Kinosaki Onsen (spa) town

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.

Wooden slippers just outside the station
Wooden slippers just outside the train station welcoming onsen tourists

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.

People milling about in their spa attire
People milling about in their spa attire

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:

Soaking our feet on the way back
Soaking our feet in one of the town’s foot baths after dinner and wine

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.

Caves near Takena beach
Caves near Takeno beach

We had our first swim in the sea since Cambodia. It was pretty cold but the scenery was beautiful.

View over the Sea of Japan
View over the Sea of Japan

The town was really quaint with lots of little bridges and surrounded by mountains.

Nick feeding the koi carp
Nick feeding the koi carp
Looking towards the hills
Not sure what these little cabins were for, situated on a hill in town.
Nice colours light up the Post Office
Ready to go bathing
Ready to go bathing



  1. Jamunah says:

    Hi Malene & Nick,

    Have awesome time… Your trip looks amazing !!!!

    Lots of Love ,
    From Shyamalan , Sadhikka, Bhavvesh & Jamunah

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