8 Most Popular Onsen Resorts in Kobe

December 22, 2017

If you’ve watched or better yet are a fan of Japanese anime, drama or Japanese movies, you’ve seen these traditional relaxation havens. It’s usually depicted as steamy public or private baths near a mountain spring in these shows. They’re probably one of the reasons why you’ve been wanting to visit Japan and spend a night or two. You’ve probably already booked online and made your choice already. The thought of soaking up and relieving yourself of all the stress can be extremely enticing that all you really want to do is pack up and go.

Onsens are popular among the Japanese and visitors from different countries. They are everywhere in Japan to cater to travelers and locals who opt to go on staycations. Some are within the bustling cities so they’re easily accessible for everyone, others are in the mountains or islands for the more adventurous who love to experience the beauty of the Japanese landscape. There are a lot of the traditional ones like ryokans which adhere to natural aesthetics and cultural touch. There are also more modern ones that are built within classier and more expensive hotels. Their popularity is due to the Japanese belief in the cleansing of the body and mind and the medicinal hot springs take care of that aspect of wellness for them.

Kobe has some of the most luxurious and popular onsens ever. It’s not such a wonder because in fact it is one of the most attractive cities in the country. It boasts of a location that has a world renowned historical port and within close range of the mountains.The most popular onsens are either behind Mount Rokko or in Awaji Island and both locations are of course overflowing with their own beauty and charm. If you end up in Kobe and have nothing planned for a couple of days, why not try out these picturesque onsens and enjoy the tranquility and amazing hospitality that awaits.

Gekkoen Korokan

Nestled behind Mount Rokko is one of the oldest onsens in Japan and is also home to this renowned resort. Although it is not within the metropolitan area, it is still accessible for everyone. Free flowing beer and free cooking classes are just some of its unique amenities. Who wouldn’t love to try them out while on vacation mode? Request for a room on the onsen side and you’ll have the best views overlooking the resort.

Kobe Minato Onsen Ren

What’s more lovely than lounging in steamy bath water and looking out into the ocean inside a 4 star hotel? This modern hotel resort located along the harbor combines tradition and modern amenities to satisfy anyone with more luxurious preferences. It is a 5 minute ride by shuttle bus from Sannomiya Station. Indulge in the comforts of your very own terrace and ocean view and enjoy the beauty of the bay.

Awaji Hamarikyu – Sumoto Onsen

Languish in a private bath within your room overlooking the horizon. Situated in Awaji Island, this onsen resort is surrounded by splendid views of the countryside as it is 2 minutes away from the beach and almost 40 km away from Tokushima. This ryokan or traditional style inn has a Japanese style, semi Japanese style, Japanese Western style and Deluxe suites that would suit your preferences.

Tocen Goshoboh

If you’re a historical buff and would love to pamper yourself in a ryokan that’s been around for 800 years, this onsen resort is perfect for you. Feast on the delectable Yamaga cuisine with its roots from the Kamakura period. The resort also provides their guests with their own yukata to complete the traditional feel. And to cap it off, plunge into your own private hot spring and enjoy the warmth seep into your body and soul. It’s 40 minutes away from Kobe Airport, not too long of a ride that you can’t really enjoy all these when you arrive.

Hyoe Koyokaku

A hundred years younger than the previous ryokan on this list, this resort showcases the “golden spring” which has a yellow color due to the composition of iron and salt. You can choose between the three public baths or take advantage of the peace and quiet of their private baths. They also serve a multi-course Kaiseki menu that will surely satisfy your palate. It only takes 6 minutes to walk from the Arima Onsen Station to this gem of a resort.

Ryokan Kaigetsukan

If it’s right by the beach and it has amenities which include a hot spring bath, spa and massage, table tennis and billiards, you’d probably want to spend more than a day, perhaps a week if at all possible. All the must see destinations are accessible from the hotel’s location in case you want to explore Kobe a bit more. This is one of the onsens in Awaji Island that would surely be your home away from home. Or maybe you’ll wish home was something just like it.

Taketoritei Maruyama Ryokan

The sumptuous seafood and wild vegetables that are served in this onsen is something to look forward to especially to the foodies who travel for the gastronomical surprises a destination has to offer. You’d be amazed how fresh and stunning the food looks as it is presented in a grand spread right in the comforts of your room. Feast to your heart’s content after a dip in their two hot medicinal hot springs in the Arima onsen area.

Awaji Island Uzushio Onsen Umemaru

Nothing beats staying at hotel where there’s everything you’ve been wanting to try like the beach, a hot spring, a sauna, delicious seafood and of course easy access to the must see destinations in the city. This onsen can provide you with all those amenities and even more. You can get a massage, try out Japanese pottery, pick out gifts at their shop, send a postcard to your loved ones through their postal service and be able to relax and enjoy every minute of it. It only takes a 15 minute ride from the hustle and bustle of the city and you’ll be on the 3 star hotel’s doorstep in no time.

There are a lot more onsen resorts to choose from that cater to different groups of guests. Businessmen would probably choose one with a golf course and more high end facilities. The elderly will probably go for those with special amenities for the disabled to make their stay more comfortable. There are those who prefer the medicinal baths over those modern ones to help them heal their illnesses. Families would need bigger rooms and perhaps opt for a private bathing area. Kobe’s onsen resorts, from the traditional ryokans to the glamorous hotels, aim to satisfy the cravings for relaxation of guests from all walks of life and will continue to be as hospitable and attentive to everyone’s needs for generations to come.

663highland [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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