The word “onsen” – as in Kinosaki Onsen – means “hot springs”. Kinosaki is known throughout Japan for its long history as a hot spring town, catering to travelers, visitors, and tourists alike. There are many hot springs in Kinosaki, but the most famous are the seven public hot springs. Strolling through the beautiful, timeless and pedestrian-friendly streets of Kinosaki in yukata and sampling the seven famous hot springs is a favorite activity of all visitors to Kinosaki Onsen.
Conveniently located next to Kinosaki Station, Satono-yu features many different saunas, Jacuzzis and outdoor baths. The male and females sides change daily between Japanese and Roman style, so be sure to try more than once.
A short walk up the road from Kinosaki Station is Jizou-yu, named after a Buddhist deity that watches over children. The waters of Jizou-yu are said to bring safety and prosperity for family. The building was designed to resemble a Japanese lantern. Jizou-yu features bathing facilities with high ceilings and a modern interior.
Named for the willow trees which line the streets of central Kinosaki, Yanagi-yu is the smallest public hot spring in Kinosaki and has a very traditional and homely atmosphere. Its waters are said to bring good luck for birthing healthy children. Conveniently located in central Kinosaki, it is popular with both locals and tourists.
Renovated in 1999, Ichino-yu contains many modern, indoor bathing facilities as well as outdoor hot springs in a cave-setting. The hot spring waters are said to bring success in school and good fortune for safety while traveling. Located in the center of town, this hot spring has come to symbolize Kinosaki.
The newest of the seven public hot springs in Kinosaki, Goshono-yu is also one of the largest. The waters are said to bring good luck for finding a marriage partner and preventing fires. The outdoor hot springs face a waterfall, making for a very beautiful and relaxed setting.
Set back from the main road, Mandara-yu offers a very quiet and traditional hot spring experience. The waters of Mandara-yu are said to bring prosperity in business and agriculture. The outside architecture (carefully reconstructed in 2001) is one of the most impressive of the seven public hot springs.
The first bathhouse in Kinosaki, Kouno-yu has very impressive outdoor facilities. According to legend, storks use to bathe in the marsh waters that once existed in the area for their healing properties. It is also said that the waters of Kouno-yu provide longevity and happiness in marriage.