- July 22, 2020 at 8:59 am #9160
Arima Onsen is said to be Japan’s oldest hot spring (also known as onsen) towns with over 1000 years of history, and it’s located in the heart of Hyogo prefecture. This place is known as one of Japan’s top three hot spring resorts. Although the main attractions are the onsens, the tiny town of Arima is a lovely place to explore, shop, and visit some temples if one shies away from going to an onsen. Any season is wonderful to see, but cherry blossom season (sakura) is a specially wonderful time of the year to see cherry blossoms, take scenic photos, and explore the beauty of old town.
The best way (inexpensive and taking time into consideration) to get to Arima is by taking a highway bus from Kyoto, Osaka, or Sannomiya, or even from Universal Studios Japan. See this link for the time table and the costs from each location: https://matcha-jp.com/en/4072. Please call in advance to check if the highway bus is accessible, and able to support your needs. If not, it is also possible to take train(s) (but it will be slightly more expensive, and take longer to get there). If the bus is empty the day and time you will be departing, you may get a ticket right then, but sometimes, the bus is full, so it’s best to reserve a week in advance (with a discount included!).
The location, although worth seeing at least once in one’s lifetime isn’t too wheelchair-friendly. If you are lucky, there might not be too many people, but the paths are narrow and crooked, and difficult to get through. Secondly, in order to go to a few temples or famous scenic spots, one must climb a flight of stairs, and probably no alternative is available. There is a park that one can get to that doesn’t require stairs, but a upward slope is a difficult one, but doable with some help.
One of the wonders of Arima Onsen is the wonder of the Golden springs. They are known for their reddish-brown hue, and are super beneficial for health and relieving pain. The water is known to help improve hypersensitivity to cold, as well as muscle and joint aches, and due to the high concentration of salt, helps the body retain heat, and is considered to be good for burns, cuts and skin problems. The water is clear, however due to its high iron content, when in contact with air, it oxidizes and changes color. It is very relaxing, and especially during the cold seasons in Japan, very soothing.
Several of shops are souvenir shops, and the ones that advertise their specialized, local cookies offer free samples in various delicious flavors, such as plain, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, green tea, and so forth. They are more like rice crackers than cookies, but they are simply amazing, and a great souvenir to buy, or try some free samples of!
Another sweet dessert that is offered (with the Arima rice crackers included — in bits or whole) is the homemade gelato from an ice-cream store. The unique aspect of this shop is that the milk used for the gelato is from the Mount Rokko dairy farm.
Being very compact, it is easily to explore the place thoroughly in a few hours — and maybe even go to an onsen or two! It is quite possible to go to Arima Onsen and then take a trip to Mt. Rokko on the same day.
- July 22, 2020 at 9:38 am #9170
Thank you for your report! Good point about calling the bus company – the accessibility will depend on the needs and abilities of the rider.
Log in to reply.