Favourite Places in Japan: Kinosaki Onsen

Continuing with my posts about favourite places in Japan (see my post about Ichigaya), I’m going to write a bit about another – Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉). These days Kinosaki is a part of Toyooka (豊岡) city, but when I first visited back in 1993 (when my wife was based nearby on the JET Programme) it was its own town.

Kinosaki is located next to the impressive Maruyama river and squeezed in between the surrounding mountains. You get a great view from the top of the cable car.

Running through the middle of Kinosaki is a river with some attractive bridges and willow trees (it’s a shame that they can’t bury the telephone and other cabling).

The local (single-track) railway line also has to cross the river.

However, the main attraction of Kinosaki is its onsen (hot springs). It’s great being able to walk around the town in yukata and going to the different onsen (and of course many of the ryokan or hotels also have their own onsen). My favourite place to stay in Kinosaki is Mikuniya (the staff also speak excellent English if you cannot speak Japanese).

If you get your timing right, you may be able to take in a fireworks display in the town during the summer.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to bring Kinosaki into my book Japan: The Basics and it’s yet to feature in any of my novels, but it may well appear in a future one (probably number four in the Iwakura Series). However, Kinosaki did get a mention in my book Shinkansen and also in Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash as the father of one of my friends, who is from Kinosaki, died in the plane crash (and this one one of the reasons why I decided to research about JL123).

As well as Kinosaki itself, there are plenty of other sites to visit nearby – such as the Kei beach, Takeno beach (where there is also a great fireworks display), the Kinosaki Marina, and the caves at Gembudo.

One of the caves at Gembudo

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