeless Traditions

Take a walk down Station Street to the iconic river lined with willows. This is the place where you'll really fall for the vibe that makes the town so well-loved. As you head there, you'll probably spot a few people dressed in yukata. Standing on the arched stone bridges, known as "taiko-bashi," you'll see even more, especially after 4 pm when the evening brings everyone out.

While it's perfectly okay to walk around in your usual clothes, wearing a yukata adds something special to your visit. Without one, you may feel a little like an outsider and miss out on the full magic of the hot springs and the town's atmosphere.


Strolling the riverside in yukata


Beyond the Onsen, Exploring Yukata Culture

In Kinosaki, your stay isn't limited to your room or the bath. When you check in, you'll be given a yukata to wear throughout your visit. This traditional garment, originally meant as a bathrobe for the onsen, has evolved into a beautiful outfit suitable for wearing out and about-even to informal events like festivals. Here, the yukata is more than just pajamas; it's a way to fully enjoy the town's lifestyle.

All the local shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions are yukata-friendly. You can shop for unique onsen souvenirs, play games at a retro arcade, or even ride the gondola up the ropeway to take in a spectacular view, all while wearing your yukata.

Not staying in a ryokan or hotel but still want to join in? No worries. Kinosaki's only yukata specialty boutique, located near Goshono Yu, one of the seven bathhouses, is your go-to. It's open most days from 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM, with a break between 6 PM and 8 PM, and they welcome walk-ins.

The shop aims to keep the town's yukata tradition thriving, a tradition that dates back over 1,300 years with the discovery of the hot springs here. As modern trends change, fewer young locals wear yukatas regularly.

However, the boutique, IROHA, plays an important role in maintaining and celebrating this beautiful part of Kinosaki's heritage, offering visitors a unique way to enjoy and contribute to the town's picturesque setting.


Yukata boutique and rental shop in Kinosaki


A Season for Every Stroll, Kinosaki Year-Round

You can enjoy a walk through the town at any time of the year. The yukata, with its light and airy fabric, is perfect for the warm breezes of spring and summer. When it gets colder, and the hot springs seem even more inviting, you can still wear your yukata.

Just layer it with a warm coat, and you're all set to go out even when the town is covered in snow. This way, you can enjoy the charm of Kinosaki in every season, feeling comfortable and stylish.