Health Enhancing Hot Springs Date To Help Forge A Healthy Relationship

A few hours north of Kyoto city by train, Kinosaki onsen is a chill and charming spot perfect for day trip dates for those a little further along on their dating journey. Couples looking to spend a little more time together will enjoy Kinosaki’s ambience as they stroll between its seven famous hot springs, sip coffee while overlooking tree-lined canals, or get hands-on with some local culture.

Let Love Flow On A Date In Kinosaki Onsen

Good for:

  • Onsen enthusiasts
  • Couples wanting a longer date
  • Cute photos
  • Return visits

Quick points:

  • Day long date
  • Coffee, lunch, snacks
  • Some walking
Okagaen’s Morning Set Comes With Boiled Egg Bread And Bean Paste

There is an addictive quality to Kinosaki Onsen. Wandering through serene streets, couples can enjoy the typical onsen town offerings: beautiful scenery, delicious food, and, of course, a variety of relaxing baths. What sets Kinosaki apart is an open-mindedness to positive change along with the preservation of its traditions and natural environment. The footbath cafe near the station is pretty special, too.

Ashiyu Cafe Where Patrons Sip Coffee While Resting Their Tired Toes

Ashiyu cafe where patrons can sip coffee while resting their tired toes.

Getting there:

Kinosaki Onsen Japan Great For Couples To Relax

From Kyoto to Kinosaki by train takes two and a half hours, with departure times few and intermittent. Trippers will need to start early to get the most from their round-trip date, and be sure to check when their last train departs.

Reserved Seats For The Limited Express Train From Kyoto To Kinosaki

Reserved seats are required for the limited express train from Kyoto to Kinosaki. One way is a little over 5000 yen.

The train winds along the length of green rivers and plunges dramatically through tunnels between mountainsides. The view speeding by is made fresh with each visit: dotted with sakura in spring, full of fresh fields in summer, or made bright by the warm colours of autumn and later snows of winter.

The Springtime View Of A Beautiful Japanese Village Mid Route

The springtime view of a beautiful Japanese village mid-route.

The Charm Of Kinosaki

There is a sweet metaphor the citizens of Kinosaki Onsen use to describe their community. The town is like a traditional Japanese inn, a ryokan. The train station is the entrance, its roads are corridors, the hotels are its rooms, and the hot springs are its baths.

Reflective of this communal philosophy, visitors dressed in their hotel’s cotton yukata and wooden geta, clip-clop past wooden storefronts, are welcomed to perch at the counters of izakaya, and make use of a 1500 yen day pass allowing entry into all of the public bath houses.

A Happy Couple In Yukata Enjoying Sunshine And Beer In Kinosaki

A happy couple in yukata enjoying sunshine and beer in Kinosaki.

Kinosaki Exhibits Japanese Aesthetic Elevated Into Sublime

Kinosaki exhibits the kind of Japanese aesthetic captured in lofi hiphop YouTube thumbnails, where the essence of the 80s has been bottled and mundane moments are elevated into sublime.

Sakura Lined Streets In Kinosaki

Throughout the year, willow trees frame the central canal and steam rises from ashiyu footbaths. Each month reveals a different facet of the town. November to March is the busy period, with hauls of crab sold fresh at fish markets or served up in kaiseki banquets. Visitors can enjoy the magic of snowflakes falling in an outdoor rotemburo bath. Alternatively, a mid-week visit in early April can be surprisingly quiet, even during sakura season.

Kinosaki Onsen Hyogo By Day Peaceful Relaxing Town
Kinosaki Onsen Hyogo Romantic Evening View For Dates

The different looks of Kinosaki Onsen.

What to eat:

Sweet Tooths Relish This Cute Nibble From Yuagari Vanilla

Sweet-tooths looking for snacks in-between baths will relish this cute nibble from Yuagari Vanilla. Colourful and crunchy love hearts covering chocolate coated vanilla ice cream.

For morning tea, couples can try the English speaking French bakery, Paradi. Until recently a semi-abandoned building, the cafe has been reformed into a very special spot with tables and chairs overlooking cherry tree lined Kiyamachi street. Absolutely gorgeous in spring, exchange bites of crispy cardamom rolls, stuffed tartines, croissants and quiche along with coffee or kombucha while watching the pink petals float by.

Mushroom Spinach And Cheese Quiche Pairs Well With Spiced Kombucha

Mushroom, spinach and cheese quiche pairs well with the lightly spiced kombucha. A perfect mid-morning snack at any time of year.

