Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Arima Onsen – A Guide to One of Kansai’s Best Onsen Towns

Arima Onsen (有馬温泉) is one of the three most famous onsen towns in Japan. Located just 30 minutes from Kobe, the town known for the moisturizing and relaxing hot spring is also filled with a range of leisure activities to keep you entertained! Arima Onsen is also known as a summer resort as the area is cooler compared to the Kobe city center because it is in the valley of Mt. Rokkō (六甲山). On the other hand, if you come to Kansai in winter looking for some snow, it is where you want to go if you can’t find any in Osaka or Kobe!

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

As Hyōgo Prefecture‘s oldest hot spring resort with a history of over 1,000 years, it is a great destination if you are looking to spend a night somewhere that is full of a traditional Japanese atmosphere with great onsen. Shops and restaurants lined up in the traditional houses along the sides of the township’s main street – Yumotozaka (湯本坂). Entering the side path leading to the small alleys is where you will find some nice hidden boutique stores!

Arima Onsen also has some famous spots for cherry blossom and autumn foliage which we will introduce below (^_-)-☆.

How to Get to Arima Onsen

Below is the approximate time required to get to Arima Onsen by public transport from major cities in western Japan.

  • 30 minutes from Sannomiya in Kobe
  • 60 minutes from Osaka
  • 90 minutes from Kyoto
  • 90 minutes from Himeji

Going to Arima Onsen by Train

  • From JR Sannomiya Station (三ノ宮), take Kobe Municipal Subway’s (神戸市営地下鉄) Hokushin Line (北神線) and get off at Tanigami Station (谷上駅). You can refer to the train’s timetable HERE
    • Then change again for Kobe Electric Railway (神戸電鉄)’s Sanda Line (三田線) and get off at Arigaguchi Station (有馬口駅)
    • From there, Arima Onsen Station (有馬温泉駅) is just one stop away by taking the Arima Line (有馬線)
© Kobe Tourism Bureau
  • From JR Osaka Station (大阪駅), Shin-Osaka Station (新大阪駅), and Shin-Kobe Station (新神戸駅), take the Kobe Line (神戸線) to get to JR Sannomiya Station
  • From Hankyū (阪急) or Hanshin (阪神) Osaka Umeda Station (大阪梅田駅), firstly get to Shinkaichi Station (新開地). Note you might need to change trains at Kobe Sannomiya Station (神戸三ノ宮駅)
    • From Shinkaichi Station, take Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway (神戸高速鉄道) to get to Tanigami Station (谷上駅)
    • Note from Umeda Station, it takes 20 minutes more than from JR Osaka Station
    • There are also direct trains to Arima Onsen Station from Shinkaichi Station, but the number of services is limited
  • From Kyoto’s JR Fukuchiyama Station (福知山駅), firstly get to JR Sanda Station (三田駅)
    • Then change again for Kobe Electric Railway’s (神戸電鉄) Sanda Line (三田線) and get off at Arigaguchi Station (有馬口駅), where Arima Onsen Station is just one stop away by taking the Arima Line
  • From JR Himeji Station (姫路駅), there are direct trains that will stop at JR Sannomiya Station
  • You can also take Sanyo Electric Railway’s (山陽電気鉄道) express to Shinkaichi, but the number of services is limited

Going to Arima Onsen by Bus

  • From JR Nanba Station’s Minato-machi Bus Terminal (JRなんば 湊町バスターミナル), Osaka Station JR Express Bus Terminal (大阪駅JR高速バスターミナル), JR Shin-Osaka Station (新大阪駅), JR Shin-Kobe Station (新神戸駅), and Sannomiya Bus Terminal (三宮バスターミナル), you can take Arima Express (有馬エクスプレス) to Arima Onsen
    • Check the service’s timetable in advance and reserve your seats HERE
    • The cost range from 780 yen to 1,400 yen for a one-way trip, depending on which stop you board the bus. Children’s bus fare is half of the adult’s price
  • From Kyoto, there are also direct buses operating by Hankyu Bus (阪急バス) and Kyohan Bus (京阪バス) departing from JR Kyoto Station (京都駅)
    • Check the services’ timetables in advance and reserve your seats HERE
  • From Himeji, there are direct bus services from JR Himeji Station and Himeji Castle to Arima Onsen running by Shinki Bus (神姫バス)
    • A one-way trip costs 1,400 yen. Children’s bus fare is half of the adult’s price
    • You can pay by Japan’s transportation IC card, such as ICOCA
  • There are also bus services running by Hankyu Bus departing from/for Osaka International Aiport (大阪国際空港), Senri New Town (千里ニュータウン), Shin-Osaka (新大阪), and Osaka Hankyu Sanbangai (阪急三番街)
    • Please refer to the service’s timetable HERE

