HOME Kansai Hyogo Arima Onsen, Mt. Rokko Arima Onsen: Top 5 Onsen in Japan's Oldest Hot Spring Village! (+Ryokan Guide)
Arima Onsen: Top 5 Onsen in Japan's Oldest Hot Spring Village! (+Ryokan Guide)

Arima Onsen: Top 5 Onsen in Japan's Oldest Hot Spring Village! (+Ryokan Guide)

Date published: 6 December 2019
Last updated: 10 February 2021

Arima Onsen is a hot spring town in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, and one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. Located about an hour out of Osaka, the area is a famous tourist spot in the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe area.

The natural hot spring water welling up from the earth contains 7 of the minerals considered by the Ministry of the Environment to have medicinal properties. The chance to enjoy both the iron-containing reddish-brown "Kin-sen" (gold water) and the colorless, radium spring water "Gin-sen" (silver water) is one of the pleasures of Arima Onsen.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Kin-no-Yu Bath: Mellow 'Gold Water' Bath With a Long History!
  2. 2. Gin-no-Yu: Feel Your Skin Become Soft and Smooth from Arima Onsen's Transparent Water!
  3. 3. Taketori-tei Maruyama: Enjoy a Private Onsen Soak Right in Your Ryokan Room!
  4. 5. Hyoe Koyokaku: Wide Assortment of Onsen, All In One Place!
  5. 6. Tocen Goshoboh: Favored by Notable People of Culture
  6. Other Recommended Ryokan in Arima Onsen

1. Kin-no-Yu Bath: Mellow 'Gold Water' Bath With a Long History!

1. Kin-no-Yu Bath: Mellow 'Gold Water' Bath With a Long History!

"Arima Onsen Kin-no-Yu" is a public bath with a long history as Arima's original hot spring bath. The baths here use "kin-sen" (iron-containing strong saline spring water). The bath was renovated in 2002 due to the deterioration of its predecessor "Arima Onsen Kaikan" public bath.

Among the baths inside are "Ichi-no-yu," designed using bamboo crafts traditional to Arima Onsen, and "Ni-no-yu," themed on the colorful red leaves of the Zuiho-ji Park famous as an autumn foliage viewing spot in Arima.

Both the men's and women's baths are constructed with granite and have a solemn and profound aura. The spaciousness of the 29-square meter facility is also an attractive feature.

Ichi-no-yu, with bamboo images on the walls
Ni-no-yu, red even down to the crimson-colored towels

The exterior is a simple, Japanese design that blends in with the rest of the onsen town. Located outside of the building is a foot bath corner where you can rest your feet during your walk around the onsen and a place for drinkable onsen water, both of which you can enjoy for free.

2. Gin-no-Yu: Feel Your Skin Become Soft and Smooth from Arima Onsen's Transparent Water!

2. Gin-no-Yu: Feel Your Skin Become Soft and Smooth from Arima Onsen's Transparent Water!

At Kin-no-Yu's sister facility public bathhouse Gin-no-Yu, you can enjoy the transparent gin-sen "silver hot spring" bath.

Matching the surrounding town area and its many shrines and temples, with elements like the temple belfry-inspired design of the bathing room, the exterior is a simple and neat example of traditional Japanese style construction.

The bright and airy bath is full of a clean and fresh feeling, with its high ceilings and light streaming from outside. This bath is popular, especially among women, for the slippery-smooth quality the water gives your skin after you bathe. Kin-no-Yu is right nearby Gin-no-Yu, so be sure to visit both and compare the different hot spring water qualities.

3. Taketori-tei Maruyama: Enjoy a Private Onsen Soak Right in Your Ryokan Room!

3. Taketori-tei Maruyama: Enjoy a Private Onsen Soak Right in Your Ryokan Room!

"Taketori-tei Maryama" is a peaceful and quiet ryokan Japanese inn located atop a plateau in Arima Onsen. With its design of modern elements incorporated into traditional Japanese style, the inn provides a space as restful and relaxing for Japanese guests as it is for international guests.

The baths use Arima Onsen's famous kin-sen and gin-sen water. Aside from the spacious large bathing area, there are also 4 private outdoor baths surrounded by bamboo thickets where you can relax with a sense of privacy.

