Kinosaki – learning to relax the Japanese way

Thanks to its topographical situation Japan is basically a one big hot spring. And it comes with no surprise that the Japanese people, who are masters in incorporating the harmony of nature in many different forms and shapes to their everyday lives, have an elaborated culture of public baths – onsens.

There are many onsen towns and onsens in towns and cities across Japan. We chose to visit Kinosaki, a home to seven onsens and most famous for people walking around town in yukatas – a Japanese style bathing robes. To make this stay even more zen, we stayed in ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn. Here is the photo story of two days spent there.

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The main street of Kinosaki, with almost all onsen houses situated along the river.
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The onsen from outside – no pictures beyond this point. Men and women enjoy different parts of the same onsen separately (naked, of course). However, the tradition of communal public bathing is still alive in Hokkaido in the North of Japan.
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Out in our yukatas. It takes time to get used to it, especially the wooden shoes, but after that, you do not want to wear anything else…
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Hot springs mineral water spot
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The beautiful Japanese pottery… a small detail but makes a big difference

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The local shrine, we will be back tonight for the summer lights festival.
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But before that, it is time for dinner in our ryokan…
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Our ryokan lady was looking after us with so much care. Here she is preparing a special vegetable soup.
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Impressed and ready to eat!
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Hands-down it was the best dinner we had in Japan. Snow crab is a local speciality of Kinosaki.

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After dinner, it is time to take another dip into hot springs. But first, we stopped at the local festival and joined the crowd of yukatas.

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Watching the town to go into the night’s rest.
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The next day, we initially planned to visit Takeno beach on the coast of the Sea of Japan. It is only 7 km away from Kinosaki and can easily be reached by train. However, a typhoon was approaching the coast and we were advised to stay indoors.
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But before the storm started, we went to see the local Buddhist temple.

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and Kinosaki Onsen from above.
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And then the storm reached Kinoski. But we braved it and went out to have more of the onsen experience.
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But the rain and winds were only getting stronger, so we stayed in and watched the passing typhoon from our balcony.
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After the rainy and windy night, we woke up to the sunny skies again. Last breakfast (rice, fish and no coffee!) before we continued our trip to Osaka.
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