Tip: Many shops are closed on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so if you can, come on other weekdays because weekends will most likely be packed.

Arima Onsen’s Transporation Ticket Deals

Hankyū (阪急)

  • Arima, Rokkō 1-day or 2-day Pass (有馬・六甲周遊2dayパス): 3,100 yen
    • Gives you unlimited rides to the below train lines and bus routes during the validity period
      • Hankyū’s train lines (excluding Kobe High-Speed Line (神戸高速線)),
      • Kobe Municipal Subway (神戸市営地下鉄) between Tanigami Station (谷上駅) and Sannomiya Station (三ノ宮)
      • Kobe Electric Railway (神戸電鉄) between Tanigami Station (谷上駅) and Arima Onsen Station (有馬温泉駅)
      • Kobe City Bus Route 16 (神戸市バス16 系統)
      • Rokkō Cable Line (六甲ケーブル)
      • Rokkō Arima Ropeway (六甲有馬ロープウェー)
      • Rokkō Sanjō Bus (六甲山上バス)
    • Sales period: the 1st of April to the 18th of December 2022
    • Can be purchased from major Hankyū stations
  • Arima Onsen Taiko-no-Yu Coupon, Hankyū Version (有馬温泉 太閤の湯クーポン): 2,850 yen
    • It is a one-day pass that gives you admission to admission to Taiko Hot Spring (有馬温泉 太閤の湯) and the unlimited rides to below train lines
      • Hankyū’s train lines (excluding Kobe High-Speed Line (神戸高速線))
      • Kobe Municipal Subway (神戸市営地下鉄) between Tanigami Station (谷上駅) and Sannomiya Station (三ノ宮)
      • Kobe Electric Railway (神戸電鉄) between Tanigami Station (谷上駅) and Arima Onsen Station (有馬温泉駅)
    • Sales period: the 1st of March 2022 to the end of March 2023
    • Can be purchased from major Hankyū stations’ tickets office
    • Please note that the coupon for admission to Taiko Hot Spring can’t be used during the below period of the year
      • From the 29th of April to the 5th of May 2022
      • The 4th and the 5th of July 2022
      • From the 12th to the 15th of August 2022
      • On the 3rd of October 2022
      • From the 1st to the 3rd and the 10th of January 2023

Hanshin (阪神)

Please refer to Hanshin’s website HERE and click the “Discount Plus Tickets” on the menu bar.

Cherry Blossom and Autumn Foliage at Arima Onsen

© Kobe Tourism Bureau
  • The cherry blossom season at Arima Onsen is from early to mid-April. Below is a list of spots where you can adorn the gorgeous flowers
    • Nenehashi Bridge (ねね橋)
    • Taikōhashi Bridge (太閤橋)
    • Zenpukuji Temple (善福寺)
    • Rinkeiji Temple (林渓寺)
    • Onsenji Temple (温泉寺)
    • Nenbutsuji Temple (念仏寺)
    • Gokurakuji Temple (極楽寺)
    • Tōsen Shrine (湯泉神社)
    • Atagosan Park (愛宕山公園)
    • Zuihōji Park (瑞宝寺公園)
    • Tsuzumigataki Park (鼓ヶ滝公園)
    • Kōenbashi Bridge (公園橋)
    • Otokurabashi Bridge (乙倉橋)
  • The color of the leaves usually starts changing in early November, with the fall foliage season peaking from mid to late November

Arima Onsen’s History

According to the ancient Japanese documentation, Arima Onsen was discovered more than 3,000 years ago when two men saw the wounds on three crows were healed after soaking themselves in the hot spring. But the name of Arima Onsen only became widely known after Jomei (舒明), the emperor of Japan in the early 7th century, spent some time here.

