Series “Selected Hot Springs in Japan” – Arima Onsen
Arima Onsen (onsen=hot spring) has a long history, and is one of “Three Ancient Springs of Japan.” We will introduce you to some ryokan (Japanese-style inn) and townscape of a valley hot spring that touch the heart of the traveler, in Kobe-City, Hyogo Prefecture.
History of Arima Onsen
Arima Onsen is mentioned in ancient Japanese documents, and since the 6th century, it is said that emperors have stayed there. Later, famous Buddhist monks and leading daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi and others have visited the hot spring many times, and it has always been known to be Japan’s best spa. Litterateurs seem to have been motivated for creation, and the name of Arima Onsen is mentioned in several Waka poems and novels. Enjoy strolling through Yumotozaka Street, where old townhouses still remain, as you give some thought to the onsen’s history.
The ingredients of Arima Onsen
The ingredients of Arima Onsen can broadly be categorized into two types: “Kinsen” (gold spring) and “Ginsen” (silver spring). Kinsen is a ferruginous, high sodium concentration, high temperature spring, and is reddish-brown colored. It is high in sterilizing and moisturizing effects, which give you a good complexion. At Arima Onsen, other springs besides Kinsen that do not have color are all called Ginsen, such as the carbonated spring, which improves blood circulation. Having various ingredients that help recover from illnesses is characteristic of Arima Onsen.
Specialty of Arima, great for souvenirs
“Tansan Senbei (carbonic crackers) ”
Tansan Senbei is the most famous souvenir you can buy at Arima Onsen. It is a healthy snack with a pleasant taste, containing carbonated spring, and does not contain butter or eggs. Take a look at how they are made by hand at Mitsumori Honpo in Yumotozaka.
●Ganso Mitsumori Honpo Main Store
●809, Arimacho, Kita-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture
“Arima Cider Teppomizu (mizu=water)”
Long ago, Arima Onsen’s carbonated spring was sold in a bottle, and it is said that it was the origin of cider in Japan. With old-fashioned label on the bottle, they are available at shops in Arima. One of them is “Yoshitaka-ya” located in front of Arima Onsen station.
●259, Arimacho, Kita-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture
●closed Wednesdays (open if it is a national holiday)
A Japanese-style inn at Arima cherished by great novelists “Tosen Goshobo”
Established in 1191, this Japanese-style inn, “Tosen Goshobo” is filled with serenity. Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu of the Muromachi Shogunate, and novelists such as Junichiro Tanizaki and Eiji Yoshikawa have visited here, and you will find the name of the inn in some literary works. Their saloon is a must-see—with stained glass imported from France during the Meiji Era, which excellently matches Japanesque of the olden days. Why not experience a moment of luxury in a wooden architecture that has continued to inherit elegance, and not just immediate convenience?
●358, Arimacho, Kita-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture
●Check in 15:00, check out 10:00
●Lodging: 25,000 yen and up/night
*The above information was last updated January 6, 2017. For further details, please contact the facilities directly.
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