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Toyooka also has Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉), a hot spring only 10 min. away by train from Toyooka Station. It's one of the best onsen I've ever visited in Japan.
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Kinosaki Onsen's main highlight are its seven public hot spring baths (sotoyu 外湯). Some of them look palatial, and they are all distinctly different, the baths, decor, etc.Kinosaki Onsen has a long history of 1,300 years. A favorite hot spring for centuries.
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Scenic train ride from Toyooka to Kinosaki Onsen.
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JR Kinosaki Onsen Station on the JR San'in Line.
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Inside JR Kinosaki Onsen Station.
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Next to the station is this collection of donated geta wooden clogs from local inns.
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In front of JR Kinosaki Onsen Station.
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Drinkabke hot spring water in front of JR Kinosaki Onsen Station.
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Next to JR Kinosaki Onsen Station is one of the seven celebrated public baths. This one is named Sato-no-Yu Onsen. Chinese-style building that includes a cold bath. Open 1:00 pm–9:00 pm, closed Mon. さとの湯
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Sato-no-Yu Onsen さとの湯
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Free foot bath at Sato-no-Yu Onsen さとの湯. Great to relax your feet before getting on the train.
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Entrance to Sato-no-Yu Onsen. I didn't go in this one though. さとの湯
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Walking further along the main drag, some pictureque buildings. Kinosaki Onsen is a compact hot spring town, most things are within walking distance.
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The main drag of Kinosaki Onsen goes along the Otani River (Otanigawa) lined with pretty willow trees. 大谿川
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Even the convenience stores were designed to blend in with the local townscape.
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The second public bath I came across is Jizo-yu.
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Jizo-yu public bath in Kinosaki Onsen, Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture. Open 7:00 am–11:00 pm, closed Fri. 地蔵湯
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Jizo statue at Jizo-yu public bath.
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Guests who stay at a ryokan in Kinosaki Onsen can visit all seven public baths for free. But daytrippers like me have to pay admission for each one, costing ¥600 or ¥700. However, they have a public bath day pass for only ¥1,200 (外湯めぐり券). Use it to enter all seven. Great deal! Definitely one of the best bargains in Japan!
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Entrance hall of Jizo-yu. Entrance for the men's bath on the left, and women on the right. Jizo-yu also has private baths. 地蔵湯All the public baths are segregated for men and women. A few of the public baths also have private baths that families or couples can rent.
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Dressing and locker room for men at Jizo-yu.
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About Jizo-yu. 地蔵湯
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Walking further along the picturesque river.
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Willow trees along the river at Kinosaki Onsen hot spring. 柳の木
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Willow trees along the river at Kinosaki Onsen hot spring.
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Willow trees along the river at Kinosaki Onsen spa.
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The traditional building is Yanagi-yu. 柳湯
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Yanagi-yu public bath in Kinosaki Onsen, Toyooka, Hyogo. "Yanagi" means willow tree. The third public bath I've seen (but didn't enter). Open 3:00 pm–11:00 pm, closed. Thu. 柳湯
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The hot spring water came from the bottom of a willow tree for this public bath. Wooden interior.
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About Yanagi-yu public bath. 柳湯
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It says "Kinosaki Onsen well matches people in yukata."
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People are encouraged to stroll around Kinosaki Onsen while wearing yukata. You can see more of them in the evening.
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Otani River has four stone bridges and each one has a name.
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Kinosaki Onsen's roadside shrines for Kishimojin goddess and Life-prolonging Jizo for the protection of children. 鬼子母善神
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Foot bath next to Ichinoyu public bath. 海内第一泉
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Foot bath next to Ichinoyu public bath. 海内第一泉
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Ichinoyu, perhaps the most famous public bath in Kinosaki Onsen. Looks like a kabuki theater. 一の湯Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture.
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Ichinoyu public bath. Went in this one. 一の湯
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Ichinoyu public bath. 一の湯
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Inside Ichinoyu public bath. Men's bath entrance on the left. 一の湯
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Men's indoor bath at Ichinoyu.
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The building is right next to a rock wall.
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Ichinoyu's outdoor bath is in a small cavern.
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View from the cavern bath.
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Main drag outside Ichinoyu.
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Near Ichinoyu is this fountain for drinkable hot spring water.
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Walking further along the mian drag.
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Kiyamachi Koji shopping complex.
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Next public bath looks like a Buddhist temple or palace. It's Gosho-no-yu (御所の湯).
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Gosho-no-yu (御所の湯). It means "Imperial Palace Hot Spring." Open 7:00 am–11:00 pm, closed on the first and third Thursdays of the month.
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Gosho-no-yu public bath in Kinosaki Onsen, Toyooka, Hyogo. Looks palatial. (御所の湯).
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Gosho-no-yu (御所の湯).
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Entrnce hall of Gosho-no-yu (御所の湯). Men's entrance on the right. The outdoor bath faced a waterfall. Very nice. I got no bath photos because a few naked men were there.
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Very nice outdoor bath. Large entrance hall or lobby of Gosho-no-yu (御所の湯).
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Rest area inside Gosho-no-yu (御所の湯).
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Ryokan inn.
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On a side street, the Mandala-yu (Mandara-yu) public bath. Open 3:00 pm–11:00 pm, closed Wed. Has close connection with the priest Dochi (道智上人) considered to be the founder of Kinosaki Onsen in the 8th century.
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Side street has a Benzaiten shrine. Benzaiten is the goddess of water and music.
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About the Benzaiten shrine.
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Jizo and Kannon statues along a rock wall.