Then in the Nara period (奈良時代) in the 8th century, the first temple of the town was built by an eminent monk of the time, Gyōki (行基). Then another monk – Jinsai (仁西), helped the locals open 12 ryokans in the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代) in the late 12th century to early 14th century so the town could get some income.

The guy who laid the foundation for the prosperity of Arima Onsen is, however, the famous samurai – Hideyoshi Toyotomi (豊臣秀吉), who loved the hot springs here so much that he visited the town several times with his wife – Nene (寧々). He even ordered his favorite tea master – Sen no Rikyū (千 利休), to hold tea ceremonies at Arima Onsen during his stay!

This is why there is a statue of Hideyoshi and Nene as well as two bridges named after them – Taikōhashi Bridge (太閤橋) and Nenehashi Bridge (ねね橋) close to Arima Onsen Station.

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

Tip: If you know you need something from convenience stores, get them before you start exploring Arima Onsen because there are only two in the entire town, one is in front of the station, and the other one is close to Nenebachi Bridge (that red bridge in the photo above that has Nene’s statue at one side of the bridge).

Two Types of Hot Spring in Arima Onsen – Gold Spring and Silver Spring

The mineral quality of the hot spring in Arima Onsen is excellent, as it contains seven of the nine main components listed by the Ministry of the Environment as present in recuperation or recovery springs.

There are two completely different types of hot springs in the entire onsen town. One of them, known as Kinsen (金泉) or gold spring, has a reddish-brown color that contains iron and salt. Its salt concentration is twice that of seawater, which will form a thin film on your skin that keeps your skin moisturized. It is also good for low back pain and muscle/joint pain.

Ginsen (銀泉), on the other hand, is colorless and transparent. It can be further subdivided into two different types of hot springs. One is carbonated, which promotes blood circulation that is good for high blood pressure. The water vapor of another Ginsen contains radium, which is said to be able to activate immune cells and enhance the natural healing power of our bodies, so it is effective for gout, rheumatism, menopause, and more.

No wonder Toyotomi Hideyoshi loved this onsen so much!

Kin no Yu Hot Spring (金の湯)

When you come to Arima Onsen, Kin no Yu is definitely the bathhouse you should visit. Located at a three-way junction near the main street – Yumotozaka, and opposite the Arima Toy Museum (有馬玩具博物館).

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

Each gender has a separate onsen pool, with Ichi no Yu (一の湯) being the male onsen pool and Ni no Yu (二の湯) as the female pool. But unfortunately, like most of the public bathhouses in Japan, there is no private onsen pool you can rent out. Instead, there is a free foot spa next to Kin no Yu that you can utilize when the bathhouse is opened.

Tip: Make sure you rinse your body after you come up from the onsen pool, so the brown iron components in the hot spring don’t end up making your clothes into a different color (=゚ω゚)ノ.

As you get into the onsen pool, you will find the hot spring is really cloudy, almost like a lot of chocolate has melted in the pool that you can’t see your arms or legs at all (´▽`*).

You might find the water gushing into the onsen from the spring is transparent in color. Don’t mistake it as they add normal hot water into the pool. The iron minerals in the hot spring only change into a brown color when it comes into contact with the air.

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

Because of the richness of the minerals in the onsen, it is not recommended you indulge yourself there for too long. As a rough guide, 15 minutes is the maximum time you want to stay in the pool.

Note the temperatures of the two pools in both male and female areas are different. One is at 44 degrees, and the other one is at 42 degrees. Pick the best one that suits you (^_-)-☆.

Taikō’s Hot Spring Drinking Fountain (太閤の飲泉場)

Because of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s love for Arima Onsen, you will see many attractions named after and/or related to him. This drinking fountain that is part of the Kin no Yu bathhouse is one of them. And when we say “named”, it is the last government position he obtained – Taikō (太閤) in his life. So instead of Hideyoshi’s Drinking Fountain, it is Taikō’s Drinking Fountain.

