Sunday, March 24, 2019

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen! A train ride through the rural countryside up to the Japan Sea. A Japanese hot spring town with 7 bath houses. What is not to love? (Especially when you are a hot springs fanatic!) We stayed a quaint, traditional Japanese inn where we were given yukatas (japanese casual kimonos), yukata coats (it was winter!), getas (wooden sandals) to wear as we wandered through town to soak at the seven bath houses. Japanese hot springs are run differently than those in the US. They are segregated, every one soaks in the nude, and you bathe before you soak. A typical bath house has a soaking pool surrounded by bathing stations where you sit on a stool and bathe with a hand held shower head and a basin of water prior to entering the bath. It was fun to check out all the different baths, yes, we soaked at all seven, 6 on one day and the seventh, which was closed that day, the next morning. All had their unique style, some rustically traditional, some more modern, some had both indoor and outdoor baths, some had bubbling pools, waterfalls, gardens, one was actually in a cave of sorts. I wish I could have taken pictures to share! It was a lovely, relaxing day, dressed in out yukatas, wandering town from bath to bath, stopping for the occasional snack, checking out the public foot baths, spring water drinking stations, the straw craft museum, watching people cook hard boiled eggs in street side springs and just taking in the sites. Even the rain didn't dampen our fun... we were damp anyway!

There were lots of ice cream shops along the streets, a nice treat after soaking in hot water!

And crab! November - March is crab season on the Japan Sea. We didn't have crab here, but the next night at Kotohikihama Beach we had he most amazing crab feast!

Eggs cooking in the springs.

Our quaint inn, with the most amazing hospitality. Even the room key was adorable..and the siphon coffee was delicious!

Our innkeeper was really nice, he offered to drive us up the coast to see the Japan Sea. It was a spectacular drive.

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