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A trip to Japan shouldn’t leave out a trip to one of their hot springs and we guarantee you that the experience will A out to be the highlight of your trip. This article will introduce the best 10 hot spring places in the Kansai region.
* Generally the Kansai region includes the prefectures of Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, and Shiga
1. Arima Hot Springs（Hyogo)
Said to be the oldest in Japan, Arima Onsen is right in the middle of Mount Rokko and it takes about 30 minutes by train from Kobe Sannomiya. Here the spring water is sourced from the cracks within the bedrock and the salt content in the water is the highest in Japan, which is great for those that are looking for a way to relax their body. The temperature in this region is lower than the city’s, so in summer, this region is flooded with visitors from Kansai that want to seek refuge from the heat wave in the cities.
Arima, Kita Ward, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture：http://www.arima-onsen.com/
2. Kinosaki Hot Springs（Hyogo)PIXTA
Kinosaki hot springs that has a 1300 year history, spans wide at the side of Otanigawa River that runs through the town. This hot spring area comes with a breathtaking view. Here you can dress up in yukatas and Japanese wooden clogs and walk around town and since the locals here are very willing to help you redress your yukata if it ever gets loosen halfway. Besides the wonderful baths here, getting to wear traditional Japanese clothes and walking around town in any one of their 7 walking routes, sounds like a trip not to be missed!
Kinosaki Onsen Guide http://www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp/
3. Ako Hot Springs（Hyogo)
From the olden times, Ako has always been a salt-producing area. Hence, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to know that the hot springs here have a high salt content. If you have the chance, you should stay over at one of their hot spring resorts that over look the Seto Inland Sea and enjoy some of the fresh seafood that has been caught from the nearby waters. This would be a perfect hot spring area to go to after you have gone to see the world heritage, Himeji Castle.
Ako Onsen Japanese Inn Association http://www.ako-onsen.com/english.html
4. Yumura Hot Springs（Hyogo)
Yumura Onsen started off as a hot spring area 848 years ago and the hot water from the springs here are at 98℃! The water here includes sodium bicarbonate and it will make your skin smooth and silky after a soak. As this area is blessed with a lot of hot springs, the water here is not only used for bathing but also for cooking and other daily chores. It will take about 4 hours from Osaka or Kobe by bus but even though the trip takes that much of a time, it is worth visiting this area and its beautiful hot spring towns.
Yumura Onsen http://www.yumura.gr.jp/ (Japanese Only)
5. Totsukawa Hot Springs（Nara)
Totsukawa Onsen, located deep in the mountains of Kii Peninsula, is a very famous hot spring area but coming here is not that easy. The fastest way to get here would be to take the Kintetsu Limited Express to Yagi station from Osaka Namba station and the train ride will take about 30 minutes. At Yagi station, you’ll have to board a bus and the ride will take 4 hours. Kumano Kodo is located within the area, so this hot spring area would be a perfect stop to make after a whole day of walking and sightseeing, to get refreshed.
Totsukawa Mura Guide http://totsukawa.info/joho/totsukawa_onsen_gou/2totsukawa_onsen.html (Japanese Only)
6. Kurama Hot Springs（Kyoto City）
This hot spring area is located right in Kyoto, Japan’s most famous and popular tourist spot. Since the Edo period, people have flocked all the way here to Kurama Onsen for the hot springs for health and relaxation purposes. The waters here are cloudy and sourced from a sulfurous spring. From Demachiyanagi station, take the Eizan Electric train to Kurama station for about 30 minutes and there is also a shuttle bus that will bring you to the hot spring area. Do come and enjoy Mount Kurama and its sightseeing spots besides the hot springs here.
Kurama Onsen http://www.kurama-onsen.co.jp/index_e.html
7. Kawayu Hot Springs（Wakayama)
Hop onto a bus from JR Kii-Tanabe station for a 1 and a half hour ride into the mountains, where Kawarayu Onsen is. The outdoor bath here is called Senninburo, and the best time to come to enjoy it would be from November to February. The hot water comes from the bottom of the river and its temperature goes up to more than 70℃. But not to worry, when you soak in the river, the temperature is at a comfortable degree as it has mixed with the river’s cool water. Come here for a different outdoor bath that is relaxing.
Kumano Hongu Guide http://www.hongu.jp/en/onsen/kawayu/
8. Yunomine Hot Springs（Wakayama)
Yunomine Onsen has had a history as long as 1800 years and here we have the world heritage 「Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range」 and part of this world heritage site includes a coed bath, Tsuboyu. The bus from JR Shingu will take you into the mountains where the hot spring area is and the ride will take about an hour. When you are here, you would notice that the town’s activity revolves mainly around the hot springs. Don’t miss out on this place if you are ever around to visit Kumano Kodo.
Hongu, Tanade, Wakayama Prefecture
9. Nanki Shirahama Hot Springs（Wakayama)
At the tip of Kii Peninsula lies a white sandy beach. This beautiful place is easy-to-access and well loved by people from Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Plus, this hot spring area has had a long 1300 year history. The outdoor bath by the sea provides a wonderful view. This outdoor hot spring experience will leave you wanting for more.。
Nanki Shirahama Guide http://www.nanki-shirahama.net/
10. Nanchikatsuura Hot Springs（Wakayama)
With the JR Limited Express, it will probably take 3 to 4 hours to get to Kii-Katsuura. At the southeastern side of Kii Peninsula lies Nanchikatsuura that is a famous fishing port and a saw tooth coastline that offers visitors with great views.。As this area is really close to the south entry way to Kumano Kodo, we definitely recommend you to come here after touring around the world heritage site.
Nanchikatsuura Guide http://www.nachikan.jp/en/