The 7 Most Mystical Onsen in Kinosaki Onsen Town

The 7 Most Mystical Onsen in Kinosaki Onsen Town

Visiting an onsen in Japan is more than just a quick bath. In the heart of Kinosaki Onsen Town, where seven legendary hot springs flow, it's about connecting with a deep, cultural tradition.

As you get into the warm, soothing waters, you engage in an age-old ritual that connects you to the heart of Japanese culture. Each onsen visit becomes a chance to learn about and love the rich history and customs that make Japanese hot springs a truly memorable and special part of life by uplifting the spirit and reviving the body.


Kinosaki Onsen Town


Getting Into the Healing Powers of Kinosaki Onsen

Long before science revealed the healing minerals in natural hot springs, the people of Kinosaki trusted in the mystical powers of their onsen guardian.

The stories are compelling: countless visitors arrived in pain or barely able to walk, only to leave days later, incredibly healed after bathing in these sacred waters. Despite their mineral content, Kinosaki's onsens are known to have something truly exceptional.


Bathing in hot spring of Kinosaki Onsen


Start Your Visit to Kinosaki's Seven Mystic Onsen at Onsenji Temple

As a way to honestly appreciate the onsens of Kinosaki, a visit to Onsenji Temple is a must. Located on a mountaintop, this ancient temple has long served as a gateway to the healing waters below. In earlier times, the hot springs were seen as divine gifts, and access to them was sacred.

Pilgrims would climb to the temple to seek permission from the guardian deity to bathe in these special waters. After praying, they received a “yu-shaku,” a ceremonial ladle that served both as a token of their visit and a pass to the onsens.

Without this ladle, entry to the springs was not allowed. This tradition highlights the deep cultural reverence for the healing powers of Kinosaki's onsens.


Onsenji Temple


Begin Your Holiday At Kinosaki Onsens

Today, while you don't need a ladle or a visit to Onsenji Temple to soak in Kinosaki's onsens, it's still highly recommended. The walk up to the temple is scenic and easy, taking just about 20 minutes. If hiking isn't your thing, there's a gondola that can whisk you to the top. At the temple, you can buy a ladle, which makes for a fantastic souvenir.

When it comes to entering the onsens, you'll need to buy a ticket. Guests at local ryokans or hotels normally receive a pass that covers all seven onsens, included with their stay. If you're not staying overnight, you can still grab a day pass at any bathhouse. With this pass, you will get unlimited access to all seven onsens for the day, letting you soak in the full Kinosaki experience.


Pass ticket of Kinosaki Onsen


The Seven Onsen Bathhouses of Kinosaki

Kinosaki differs among Japan's hot spring towns for having seven public bathhouses, each with its individual type, all within walking distance of one another. If you're eager for a truly cleansing and relaxing day, take on Kinosaki's “Onsen Meguri” or hot spring pilgrimage. This applies to visiting and soaking in all seven bathhouses.

To guide you on your tour, you can buy a map that includes a section for collecting stamps. At each bathhouse, collect a special stamp to mark your visit. You can purchase this stamp book at the Ryokan Information Center near Kinosaki Station for just 50 yen. Additionally, some ryokans offer a commemorative rice scoop or a set of chopsticks to those who complete the pilgrimage. Check with your ryokan for availability and details on these unique keepsakes.

Kono-yu - A Bath of Happiness and Longevity

Kono-yu holds the title of the oldest bathhouse in Kinosaki. Legend has it that its healing waters were first discovered by an Oriental White Stork tending to its injuries in the spring. Positioned away from the bustling main streets, Kono-yu offers a peaceful retreat. Here, you can unwind in the outdoor bath, enveloped by lush greenery and clean, fresh air. This special onsen is celebrated for bringing happiness in marriage and promoting a long life.

Business Info Details
Business Name Kono-yu
Business Hours 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Holidays/Closed Every Tuesday
Distance from Station 20 minute walk
Entrance Fee Adult: 800 yen, Child (12 yrs): 400 yen
Language Support Only Japanese is spoken



Kono-yu of Kinosaki

Mandara-Yu - The Origin of Kinosaki's Hot Springs

Mandara-Yu gets its name from the concept of an enlightened mind. The tale goes that these sacred waters surged forth only after the holy priest, Dochi, devoted a thousand days to continuous prayer. Set against a backdrop of mountains, Mandara-Yu offers two quaint ceramic baths outdoors where you can breathe in the fresh air and soak in serene views.

Known as the first onsen in Kinosaki, Mandara-Yu marks the town's beginnings as a celebrated healing destination. Historical records narrate how Saint Douchi, a priest who journeyed across the country aiding those in distress, arrived in Kinosaki.

