After Kyoto we really wanted to go somewhere relaxing with nothing much to do. Enter Kinosaki, a small town where you don’t even have to get properly dressed… You can walk around town and even eat dinner in restaurants wearing your yukata (cotton kimono), wooden slippers and nothing else.
The town has 7 onsen (spa) houses each offering a mix of indoor and outdoor ‘pools’ with water from hot springs. The settings range from rock garden, waterfall and caves to a rooftop pool and wooden hot tub.
Much is made of the onsen etiquette but in a nutshell you basically strip naked in the changing room and wash yourself thoroughly in the shower area before getting into the bath (there are separate areas for women and men). You can wear your towel on your head if you want or if that feels a bit silly, you just leave it on the edge. And then you relax…
For obvious reasons we don’t have photos from inside the onsen. Here are a couple from the outside:
We stayed in a simple ryokan which provided us with the yukata, slippers, towels etc. Miki, the owner asked if we wanted join him on a short drive to the seaside one morning.
We had our first swim in the sea since Cambodia. It was pretty cold but the scenery was beautiful.
The town was really quaint with lots of little bridges and surrounded by mountains.