Note that you might expect Kinsen to come out of the fountain, but as Kinsen is only suitable for bathing, the fountain connects to Ginsen’s hot spring source.

The gourd above the spring outlet wasn’t just randomly chosen as a decoration. It is a symbol of Hideyoshi. Not only just here, but as you stroll around the onsen town, you will also find many more gourds!

Tip: Avoid weekends and public holidays as they can be crowded.

Kin no Yu Hot Spring’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information
  • Kin no Yu is open from 8 am to 10 pm daily except on the 2nd and the 4th Tuesday of the month. It also closes on the 1st of January
    • The last admission is at 9:30 pm
    • If the 2nd or the 4th Tuesday of the month is a public holiday, it will close on the following day instead
  • Admission Fees:
    • 650 yen for junior high school students and above
    • 340 yen for elementary school students
    • 850 yen for entry to both Kin no Yu and Gin no Yu Onsen
    • 1,000 yen for entry to both Kin no Yu, Taikō no Yudonokan Museum (太閤の湯殿館), and Gin no Yu Onsen
  • The bathhouse is a 5-minute walk from Arimaonsen Train Station

Kanponoyado Arima (かんぽの宿 有馬)

For a more comfortable bathing experience in the top quality of Kinsen, Kanponoyado Arima can be a great choice. For a daytime visit, although it costs a bit more than Kin no Yu, it is one of the few ryokans/facilities with its own Kinsen hot spring source. The ryokan is also known for its great customer service that is definitely worth any penny of your money (^_-)-☆.

One thing to note is it is located up a hill and further away from the train station. On a positive note, it is close to the Arima Onsen Ropeway Station, where you can refresh yourself after a good hiking trip.

Tip: If you stay overnight here, utilize their pick-up and drop-off services from the train station. Also, they try their best to cater to special dietary requirements, so make sure you tell them what you can’t eat when you book!

Daytime Hot Spring Admission Fees:

  • On weekdays:
    • 800 yen for adults
    • 400 yen for elementary school students
  • On weekends and public holidays
    • 1,000 yen for adults
    • 700 yen for elementary school students

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Gin no Yu Hot Spring (銀の湯)

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

One of the best facilities to enjoy Ginsen is Gin no Yu Hot Spring which is a little off the hot spring town and in the middle of a slope.

As you climb up the slope, you can visit Arimayama Onsenji Temple (温泉禅寺), Gokurakuji Temple (極楽寺), and Nenbutsudera Temple (念仏寺), which should keep you entertained.

Unlike the Kin no Yu Onsen, at Gin no Yu Onsen, there is also a steam sauna room for you to fully embrace the benefit of the hot spring!

And if you want to cool your body down a bit after you came up from the bath, you can grab one of the local specialties – Arima Cider (有馬サイダー) that is made from the onsen (not from the bathe that you just came out of obviously (´▽`*)).

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

Tensan Sengen Park (炭酸泉源公園)

A 5-minute walk away up the slope from Gin no Yu Onsen, there is a park called Tensan Sengen Park. This is where the spring source of Ginsen is.

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

The spring source is covered by a roof that allows you to see the bubbly carbonated Ginsen. And don’t just stand there and stare at the hot spring. Take out your water bottle and open the faucet straight next to the spring source for some drinkable hot spring with great health benefits. Although it isn’t particularly delicious, drinking a natural cider can be a great story to tell later on (^_-)-☆.

Gin no Yu Hot Spring’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information
  • Gin no Yu is open from 9 am to 8 pm daily except on the 1st and the 3rd Tuesday of the month
    • The last admission is at 7:30 pm
    • It also closes on the 1st of January
    • If the 1st or the 3rd Tuesday of the month is a public holiday, it will close on the next business day
  • Admission Fees:
    • 550 yen for junior high school students and above
    • 290 yen for elementary school students
    • 850 yen for entry to both Kin no Yu and Gin no Yu Onsen
    • 1,000 yen for entry to both Kin no Yu, Taikō no Yudonokan Museum (太閤の湯殿館), and Gin no Yu Onsen
  • The bathhouse is less than a 10-minute walk from Arimaonsen Train Station and around a 5-minute walk from Kin no Yu Hot Spring

