What is Arima Onsen?
Arima Onsen is Ooe of the three oldest hot spring in Japan. (A famous hot spring in Japan since ancient times.)
It is located close to the urban area of Kansai and is easily accessible by any means of transportation.
How do you get to Arima?
有馬温泉駅 “Arima Onsen Station” is the nearest station, so it is easily accessible by train.
As a guide, it takes about an hour and 30 minutes by train from Kyoto Station.
Bus is cheaper than going by train. The Hankyu Bus website tells you all about how to ride their buses and where you can change buses to get to where you are going. Depending on where you stay in Japan, it may be better to use a combination of buses and trains to get to Arima Onsen.
By car, it takes about one and a half hours from Osaka. It takes about 1 hour if you use the highway, however, there is a toll. Using a car is more convenient because if you want to do some shopping during your trip, there is an outlet mall on your way there.
What To Do in Arima Onsen
Relax in the Hot Springs
There are two different types of hot springs.
One is in the inn. When you stay at a “ryokan” (a japanese style hotel), there are usually hot springs inside the “ryokan”. Therefore you can take it with staying the “ryokan”.
The other is a facility called “Sotoyu”, where you can get in a hot spring without actually staying in a “ryokan”. However, we highly recommend taking at least one stay in a “ryokan” as it is a completely new experience than having a western style room with bathrobes and bath tubs. “Kin-no-Yu”, “Gin-no-Yu” and “Taiko-no-Yu” are famous bath houses in Arima Onsen. Check these out if you want a full Japanese hot spring experience.
Visit the Toy Museum
The Toy Museum is a museum that handles toys from all over the world. Not only can you see toys from various countries, but you can also play with them. It’s even fun for adults!
Shop at the Kobe Sanda Outlet Mall
There is an outlet near Arima Onsen. It is the third largest outlet mall in Japan and if you have time until your onsen time, it may be best to waste some time shopping in the Kobe Sanda Outlet Mall. It is located about 20 minutes from Arima Onsen by car.
Buy Souvenirs at Souvenir Shops
There are various souvenir shops. They sell many things, but the most popular one is bath salts.
Arima Onsen Local Specialty Bath Salts
A bath salt that contains ingredients similar to those of Arima Onsen. It is a perfect souvenir for who want to experience Arima Onsen style baths at their homes.
Carbonated rice crackers
These are thin rice cracker snacks. Their deliciousness that sets it apart from cookies sold at supermarkets.
People who come and live in Kansai have better access than Kinosaki Onsen, so I highly recommend it to enjoy hot spring. If you can go by your car, you can stop in Kyoto or Kobe on the way back. Please enjoy your trip.
Author: Atsushi Yabushita