Here, guided by a local oracle, he prayed for a thousand days. On the final day, miraculous hot spring water bubbled up. This water quickly gained fame across Japan for its healing properties, eventually catching the emperor's attention.

Impressed by its merits, the emperor honored the temple founded by St. Douchi with the title “Guardian Temple of Kinosaki Onsen,” safeguarding the town and its rejuvenating waters.

Business Info Details
Business Hours 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Holidays/Closed Every Wednesday
Distance from Station 15-minute walk
Entrance Fee Adult: 800 yen, Child (12 yrs): 400 yen
Language Support Only Japanese is spoken



Mandara-yu of Kinosaki



Goshono-Yu - The "Water of Beauty"

Goshono-yu, known as the “Water of Beauty,” is celebrated for bringing luck in love and offering protection against fires. Inspired by Kyoto's Imperial Palace, its architecture is a feast for the eyes. The entrance and lounge are adorned with beautifully painted screens, while the ceiling showcases intricate paintings of Japanese flowers.

Inside, large Japanese Cypress beams support an impressive glass ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows in the bath area.

As you soak in the outdoor bath, you're enveloped by the verdant trees and bathed in natural sunlight. The soothing sounds of a nearby waterfall add to the peaceful atmosphere, creating a perfect setting for relaxation and reflection.

Business Info Details
Business Hours 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Holidays/Closed Thursdays
Distance from Station 12-minute walk
Entrance Fee Adult: 800 yen, Child (12 yrs): 400 yen
Language Support Only Japanese is spoken



Goshono-yu of Kinosaki



Ichino-Yu - Inspired by Kabuki Theater

Ichino-Yu stands out as a beloved bathhouse landmark, with its unique architecture mirroring a kabuki theater. This spot features a soothing cave constructed from natural boulders, illuminated by soft ambient lighting for a peaceful hot spring.

Do visit and find out why it's named “Ichino-yu” (number one bath). This title was presented by a famous doctor of the Edo era who praised the healing effects of the waters after experiencing them personally.

Business Info Details
Business Hours 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Holidays/Closed Every Wednesday
Distance from Station 10-minute walk
Entrance Fee Adult: 800 yen, Child (12 yrs): 400 yen
Language Support Only Japanese is spoken



Ichino-Yu of Kinosaki



Yanagi-Yu - A Sanctuary for Well-being

Yanagi-yu, the coziest of Kinosaki's seven onsens, is renowned for promoting fertility and ensuring safe childbirth. Named after the weeping willows that adorn the street it faces, Yanagi-yu offers a warm and intimate setting.

The bathhouse's interior combines a rustic charm with modern Japanese elements, featuring walls and baths crafted from cypress wood. This inviting atmosphere makes it a perfect retreat for those desiring a peaceful and nurturing experience.

Business Info Details
Business Hours 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Holidays/Closed Every Thursday
Distance from Station 8-minute walk
Entrance Fee Adult: 800 yen, Child (12 yrs): 400 yen
Language Support Only Japanese is spoken



Yanagi-yu of Kinosaki



Jizo-Yu - A Neighborhood Favorite

Jizo-yu is cherished by local families who frequent this bathhouse for a relaxing soak before bedtime. Its specific design is inspired by a Japanese lantern, featuring unique hexagonal windows that mimic the volcanic rock formations of nearby Genbudo Park.

Adjoining the main bathing area, there's a smaller, cooler bath perfect for children. This retro-styled bathhouse combines a sense of community with a touch of local charm, making it a beloved spot for both residents and visitors seeking a peaceful evening ritual.

Business Info Details
Business Hours 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Holidays/Closed Every Friday
Distance from Station 5-minute walk
Entrance Fee Adult: 800 yen, Child (12 yrs): 400 yen
Language Support Only Japanese is spoken



Jizo-yu of Kinosaki



Satono-Yu - Modern and Comforting, Yet Traditionally Soothing

Please note: Satono-yu will be closed for renovations starting April 1, 2024.

Conveniently located right next to the station, Satono-yu offers stunning views from its outdoor bath on the third-floor observation deck. The sauna is infused with aromatic herbs, creating a relaxing atmosphere. This onsen beautifully marries modern design with the classic outdoor bathing experience.

Satono-yu features two different bathing styles: a Western-style Turkish bath and a traditional Japanese bath. These are alternated between men and women, with each side offering both indoor and outdoor baths that provide sweeping views of Kinosaki.

For a quick and refreshing pause, a free footbath is available near the entrance. Enjoy the blend of contemporary amenities and classic onsen culture at Satono-yu.

Business Info Details
Business Hours 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Holidays/Closed Every Monday
Distance from Station 1-minute walk
Entrance Fee Adult: 900 yen, Child (12 yrs): 450 yen
Language Support Only Japanese is spoken



Satono-Yu of Kinosaki