Onsen Ryokan that Has Private Onsen Pools

If you aren’t comfortable bathing with others, then go to Arima Onsen Taketoritei Maruyama (有馬温泉 竹取亭円山), which has as many 8 private onsen pools. But just note you have to stay there overnight to utilize their facilities.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Tenjin Sengen (天神泉源)

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

As you walk around Arima Onsen, you will notice quite a few roundish devices like the one in the photo, with white steam coming out of them. Underneath most of them is the spring source of Kinsen.

One of the most representative hot spring sources is this Tenjin Sengen behind Tenjinja Shrine’s (天神社) stone torii gate. The god of the shrine looks after people’s academic performances, so if you are a student, remember to make a wish at the shrine’s worship hall (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Tōsen Shrine (湯泉神社)

Tōsen Shrine is Arima Onsen’s symbolic shrine that enshrines those three tricksters who first discovered the hot spring source. They are now the gods who look after the onsen town.

As you stand in front of the worship hall, instead of looking straight like you will normally do, look up to find the sculptures of the three crows that led to the discovery of Arima Onsen!

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

There is also a god who looks after children’s growth that is enshrined at Tōsen Shrine. Many of the rituals are to pray for a healthy and happy life for the pilgrims’ children.

One thing to note about the shrine is you have to climb up all the staircases that have deterred many people (´▽`*). And if you have made it to the top, after you visit the shrine, also drop by Atagosan Park (愛宕山公園) to enjoy the nature here (especially in spring for cherry blossoms and autumn).

How to Get to Tōsen Shrine

The shrine is less than a 10-minute walk from Arimaonsen Station and a 2-minute walk from Gin no Yu Hot Spring.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Onsenji Temple (温泉禅寺)

Onsenji Temple was established in 724, when the eminent monk of the time, Gyōki (行基), tried to cure the locals of illness using the hot spring. As the first temple built in the hot spring town, the temple is also known for a spot for cherry blossoms in spring.

At its main worship hall, there are many National Important Cultural Properties with the magnificent golden statue of Yakushi Nyorai (healing Buddha) that will definitely catch your attention.

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

But what excites us the most is the Fucha Cuisine (普茶料理), Fuchar Rōri), which is a type of Seijin Rōri (精進料理) that is offered here!

Since October 2019, the pilgrims can enjoy the Chinese-style vegan cuisine during lunchtime from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm if you book in advance by calling them at +81-78-904-0650. One thing to note is that you have to be in a group of 3 or more to book one of their 6 tables.

While it isn’t cheap to dine here (5,500 yen per person), it can be quite an experience if you have some extra cash to spare (^_-)-☆. Each table will have around 7 – 9 dishes that are shared between everyone. Unlike the small portions served at many traditional diners in Japan, you can expect dishes served in big volume here.

How to Get to Onsenji Temple

The temple is around an 8-minute walk from Arimaonsen Station.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Yunohana-dō (湯の花堂)

Another must-try local specialty at Arima Onsen is Tansan Senbei (炭酸煎餅) – carbonated crackers. Differently from its name, the crackers don’t give you the same kind of bubbly taste as fizzy drinks. It is carbonated because the shop used the carbonated hot spring instead of normal water as one of the ingredients.

There are many Tansan Senbei stores in the town, but you will at least want to drop by Yunohana-dō for its freshly made crackers called “Nama-Tansan Senbei (なま炭酸せんべい)” which you should bite within 5 SECONDS.

Why 5 seconds? Because the crakers will harden up rapidly as soon as they leave the stove.

So, to taste the two completely different textures of the cracker, block all distractions and give it a bite as soon as you hold onto it! As the shop advertises, your first mouthful will be chewy, followed by a crunchy texture as you bite it the second time (^_-)-☆.

The best thing about the handmade Tansan Senbei is it only costs 100 yen for three of them! You can hardly find something entirely handmade from scratch that is this cheap!

