10 Kobe Onsen Resorts Perfect for a Relaxing Day Trip

Japan has a long established tradition of cleansing both the mind and body by immersing oneself into the soothing natural waters of hot spring or 'Onsen'. Whilst many people may have heard of famous Onsen spots like Oita or Hokkaido, the city of Kobe located in Hyogo Prefecture contains quite a number of high quality luxury onsen. We've assembled a list of 10 highly recommended Kobe onsen resorts that are perfect for day trips and overnight stays alike.


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1. Kobe Minato Onsen Ren

Newly opened at the end of 2015 in central Kobe, Kobe Minato “Ren” Onsen is Hotel La Suite’s new brand of onsen/ryokan hybrid resort. Minato Onsen features a ‘gensen’ onsen bath, which is a type of Japanese spa fed by a natural geothermal spring. It also has a large outdoor spa which allows you to relax while you soak up Kobe’s beautiful ocean views. The spa facilities are accompanied by a Japanese hot stone sauna (ganbanyoku) for maximum relaxation. Additionally, the resort is also equipped with a gym and a pool and is therefore recommended for anybody seeking to treat themselves to a little bit of luxury.

2. Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers

Opening its doors recently in 2014, Kobe Bay Sheraton is another hotel that takes advantage of the natural hot springs located deep beneath its surface to create an authentic Japanese ‘gensen onsen’. The high quality of the onsen waters and the relaxed, mature atmosphere will have you feeling highly rejuvenated after visiting. The hotel also makes its onsen available to day trip customers in the case that your schedule doesn’t permit an overnight stay.

3. Hotel New Awaji

Sumoto Onsen located in Awajishima is an onsen resort that offers a stunning panoramic view of the ocean. Whether it be the sight of the sun rising up over the sea in the morning, the unbroken view extending to the horizon during the day or the beautiful sparkle of the starlight on the waves at night, Hotel New Awaji never fails to dazzle you with the splendor of its scenery as you relax in its onsen waters. 

4. Hotel de Maya

From Hotel De Maya's natural spring-water fed Jacuzzi, you can enjoy what is deemed to be one of the three best night view's in all of Japan. The hotel is situated on the Kikuseidai outlook atop Kobe's Mount Rokko, affording visitors what is often called the 'ten million dollar view'. This is a reference to the approximate amount of money spent on electricity in a single day in the sprawling urban landscape that is visible from the hotel's outdoor jacuzzi, which allows couples to enter together in their bathing suits for an extra romantic experience. Hotel De Maya is also equipped with a large indoor onsen and day visits without a reservation at the hotel are also possible.

5. Arima Onsen Gekkoen-Korokan & Yugetsusanso

Arima Onsen Gekkoen-Korokan and Yugetsusanso are partnered resorts located in Kobe's esteemed onsen town 'Arima', which is situated behind Mount Rokko. As a visitor at either Gekkoen or Kouroukan, you'll be able to make use of the spa facilities at both of the resorts which include large indoor onsen baths and outdoor spas. Additionally, the remote mountain locale means that you'll be able to enjoy beautiful views of nature while relaxing in your onsen bath. Both of the resorts offer a taste of traditional Japan that typifies the quaint nature of the Japanese style 'ryokan' hotel.

6. Shimahana

Shimahana is the perfect base to launch your very own Awajishima onsen tour. The luxury hotel supplies a glass bottom boat which can be used at your convenience to shuttle back and forth between the various famous onsen on the island. Some of these include The Hotel New Awaji onsen mentioned previously in our list, and the Yumesenke onsen. This makes Umi Hotel a great spot for those who want to get the most out of their onsen holiday.

7. Arima Grand Hotel

Arima Grand Hotel is a long standing onsen resort in Kobe’s renowned Arima onsen town. In the hotel’s outdoor roof spa, you can bathe in waters that come directly from Arima’s Kinsen (golden water) and Ginsen (silver water) natural hot springs. Equipped with an aqua terrace, pool and fitness center as well as an amazing five different types of sauna, Arima Grand is the epitome of luxury. In addition, during April and May female customers can enjoy an exclusive ‘bath of a thousand roses’ in the outdoor spa.

8. Maple Arima

Maple Arima is an onsen resort with a stylish bar attached. Enjoy a free drink after relaxing in their bubble-bath onsen which promises to leave your skin beautiful and your tired muscles feeling massaged. The hotel also comes equipped with a sauna and 7 types of different onsen in total, ensuring you a relaxing reprieve from your busy travels. 

9. Kobe Harbourland Onsen Manyo no Yu

Harborland Onsen is conveniently located near JR Kobe Station and offers both day-trip and overnight accommodation options. Part of the fun of this hotel is that they offer you a wide selection of yukata (casual Japanese summer garment) so you can pick a color and style to match your tastes. The hotel has a wide variety of facilities to enhance your relaxation including a ganbanyoku stone sauna and hot yoga classes.

10. Taikou no Yu

Taikou no Yu is a resort in Arima that offers 26 different types of hot springs for customers to enjoy. In this respect, it is often considered to be a sort of ‘onsen theme park’ where visitors can explore the history of Japanese onsen bathing. It houses baths fed by the local Arima Kinsen  (gold water) and Ginsen (silver water) natural hot springs, as well as a Ganbanyoku stone sauna and a ‘carbonic acid bath’ whose waters are thought to provide many health benefits. The resort offers accommodation and has a restaurant which serves a particularly tasty Sukiyaki dish made with Japanese Black Wagyuu Beef.

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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