Legend has it that Kinosaki Onsen was found in the 8th century by Dochi-shonin, a Buddhist saint. A willow-lined canal lined with community bathhouses runs through the centre of town.
One of the most famous is Ko-no-yu (hot spring of stork) that legend says was long ago used by storks to heal wounds, which lead to locals building bath houses over these very sites to take advantage of the healing waters. Also scattered throughout town are some beautiful foot baths (ashiyu) and spring water drinking fountains.
The cute little town has retained the atmosphere of “old Japan”, with nostalgic gaming arcades and old-fashioned shops and restaurants. In the evenings guests of the local ryokan stroll about town in yukata (light cotton summer kimono) and geta (wooden clogs), visiting the towns numerous public baths in a tradition known as sotoyumeguri (bath stroll). Visitors staying at a local ryokan can use Kinosaki's seven public bath houses for free between check-in and check-out and in winter visitors can try the local delicay of delicious crab fresh from the Japan Sea!
Access: By train - Osaka and Kinosaki are connected by JR Kitakinki and JR Hamakaze limited express trains. The one way trip takes from 2.5 to 3 hours.
By bus - Zentan Bus operates three round trips per day between Osaka and Kinosaki. The one way trip takes three hours.