Japan equals to Onsen! We will tell you about onsens including those that are famous and those still hidden that are all reachable from Osaka.
1. Arima Onsen (Hyogo Prefecture)
Arima Onsen is considered as one of the three historical onsen in Japan. Their onsen town is located in between Rokko Mountains, and it is busy with tourists. In Arima, there are some traditional Geiko (geisha), and they offer services to visit inns and perform their dance and singing. It is said that back in the late 16th century, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a military commander who successfully united Japan, also visited Arima onsen. Spend some time in the area, and you may get to feel like a commandeer yourself!
2. Kinosaki Onsen (Hyogo prefecture)
Kinosaki Onsen has been known as an onsen long loved by numerous Japanese great writers. Here, "Sotoyu tour"; visiting 7 sotoyu (onsens without accommodations) wearing a yukata is a popular way to enjoy onsens. Each accommodation has many yukatas with unique designs, so it may be fun to choose an inn based on yukata patterns they offer. If you have time, it is also recommended to stroll around the area and visit some Bungaku-hi (monuments with phrases of literatures engraved) placed in sotoyu or places associated with each literature.
3. Shirahama Onsen (Wakayama prefecture)
One of the three traditional onsen in Japan. For its proximity to the ocean, the onsen area is also known as a marine resort. A Sotoyu tour and an Ashiyu (foot bath) tour can be enjoyed here. If going to be in an onsen in the beach, you do not have to take off your swimsuit. You will get to spend luxurious time watching the ocean and soaking in a hot bath at the same time. After enjoying the onsen, do try some remarkably fresh seafood in this beach town.
4. Nanki Katsuura Onsen (Wakayama prefecture)
In Nanki Katsuura Onsen area, you will feel united with nature. Please do choose an inn with a Roten Buro (an open-air bath). It is an extraordinary feeling to be in an onsen in the great nature surrounded by blue ocean and green leaves. If you are looking for a way to get away from busy cities and enjoy Japanese nature, this is a place to go. This is also a convenient area for those hoping to visit various World Heritage sites in Wakayama including "Kumano Kodo".
5. Sumoto Onsen (Awaji-shima, Hyogo prefecture)
You are on a vacation trip that you long awaited for, so why not go a little further to a remote island? Sumoto Onsen is located in Awaji island, in Hyogo prefecture, which lies next to Osaka. The island is accessible in 90 minutes from Sannomiya City in Hyogo by a car. Here, you get to fully enjoy an onsen experience overlooking beautiful straits of Awaji, and also marine sports and fresh seafood. Around the onsen, there is also the "Awaji-shima Akashi Kaikyo Park" where you can appreciate varieties of grass flowers. During a long trip, you will forget that you were once tired if you soak in the onsen here!
Rejuvenate yourself in an onsen during a long trip, savor delicious meals in an onsen-inn, and have a toast with cold beer after enjoying an onsen…there are various ways to enjoy onsen! Please go a little way further from Osaka and have a pleasant experience in an onsen listed above.