A short distance away with more filling fare for lunch is restaurant and wine bar Kinosaki OFF. A recent menu featured Tajima steak and fries, raw and refreshing horse-mackerel fish cubes with a vinegar and citrus rape blossom cappacio, and a creamy seafood saute filled with shiitake mushrooms and leeks. Of course the menu also includes a variety of tasty wines. Zone out together with good food and a chill soundtrack before launching into the rest of the afternoon’s activities.

Creamy And Filling Mushroom Saute Goes Down Easily After Bath Hopping

The creamy and filling mushroom saute goes down easily after a busy morning bath hopping.

A short distance away with more filling fare for lunch is restaurant and wine bar Kinosaki OFF. A recent menu featured Tajima steak and fries, raw and refreshing horse-mackerel fish cubes with a vinegar and citrus rape blossom cappacio, and a creamy seafood saute filled with shiitake mushrooms and leeks. Of course the menu also includes a variety of tasty wines. Zone out together with good food and a chill soundtrack before launching into the rest of the afternoon’s activities.

A Shared Experience

Mugiwara Zaiku Is A Local Craft Practiced In Kinosaki

Mugiwara zaiku is a local craft practiced in Kinosaki, and so attractive it induced a Tokyo-ite to change her life and move to Kinosaki in order to study under master craftsman Kamiya Toshiaki. Supported by local artisans, couples can learn how to layer glossy squares of coloured barley stalk over the top of a wooden box, broach, or, in fifteen minutes, a bookmark.

Kamiya Mingei Sells Professionally Finished Works Of Art As Mementos

Kamiya Mingei also sells professionally finished works of art to keep as mementos.

Heating Up

Of course, the main attraction of Kinosaki onsen are its public bathhouses, each with their own unique look and personality. Again showcasing its open-minded character, those with tattoos are welcome to enjoy the onsen as well.

While tempting to try and hit all the baths in one day, given travel time, and allowing for lunch, sightseeing or shopping, three bath stops is more realistic. While soap, shampoo and hair dryers are complimentary, day-trippers will need to bring their own bath towels and washcloths. Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to be quieter with more shops and bathhouses closed. Travellers can check the opening times of different baths here: https://visitkinosaki.com/plan/visitor-info/faq/#faq_block_id1

Katsumasa Miso Katsu Menu Comes With Refills Of Rice Soup And Cabbage

© Visit Kinosaki

Kono-yu has an indoor and outdoor bath to enjoy. Here, one legend has it, this hot spring was discovered when an Oriental White Stork was healing its wounds in the waters.

Katsumasa Miso Katsu Menu Comes With Refills Of Rice Soup And Cabbage

© Visit Kinosaki

Gosho no Yu, with its large outdoor bath, puts bathers in the middle of nature, surrounded by lush green trees and the gentle gushing of a waterfall.

Katsumasa Miso Katsu Menu Comes With Refills Of Rice Soup And Cabbage

© Visit Kinosaki

Said to be the favourite of locals, Mandara Yu has taru-buro, ceramic barrel style baths outside, as well as an indoor bath.

Katsumasa Miso Katsu Menu Comes With Refills Of Rice Soup And Cabbage

© Visit Kinosaki

While the outside of Ichinoyu presents like a traditional kabuki theatre, its baths sit in caves of natural rock.

Katsumasa Miso Katsu Menu Comes With Refills Of Rice Soup And Cabbage

© Visit Kinosaki

Satono-yu bathhouse is closest to the station, and perfect for a quick soak while waiting for the train (closed for renovations as of 2024).

Katsumasa Miso Katsu Menu Comes With Refills Of Rice Soup And Cabbage

© Visit Kinosaki

Yanagi Yu is described as the smallest and the hottest bath. Though bathers may not linger long, they will enjoy the craftsmanship of the traditional wooden interior.

Soaking Up The Love

A day trip date to Kinosaki onsen is the perfect opportunity for couples to experience the adventure of a short trip together, in preparation for many longer journeys they will enjoy in future. While the concept of the onsen date, where the couple spend time apart, seems strange, it can be refreshing to have a moment alone to meditate, relax and reflect on the wonderful moments shared so far.

Once outside and reunited, Kinosaki Onsen provides many delightful activities to enjoy: strolling, photographing, cafe-hopping or culture experiencing. In addition, seasonal delights from sakura to snow crabs provide easy excuses for those hoping to revisit again together.

For those who are deeper into their true love journey, with a seasoned and long lasting relationship or potentially enjoying dating experiences to keep their marriage joyful, Kinosaki has a wide selection of hotels and ryokans for longer, more relaxed visits where couples can enjoy the warm waters and quiet countryside to recharge their batteries and maintain a healthy relationship together.

Kinosaki Onsen Provides Many Delightful Activities To Enjoy

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