Arima Onsen is a lovely onsen town located a few minutes away by train from Kobe. It has a rich history and is one of the 3 ancient Japanese springs, along with Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama and Shirahama Onsen near Wakayama.
If you are visiting Kobe City or if you happen to be in the Kansai region, make sure to visit Arima Onsen.
Before we start this virtual tour of the city, let me first give you some tips on transportation and accommodation.
How To Get To Arima Onsen
As is often the case in Japan, the most convenient means of transportation is the train. If you’re going to Arima Onsen from Kobe, it will take you about 30 minutes to get to the town’s train station. It takes about an hour if you’re traveling from Osaka. Here is an example of a route you can follow from Sanomiya station to Kobe.
To check train schedules in Japan, visit Hyperdia. As you can see, you have to change train lines in both Tanigami and Arimaguchi. The double arrow sign next to Shin-Kobe means that there is a change of line but you actually stay on the same train.
Arima Onsen Ryokan
As you can imagine, there are some great ryokan in the city of Arima Onsen. You can, of course, travel to Arima Onsen during the day and spend the night in Kobe or Osaka but I really recommend you to spend the night in Arima Onsen to enjoy its ryokan and nightlife! 🙂
One of the most beautiful traditional inns in the city is Tosen Goshobo. It goes without saying that it has all the characteristics of traditional ryokan with, of course, beautiful onsen!
If you are looking for more Japanese traditional inns in Arima Onsen, make sure you also read this article: Ryokan Kobe.
The Hot Springs Of Arima Onsen
As you leave Arima Onsen’s train station, you notice almost instantly the “onsen vibe” around. As soon as you enter the city, just lean over the first bridge you come across, you’ll see spring water flowing under your feet!
You will probably notice that the water has some sort of a yellowish color to it. It is because of the iron and salt in it. It’s called the “golden spring”, by the way.
The town has also more transparent water that comes from a “silver spring” and has different characteristics and benefits.
As you stroll around the city, you will also come across ashyu, which are basically feet baths. You’re free to use them as you like so make sure to take off your shoes and bathe your feet for a few minutes. It’s actually really enjoyable, especially after a long day of walking! 🙂
If you’re not going to be staying in a ryokan in Arima Onsen but would love to slip into a great onsen, you can go to Kin No Yu (exact location). You can choose between the golden spring onsen (Kin No Yu) and the silver spring one (Gin No Yu). Kin No Yu is open from 8 AM to 10 PM. It can cost between 550 and 650 yen ($5 to $6) depending on the type of onsen.
By the way, if you want to know what are the dos and don’ts when you go an onsen in Japan, feel free to read this blog post: Onsen Etiquette.
Try The Tansan Senbei
Tansai Senbei is one of Arima Onsen’s culinary specialties. It is a kind of thin cake made of flour, with a slightly sweet taste. They are prepared on the spot because the first bite is supposed to be tender, the second crunchy. Japanese people have an eye (and a passion!) for detail.
You can also buy Tansai Senbei packaged as a souvenir or simply to offer as a present.
Visit Arima Inari Shrine
If you want to get away from the city and visit Arima’s hills, make sure to visit the Arima Inari Shrine, which is a few minutes walk from the city center. You may know that all sanctuaries containing the word “Inari” are dedicated to the kami (god) of foxes. Other examples are the Fushimi Inari in Kyoto or the Sasuke Inari in Kamakura.
However, there are lots of steps to climb but once you’re there, there’s a charming temple to be discovered and a breathtaking view of Arima Onsen to be enjoyed.
Last Tip: Get Lost in Arima Onsen!
The purpose of this blog post is to briefly introduce you to Arima Onsen and inspire you to go there. Of course, there are many, many more great places to visit there. So feel free to wander around this beautiful onsen city. It’s not a big city but it has a lot to offer. 🙂
Our trip to Arima Onsen is over, guys! Did you like it? Will you be visiting it on your next trip to Japan? Let me in the comments below. 🙂
See you later friends,