Japan 11. – (Kinosaki) Onsen Day

My second day in this picturesque little Town continuesly washed by ‘magic water’ lol. This day was meant to be my pampering day – all day just about relaxing in each every bath i can hunt down. Was rainy and sunny. Loved it. Got my geta and yukata from the Ryokan i was staying – a very cool wooden sandal with a casual kimono (yukata means ‘bathing clothes’) plus a pretty little bag with a personal white towel to wash myself.

Footnote: as i mentioned before – u have to pay to enter these Onsens, individually one entrance costs about 400-600yen, but u can but a great value one day ticket for 1200yen (can buy this in any Onsen when u first enter) which allows u to go and try any of the bath for unlimited time.

Walking around and visiting each every Onsen in Town. They are all a bit different to the others. Here is my list.

  • Goshono Yu Onsen – probably the most popular from all – because of its natural waterfall. There is a huge pool inside (was very hot for me and not enough air) and lots of small ones outside connecting into each other in different levels – creating a natural very pretty waterfall. Very busy.
  • Ichinoyu Onsen – another favourite because of its natural cave. Same like the first one – huge pool inside and a smaller one outside half covered with the cave. Less busy – more steamy.
  • Jizouyu Onsen – nothing really special (apart from being a natural onsen in Japan of course). Big inside pool – not very busy. Water is coming from big tubes with high preassure – great massage.
  • Kounoyu Onsen – massive inside pool. Location is the farest from the center – not busy at all and i loved it cause there is a small pool outside in a pretty garden. Was enjoying by myself in the sun (and light rain) for long time. Priceless relaxation – till a bunch of asian girls jumped next to me started a massive chitty-chat.
  • Satonoyu Onsen – one of my big favourite – cause its massive and very complex. Downstairs is a massive inside pool with special higher preassured tubes for back massage. U can also find a real jacuzzi and a tiny pool whats called the ‘penguin bath’ cause its water is very cold. Next to it also a dry sauna* (65-70 degrees) oh and dont shout or jump cause there is a water tap opens in every 5 minutes sprinkling water to the hot rocks creating a weird noise – i did sh*t myself. Lol. Not over yet – there is upstairs with the real treat – a massive pool outside with a human made waterfall – still f*ckin pretty, and another dry sauna (80 degrees) and a very enjoyable steam sauna. Loved it – could have spent the whole day here.
  • Mandarayu Onsen – far from the center. Small changing room – took soooo long to change and dry my sweaty hair and it was very busy. Inside a medium size pool – nothing very great. But i discovered the magic – outside there are 2 ‘little pools’ or ‘very big pot’ filled with warm water. I say ‘pot’ because i literally felt like being cooked in a pot – these are only one person sized pools – sitting in having your feet and arms hanging out. Stayed there like half hour enjoying the light rain.
  • Yanagiyu Onsen – center of the town. Very small – nothing amazing. Has got a great ‘feet pool’ outside on the street. Very busy – was very quick. Only place i ve seen a tiny little tattoo on another woman, under her ankle. And still i am the only ‘white’ woman who is bathing naked in Onsens.

Footnote: Kinosaki Onsen and Nozawa Onsen was totally fine with tattoos. Local people not see tattoos like mine every day – so i did catch some eyes staring at me (at my bum actually lol) but most of the women were simply very interested and just asked me lots of questions about the artworks on my skin. But there are places where its forbidden. Worth to ask every time to keep the peace and dont hurt anyone’s feelings.

I caught half hour sunshine at midday so i quickly catched the funicular to reach the view point (mentioned before) on the very top. Was breathtaking. Oh and finished the day with probably the best noodles i had in my life. Lonely Planet suggestion, place called Masuya. Cold beer with a plate of freshly handmade cold duck soba noodles (approx 2000yen). Duck cooked horrible – but the duck dashi was heavenly (best thing i had for long time). OMG. Great day, great place.

Open up your mouth…!

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