visit kinosaki onsens guide

How to Visit the Kinosaki Onsens [Onsen Guide + Map]

Kinosaki is known as the best onsen town in Japan.  Its natural hot springs, cherry tree-lined canal, and traditional architecture will have you delighted before you even get to an onsen.  You can visit Kinosaki on a day trip, or stay for longer (which I recommend), but one of the best things to do in Kinosaki is to visit the onsens or public baths here then you’ll want to know what to expect in each onsen, and how to visit them.  Come to Kinosaki and try an onsen Meguri – a pilgrimage where you walk around and soak in all 7 of the Kinosaki onsens.   Here’s my guide to the Kinosaki Onsens, how to visit the onsens of Kinosaki, and all you need to know to visit them.


Visiting Kinosaki Onsens on a Day Trip

If you are visiting Kinosaki on a day trip, take a look and see which of the onsens are open and what hours.  There’s information at the JR Station.  Leave your bags at the JR station with either left luggage or in a coin locker and head to your first onsen.  Buy a day pass, and begin your onsen adventure!

Visiting Kinosaki Onsens and Staying Overnight

If you are staying overnight in Kinosaki, it’s best to try and check in to your ryokan first.   You’ll be able to leave your bags and also change into the ryokan-provided Yukata for a true Kinosaki experience. Once you’ve checked in your ryokan will provide you with your day pass, change into your yukata, don a pair of wooden Japanese sandals, and begin your exploration.  You’ll never be as clean as this ever again!


Ryokan Onsen

Stay in a Ryokan with a Private Onsen

This 150-year-old Ryokan is built in the style of a Japanese tea house, some rooms open onto the garden and some have private onsens (book early for those)

You can usually check in at your ryokan at around 3 pm and it’s considered rude to be either early or late.  When you stay at the ryokans that we’ve recommended in Kinosaki, you get a free pass to visit the 7 public onsens in Kinosaki and it is valid from 15:00 on your day of arrival until 15:30 on your day of check out.

Kinosaki onsen Town

The Onsens of Kinosaki Onsen Town

There are 7 public onsens in Kinosaki Onsen Town.  Not all are open every day, each having at least one rest day per week, which is always published.  Here are the details of the 7 public onsens in Kinosaki.

Goshono-Yu Onsen, Kinosaki

Opening times of Goshono-Yu: 07:00 – 23:00

Closed days of Goshonu-Yu: 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month

One of the most popular onsens in Kinosaki, there is an outdoor stone bath – it looks like a rock pool, but with underwater seats – with a waterfall.    Goshonu-Yu was modeled on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and is truly lovely.  The indoor bath has huge windows and a glass roof.

Ichino-Yu Onsen, Kinosaki

Opening times of Ichino-Yu: 07:00 – 23:00

Closed days of Ichino-Yu: Wednesdays

Huge and made of natural boulders, attending this soto-yu is thought to bring success and good fortune.

Outdoor Onsen Japan

Jizou-Yu Onsen, Kinosaki

Opening Times of Jizou-Yu: 07:00 – 23:00

Closed days of Jizou-Yu: Fridays

Jizou-yu, sometimes Jizo-yu is popular with families as it is one of the smaller bathhouses, but has no outdoor bath.   It has a large indoor bath and is rather plain.

Kouno-Yu Onsen, Kinosaki

Opening times of Kounu-Yu: 07:00 – 23:00

Closed days of Kouno-Yu: Tuesdays

Kouno-yu is Kinosaki Onsens’ first public onsen, it’s the furthest onsen from the JR Station and takes about 20 minutes to walk here.   Spending time at Kouno-yu is believed to bring you happiness and longevity in your marriage.    The onsen backs onto woodland and has an outdoor stone-lined onsen as well as a large indoor hot bath with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Mandara-Yu Onsen, Kinosaki

Opening Times of Mandara-Yu: 15:00 – 23:00

Closed days of Mandara-Yu: Wednesdays

A visit here is said to bring business prosperity, you’ll find the Mandara-Yu just off the main street.  There is a large indoor onsen as well as 2 small outdoor baths.

outdoor onsen

Satono-yu Onsen, Kinosaki

Opening times of Satono-yu; 13:00 – 21:00

Closed days of Satono-yu: Mondays

This huge onsen has a variety of different baths and bathing experiences from cold to Arab and salt.   As there are smaller baths contained within the experience, it’s not one huge one, so you might be lucky enough to get a bath to yourself.  There are different baths on different floors and each day switches between which baths are open to men and women.    It’s right next to the train station and has a free footbath outside.

Yanagi-Yu Onsen, Kinosaki

Opening Times of Yanagi-Yu: 15:00 – 23:00

Closed Days of Yanagi-yu: Thursdays

One of the most traditional, but also the smallest onsen in Kinosaki.  It’s made from cypress wood and a visit here is said to promote fertility and safe childbirth.

Map of Onsens in Kinosaki Onsen Town

You can also find the Kinosaki onsens map for Kinosaki here.

Map of Onsens of Kinosaki

Kinosaki Onsen FAQS

Got questions about visiting the Kinosaki onsens? Or want to know more about how to visit the onsens in Kinosaki and we haven’t answered your questions?  Check out our frequently asked questions about visiting onsens below, or ask us yours in the comments.

Are tattoos allowed in the onsens in Kinosaki?

Yes.  It is possible to visit the 7 public onsens of Kinosaki if you have tattoos.  Some onsens within ryokans may have different rules, so please check before booking a room

Is there a luggage storage service in Kinosaki Onsen?

Yes.  The hotel information center near the railway station has left luggage in Kinosaki Onsen town.  You can also find coin lockers at the station and you may also be able to leave your bags at your ryokan or hotel.

Where do I get a pass for the onsens in Kinosaki?

If you are staying at a ryokan you will be given a free onsen pass when you check in.  This gives you free access to all the 7 public onsens.  It is valid from 15:00 on the day you check in until 15:30 the day you check out.  If you wish to visit Kinosaki for a day, you can buy a day pass that covers all the onsens in Kinosaki at the door to each of the onsens.

How much are the onsen day passes in Kinosaki?

A day pass to the Kinosaki onsens costs 1300 Yen.

Can I use an onsen privately?

The public baths are just that, pubic, but some of the ryokans in Kinosaki offer private onsen booking experiences. You can find ryokans with private onsens in Kinosaki here.

Travel Tips for Exploring Japan

Final Words on the Onsens of Kinosaki Onsen Town

There might be other hot spring towns in Japan, but not many of them have as many onsens as Kinosaki, nor do they have onsens that differ so much in terms of style.  Whether you’re selective and pick just a few (like we did) or go for the full pilgrimage around all of them, you are about to be the cleanest you’ve ever been and probably the most relaxed too. 

Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.

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