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Near Mandarayu is Gokurakuji Temple, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple. It worships Amida Nyorai. 本堂
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Gokurakuji Temple's Sanmon Gate. 山門
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"Zen"
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Gokurakuji Temple's rock garden.
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Gokurakuji Temple
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Gokurakuji Temple's main hall was rebuilt in 1921 after a fire in 1912 destroyed the previous hall. 本堂
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Walking further toward Onsenji Temple.
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Way to Onsenji Temple.
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Hiking path to Onsenji Temple, but taking the ropeway is easier and faster.
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Niomon Gate to Onsenji's Yakushido Hall. 仁王門
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Gift shop and plaza next to the Kinosaki Onsen's hot spring source. 温泉たまご場
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Kinosaki Onsen's hot spring source. 源泉
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Kinosaki Onsen's hot spring source.
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The small shack on the right is a foot bath. In the background is the ropeway station to Onsenji Temple.
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Hot spring foot bath. There are so many free foot baths in Kinosaki Onsen.
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Hot spring foot bath in Kinosaki Onsen.
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The gift shop had onsen eggs for sale. Locally-grown, organic raw eggs. This was popular.
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You can soft-boil your onsen eggs yourself in hot spring water. Boil the eggs for 11 min.
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After 11 min., the eggs were perfectly soft boiled. A niftly tool cut away the top portion of the egg shell. Sprinkle some salt and yummy!
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Also a good snack is the Tajima beef bun.
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Aboit Tajima beef and Kobe beef.
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Sights near Onsenji Temple.
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Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway goes up to Mt. Daishi.
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Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway station.
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Welcome to Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway.
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Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway takes only 7 min. to the mountain summit. The ropeway runs three times an hour most of the day from 9:10 am to 5:10 pm.
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Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway car. Mostly standing room only. Note that the ropeway is closed on the second anf fourth Thursdays of the month.
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Going up Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway which is 676 meters long.
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Midway is the Onsenji Station.
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On the summit of Mt. Daishi is this ropeway station with a cafe inside and lookout deck on the roof.
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Lookout deck on the roof of the ropeway station.
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View of Kinosaki Onsen from the lookout deck.
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View of Kinosaki Onsen from the lookout deck.
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Crab monument. For all the crabs that are caught and eaten every year in northern Hyogo. かに塚
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Golden Jibodai Kannon built in Oct. 2007. 慈母観音像
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Small Jizo statues.
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Ring of wisdom. Throw clay dishes to the target. かわらけ投げ
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Onsenji Temple's Oku-no-In temple reconstructed in 2010. 奥の院
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Not much to see on the summit except for the lookout deck. So we go back down to Onsenji midway. 山頂駅 (大師山山頂駅)
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Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway's Onsenji Station.
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Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway's Onsenji Station.
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"Onsenji" means "Hot Spring Temple." 温泉寺
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Onsenji Temple. Enter the temple here. Onsenji belongs to the Koyasan Shingon Buddhist sect. It worships an 11-face Kannon statue. Founded in 738 by the priest Dochi, Onsenji Temple is regarded as Kinosaki Onsen's guardian. 温泉寺本坊
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They charge a small admission for a guided tour to see the Kannon statue in the Hondo main hall's altar.
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Onsenji Temple's Hondo main hall. National Important Cultural Property. Photography is not allowed inside the temple. temple founder and priest Dochi (道智上人) is also the founder of Kinosaki Onsen hot spring.
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Onsenji Temple's Hondo main hall.
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Onsenji Temple's Hondo main hall.
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Onsenji Temple's prayer tablet with Kannon on it.
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About Onsenji Temple.
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Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda at the top of the stairs.
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Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda. 多宝塔
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Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda
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Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda. 多宝塔
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First floor of Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda.
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Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda dates back to 1768. It houses a Buddha statue. 金剛界大日如来
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Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda.
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Onsenji Temple's Tahoto pagoda.
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Kinosaki Art Museum near Onsenji. Mostly Buddhist art. Small admission charged. Open 9 am–4:30 pm, closed second and fourth Thu. of the month when the ropeway is not operating. 城崎美術館
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Onsenji Temple's bell dates back to the early Edo Period.
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Onsenji Temple and the ropeway station.
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At the bottom station of the ropeway is a small museum dedicated to Otagaki Shiro (1894–1964) who proposed the Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway that opened in May 1963. He was a native of Kinosaki and the first president of Kansai Electric Power Company.太田垣士郎翁資料館
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Otagaki Shiro is also famous for building Kurobe Dam completed in 1963 in Toyama Prefecture to supply electric power to the Kansai Region. He also proposed building Japan's first nuclear power plant at Mihama, Fukui Prefecture completed in 1970.太田垣士郎翁資料館
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The seventh public bath I saw. I entered this one called Kou-no-Yu named after the Oriental white stork. Kinosaki Onsen's oldest hot spring where an Oriental white stork was bathing in the hot spring to heal wounds. That's how the onsen started.
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Kou-no-Yu is open 7:00 am–11:00 pm, closed on Tue. Oriental white stork statues next to Kou-no-Yu.
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About Kou-no-Yu. 鴻の湯
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Entrance lobby of Kou-no-Yu. Shoe lockers on the left, and entrance to the women's bath on the right. 鴻の湯
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Entrance to the men's bath and rest area. 鴻の湯
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Locker and dressing room for men. 鴻の湯
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Kou-no-Yu's outdoor bath in a garden-like setting. 鴻の湯
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Bus stop shelter near Kou-no-Yu in Kinosaki Onsen, Toyooka, Hyogo.
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Warning sign for drivers for small children. (It means to go slow.)
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Otani River and willow trees.
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Kinosaki Onsen manhole in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture.
   
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