Soaking in warm relaxing hotspring is something you shouldn't miss during your visit in Japan, and Arima Onsen will give you the authentic onsen experience you're looking for. Located in the mountainside area but also still pretty close from Kobe and Osaka, Arima Onsen is a thousand years hotspring that is also mentioned in Heian Era book titled “The Pillow Book”. Back in Edo Period, Arima Onsen was considered as one of three most prestigious hotsprings in Japan. Today, it is popular among locals who are seeking for some tranquility without having to travel miles away from the cities. While more modern bathhouses are added in the area, traditional onsens are still dominating the area. Now, what kind of charms do Arima Onsen have?
Soak In and Relax in Japan's Oldest Hotspring: Arima Onsen
Kin no Yu
Arima Onsen is famous for its two onsen springs, the largest one is the Golden Spring or Kin no Yu. Kin no Yu is characterized by its yellow-reddish water containing iron and salt. Kin no Yu's water is known for its benefits to cure arthritis, neuralgia, and even it helps you to obtain smooth skin by soaking in the bath for about 15 minutes. You can also dip your feet only in a small ashi-yu spring located right next to the Kin no Yu bath house. It will calm your nerves especially if you have been walking the distance. You can also get the benefits of the gold water.
Gin no Yu
Much smaller than the former bath house is Gin no Yu, located a bit further back in the town. You won't find the gold water, you'll get a clear carbonated water with mild radioactive radium instead. Soaking in the hotspring will helps to boost the metabolism and blood circulation, relieving muscle aches, and ultimately boost the immune system. Inhaling the steam will helps to clear your breathing passage while drinking the water will helps greatly treat gastrointestinal discomfort. Interesting fact is that Japanese people in the past used to fear the water as they believed that the water was poisonous.The Mount Atago and the Totoyamichi trail nearby the spring was known as 'The Hell Valley'. It was until few researchers manage to convince the villagers that the water was actually beneficial for their health, they started to use the water to make ciders, foods, and they even soak in the hotspring.
Goshobo is one of Japanese inn (ryokan) with hotsprings that are also accessible for non-staying guests during the daytime. The bathhouse consist of indoor stone pools separated for each gender where visitors are able to enjoy a 15-minute bath in Arima's renowned Gin no Yu (Gold Water). You can also choose to stay for a night in the inn that will cost you about JPY 20,000 $177. You'll get free access to the hotspring and two meals.
Taiko no Yu
Want to try both Arima's Gold and Silver hotsprings? You should visit Taiko no Yu that is located inside Arima View Hotel. Taiko no Yu is a modern-style bathhouse that provide not only indoor baths, but you can also choose the outdoor one. Each baths combined both Arima's hot water doubling the health benefits you will get. After soaking in, visitors can go to the onsen museum in the area to see a replica of the historic Arima Onsen. Taiko Yu also provide their visitors with various facilities, such as souvenir shops, restaurants, and massage services.
The Maple offer Arima's hotspring with a little touch of European spa. The guests can soak in the large spring baths. There are also sleeping baths where you can lie down in the water in horizontal position. There is also a sauna for those who would prefer to enjoy the steam bath. If you're planning to stay overnight, you can choose either the Japanese-style rooms, Western-style rooms, or the tatami rooms with Western beddings. The Maple is also one of the best inn that serve the best Kobe beef dishes.
Kinzan is not only the best inn to stay in Arima, it is also boast one of the best gold water bathhouses. The inn guests are free to choose the two large-sized baths or the open air bath. The inn also offer two kind of rooms with different architecture styles. The first one is traditional Japanese ryokan-style, while the other one is Western-style rooms. Kinzan is also one of few inns in Arima that offer luxurious kaiseki menu for dinner.
How to Get Tickets?
Walking around Arima is obviously free of charge. However you do have to pay certain amount of money if you're planning to enter Arima onsen bathhouses or inns.
How To Get Around?
Attractions in Arima Onsen are located near each other, you can easily reach each attraction on foot.
What Should I Wear?
There's no rules regarding of how you should dress when visiting Arima Onsen. Wear comfortable clothes and a pair of walking shoes or boots since you'll walk a lot.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Arima Onsen are in October when the Fall season begins in Japan. The weather will be much cooler and pleasant, it is a perfect moment to soak in the hotspring too!
Will I Need a Guide?
No, it is easy to navigate around Arima Onsen. All informations about the attractions are also provided in this website.
How To Get There?
You can take any means of public transportations to reach Arima Onsen. If you're going there by train, you can take the subway to Tanigami Station from Shin-Kobe Station. Next, take the Shintetsu Arima-Sanda Line to Arimaguchi. Hop into Arima Line with destination to Arima Onsen Station. It will cost you about JPY 740 from Shin-Kobe Station and JPY 930 from Sannomiya Station. You can also take the bus instead, by taking a direct bus from Sannomiya Station to Arima Onsen.There' s also a JR Bus service that operate highway buses departing from Shin - Kobe Station to Arima Station.Arima Onsen is also located few meters away from Mount Rokko, you can easily reach the area by taking a ropeway or cablecar service provided from the mountain.