Osaka has a strong impression of being an energetic and bustling town, but if you extend your journey a little bit and get out of the city, you will see that there are many natural and amazing hot springs in its outskirts. Here are five Japanese hotels near Osaka where you can enjoy the gentle beauty of the autumn leaves.
1. Arima Onsen Gekkoen Korokan (Hyogo)
With a history of being ranked as the top onsen (hot spring) in the onsen rankings in the Edo period (1603 – 1868), Arima Onsen is one of the three most popular hot springs in Japan that best represents the country in name and in reality. Within this hot spring district, Gekkoen Korokan is popular for its beautiful landscape that faces Mt. Ochibayama and Takikawa River. You can come here to marvel at the brocade of autumn leaves blanketing the mountain, or gaze at the turning of the leaves along the river. The guestrooms with a view of the mountain are especially popular in this hotel. So, enjoy the spectacular scenery of the changing colors of the mountain and the river while soaking in its famous hot spring with a long history.
*Photo is for illustration purposes
2. Kinosaki Onsen Tokiwa Bekkan (Hyogo)
Kinosaki Onsen is a famous hot spring that has been open for about 1,300 years now. The gentle atmosphere of this onsen town that features a bridge over the river has been well loved by authors and cultural figures during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912). In this area, Tokiwa Bekkan, with its Japanese garden right in the middle of the hotel, is a place where you can enjoy the gorgeous autumn leaves from your room or from the bath. This wooden hotel surrounded by a courtyard only has 23 guestrooms in order to provide guests with detailed and meticulous care. Stay at Tokiwa Bekkan and enjoy the Japanese vibe that has captivated many prominent figures.
*Photo is for illustration purposes
3. Settsukyo Hananosato Onsen Sansuikan (Osaka)
Settsukyo is one of the most picturesque places in the Kansai region. It is famous for its beautiful autumn leaves thanks to the unique rock formation that spans about 4km, the cliff and cascading falls. Sansuikan is the only hot spring hotel that faces Settsukyo. Located at a site that is less than an hour’s drive away from Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe, it is an amazing hot spring hotel that is completely surrounded by nature. The sight of the valley that is painted in autumn leaves is particularly overwhelming when seen from the open-air bath. So, soak in the hot spring, which is also visited by a lot of people hoping to cure their illnesses, and relax while you enjoy the colors of fall.
*Photo is of Settsukyo
4. Inunakisan Onsen Minamitei (Osaka)
Inunakisan is a hallowed ground for shugendo (mountain worship), and up to now, it is still a mystical place visited by many worshippers who practice the rite of standing under a waterfall. Minamitei is a hotel where you can marvel at the magnificent landscape of Inunakisan, experience natural hot springs and enjoy the murmur of Inunakigawa. Aside from being able to freely go for stroll in the woods before dinner or before you leave, you can also enjoy the exceptional nature-rich vista from the bath. This hotel has a wide array of rooms that can fit from a few people up to big groups, with each guest room facing the mountains and offering the beautiful sight of autumn leaves. It is also famous for its easy access as it is just about 25 minutes away from Kansai International Airport by car.
5. Shigisan Onsen Kakimotoya (Nara)
Kakimotoya is a hot spring hotel where you can enjoy the view of Kisen Quasi-National Parks that include some famous mountains in Japan such as Mt. Ikoma, Mt. Kongo, and Mt. Shigi. From the top to the foot of the mountain, the panoramic view of the sprawling autumn leaves that transforms into different looks is gorgeous to say the least. You can reach Kakimotoya in about an hour by car from anywhere within Osaka or Nara, so it has been getting the attention of people from the Kansai region as a healing travel destination that they can go to anytime. Further, Nara’s Horyuji Temple, a World Heritage Site, is just about a 20-minute drive away from this hotel. You can plan to enjoy the autumn leaves of the mountains from the hotel and the fall scenes of the ancient city of Nara the next day.
*Photo is of autumn leaves at Mt. Ikoma
The autumn foliage is a fall phenomenon that is filled with the Japanese spirit. Don't you want to try to fill your body and soul with the spirit of fall in Japan at one of these hotels in the outskirts of Osaka where you can experience history, nature, and abundant hot springs?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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