Tip: The original Tansan Senbei is made without butter and eggs, meaning they are completely vegan!

Most crackers of the other products that you can buy from the shop were machine-made. The popular ones are the waffle type with chocolate or cream in between two crackers that you can bring home to share with your friends and families.

The senbei/cracker at each shop tastes slightly different and have different sugar level. Try their tasters and find the Tansan Senbei you like the most before you pay!

Yunohana-dō’s Business Hours and Access Method

  • The shop is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily
  • It is a 2-minute walk to Kin no Yu Hot Spring and a 10-minute walk from Arimaonsen Train Station

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Taiko Hot Spring (太閤の湯)

Taiko Hot Spring is the largest hot spring resort in Arima Onsen, with 26 onsen pools having Kinsen and Ginsen for you to shop around. There are also bedrock baths and a sauna room for you to go in between each onsen session.

The resort’s interior will remind you about Ōedo Monogatari (大江戸物語). While there aren’t many entertaining facilities, you can sure spend a couple of hours at Taiko Hot Spring.

For more information, please refer to their website HERE.

Taiko Hot Spring’s Business Hours and Access Method

  • The shop is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily
    • The last admission is at 9 pm
  • It is a 6-minute walk to Kin no Yu Hot Spring and a 5-minute walk from Yunohana-dō (湯の花堂)

Café De Beau

Another local sweet in Arima Onsen that has the hot spring as part of the ingredients is the Swiss roll cake – Arima Roll (有馬ロール).

The homemade Arima Roll has salt extracted from Kinsen, so on top of a gentle, sweet taste, it also has a slightly salty taste. Their black bean pudding made with premium black beans from Tanba (丹波) is a must-try as well if you eat eggs!

If you are lucky to get one of the window seats overlooking their garden, your time at the cafe is just going to be extra pleasant (*´ω`).

Café De Beau’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The cafe is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily except Tuesdays
  • It is just a one-minute walk from Kin no Yu Hot Spring and a 3-minute walk from Gin no Yu Hot Spring

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Geiko Cafe Ito (芸妓カフェ 一糸)

After you come out of Kin no Yu Hot Spring, head to Geiko Cafe Ito, which is just on the block opposite the bathhouse.

Geiko Cafe Ito is the only facility in Arima Onsen where Geishas are stationed. As a Geiko Cafe/Bar, you will be served by Geishas. If you come at the right time, you can even enjoy their traditional performances without paying anything extra while having their delicious dessert menu!

Reservation isn’t required at the cafe, and if you are keen to see them sing and dance, email [email protected] to find out when the performance will be on (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Moreover, you can be transferred into a Geisha at Geiko Cafe Ito! For more information, please refer to their website HERE and translate it to English by Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.

Geiko Cafe Ito’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • The cafe/bar is open from 11 am to 3 pm and 8 pm to midnight on weekends
  • If you are heading there at night, a reservation is required
  • It is less than a 10-minute walk from Arimaonsen Station

Haibukiya Nishida Brush Shop (灰吹屋 西田筆店製造)

Apart from its hot spring-related specialties, Arima Onsen also has a really awesome traditional craft that is perfect for a souvenir for your loved ones and yourself. The Arima Doll Brushes (有馬人形筆, Arima Ningyō Fude) are great for calligraphy, painting, or simply as a decoration!

It might be hard to tell from the photo, but the beautiful patterns on the brush holder are actually created by winding colorful silk thread over and over on the wooden stick Σ(゚Д゚).

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

Considering how expensive silk is and the brushes are handmade by the shop owner and the brushmaker, the brushes are surprisingly not as expensive as one might think. The most standard brush only costs 3,300 yen!

As you pick up the brush and prepare to use it, you will be nicely surprised by the little cute doll that pops out of the handle (≧▽≦).

Haibukiya Nishida Brush Shop’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • It is open from 10 am to 6 pm daily except for Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • The brush shop is around a 5-minute walk away from Arimaonsen Station and a 2-minute walk from either Kin no Yu Hot Spring or Gin no Yu Hot Spring

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Zuihōji Park (瑞宝寺公園)

The Zuihōji Park we see today was where Zuihōji Temple was for 200 years until 1873, when an order from the Meiji Government destroyed it.