There are several different types of rooms to choose from, including Japanese style rooms, suites with an in-room hot spring bath, Japanese/Western-style mixed suites, Western-style rooms, and more.

Recently, to accommodate guests' comfort unaccustomed to sleeping on a futon on the floor, rooms with beds have also been added. The many amenities, such as humidifying air purifiers, LCD televisions, air conditioners, and Wi-Fi, make for attractive features.

Despite being located in the Rokko Mountains, the onsen town still has convenient access to Kobe and Osaka, so mountain-grown ingredients are plentiful. The inn's creative meals use abundant seasonal ingredients and are pleasing to the eye as well, and the food is praised for bringing joy to those who visit.

5. Hyoe Koyokaku: Wide Assortment of Onsen, All In One Place!

5. Hyoe Koyokaku: Wide Assortment of Onsen, All In One Place!

"Hyoe Koyokaku" is a veteran Arima Onsen ryokan with 700 years of history and tradition. It stands atop a plateau overlooking the Arima Onsen town at the north base of Mr. Rokko. The location is convenient not only for touring Arima hot springs but also for Kobe sightseeing and visiting the outlet malls in Sanda City.

Inside, you will find three different types of large bathing areas - the Japanese style "Ichi-no-yu," with a beautiful gridded ceiling and prominent outside view; the Roman bath styled "Ni-no-yu"; and "San-no-yu," which is a half-open air bath.

Each bathing area has an outdoor and indoor bath so that you can enjoy a great variety of bathing experiences. The unique reddish-brown kin-sen water, which looks like dissolved iron rust, is used in each bath.

The inn's meals consist of dishes incorporating soft and flavorful Kobe beef, an abundance of local Hyogo Prefecture seafood, and other seasonal, luxury ingredients. Inn staff are proficient in English, Chinese, and other foreign languages.

The inn prides itself on its thoughtful customer service, so consider staying here for a blissful experience that will satisfy both your body and soul.

  • Hyoe Koyokaku
    • Address Kita-ku Arima-cho 1904, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-1401
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    • Nearest Station Arimaonsen Station (Kobe Dentetsu-arima Line)
      11 minutes on foot

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    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

6. Tocen Goshoboh: Favored by Notable People of Culture

6. Tocen Goshoboh: Favored by Notable People of Culture

"Tocen Goshoboh" is Arima's oldest hot spring inn, established in the 12th century. At the time, it was known as "Yuguchi-ya." Still, at the end of the 14th century, general Ashikaga Yoshimitsu stayed at the inn, and it, therefore, was given its present-day name with the term "gosho," meaning "imperial palace."

General Toyotomi Hideyoshi of the Sengoku era also was fond of Arima Onsen. When he built the Yuyama-goten there, he donated 13 stones to the inn, and it was moved to its current location beside the Takikawa River.

Since the Meiji era, famous Japanese writer Jun'ichiro Tanizaki featured the ryokan in one of his novels, and Eiji Yoshikawa, the author of several historical novels, also stayed here.

"Tocen Goshoboh" is also mentioned in poet Yosano Akiko's works. With its popularity among those and many other intellectuals, the inn is a dream come true for literature lovers.

Of the baths where you can enjoy the extravagance of ever-flowing Arima hot spring water, the slightly unusual "han-konyoku", or half-mixed gender open air bath is one of the inn's unique features. There is a divider but no wall, so men and women can enjoy sharing the same space.

Goshoboh also provides guests with food that, instead of focusing on a glamorous appearance, is full of simple and rustic charm, using vegetables and rice from private farms. Each and every dish is an exquisite taste of local Hyogo cuisine, like Tajima beef and seafood caught in Akashi Bay.

Text by:copyz

Other Recommended Ryokan in Arima Onsen

  • Arima Onsen Koki
    • Address Kita-ku Arima-cho 1401, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-1401
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    • Nearest Station Arimaonsen Station (Kobe Dentetsu-arima Line)
      12 minutes on foot

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    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

  • Arima Gyoen
    • Address Kita-ku Arima-cho 1296, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-1401
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Arimaonsen Station (Kobe Dentetsu-arima Line)
      29 minutes on foot

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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