But before that, it was the spot where Toyotomi Hideyoshi chilled out and played Go games. As you find his stone Go board in the wide park, you will also find the scenery that he regarded as something that one will never get tired of!

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

Momiji Chaya (もみじ茶屋)

As one of Hyōgo Prefecture’s famous fall foliage spots, Zuihōji Park is normally packed with tourists in November that temporary rules are applied during the month to limit the amount of traffic.

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

To take care of all the people who visit the park, from the 1st to late November to the end of the fall foliage season, Momiji Chaya or Maple Tea House is open just behind the Zuihōji Temple’s gate (the only architecture that was spared from the demolishment).

On top of the normal desserts and drinks menu, there is also a light meal menu to fill you up (but the broth wouldn’t be vegetarian)!

Arima Daichakai ( 有馬大茶会 )

To commemorate Hideyoshi and the number of tea ceremonies, big and small, that he held here, from 9 am to 3 pm on the 2nd and the 3rd of November each year, various tea ceremony sessions are held across Arima Onsen for people to join as guests (you have to pay of course).

Free Chakai Bus (茶会バス) will also be running between Arima Grand Hotel (有馬グランドホテル) next to Arimaonsen Station and Zuihōji Park from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

One of the 50 Famous Flowers Spots in Kobe

Although Zuihōji Park is most well-known for its autumn foliage, it is actually also a great place to be for cherry blossoms. So don’t forget to drop by the park if you come to the onsen town in early to mid-April (=゚ω゚)ノ.

How to Get to Zuihōji Park

The park is around a 15-minute walk from Arimaonsen Station. Note it can be tiring to hike up the hill.

Tip: if you are driving, as the park doesn’t have a designated car park, you can park at Arimakirari Parking Lot (有間きらり 駐車場). While it isn’t a free car park, it has ample space that you should find at least one parking spot.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Tsuzumigataki Park (鼓ヶ滝公園)

Another famous natural spot in Arima Onsen that is good to head to throughout the year is Tsuzumigataki Park. The park is basically maintained around the Tsuzumigataki Falls (鼓ヶ滝).

© kobe.travel.coocan.jp/

Around a 10-minute walk from the town center, the park is a great place for light-hiking that you will be able to survive even with a pair of sandals. Not only there is cherry blossom and autumn foliage in spring and autumn, but the park is also known for hydrangea in early summer and fireflies close to Arima Masu Pond (有馬ます池) from late May to June.

The small Tsuzumigataki Fall in the park with only a height of 10 meters, is so famous because it used to produce a sound that resembles the sound of a drum. But due to flood damage, the Tsuzumigataki Falls is just another normal waterfall nowadays…

Nevertheless, the park is really close to Rokkō Arima Ropeway (六甲 有馬 ロープウェー) that you can conveniently drop by and ride after you have had your fill of the scenery at the top of the mountain (^_-)-☆.

© Kobe Tourism Bureau

There is also a small cafe at the back of the park where you can rest if you need to.

How to Get to Tsuzumigataki Park

  • From Arimaonsen Station, it is around a 20-minute walk.
  • From Arima Station of Rokkō Arima Ropeway (六甲 有馬 ロープウェー), it is a 5-minute walk.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Arima Onsen.

Take the Rokkō Arima Ropeway to Visit Mt. Rokkō and Mt. Maya

Arima Onsen is conveniently located at the foot of Mt. Rokkō. With a short ropeway ride, the spectacular view of Kobe City, Osaka Bay, and even further beyond will be in front of you!

Furthermore, so many interesting attractions have characteristics different from those in the onsen town. And, the night view from the observatories is said to be worth 10 million dollars!

Rokko-Garden-Terrace-Kobe-Hyogo-Japan
Click the photo to learn more about what to do up in the mountains!

Check out our article about Mt. Rokkō and Mt. Maya for more information (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Explore Other Place to Go and Hidden Gems in Kobe

Akashi-Kaikyo-Bridge-Kobe-Hyogo-Japan-
Click the photo to find out more about Kobe!

The port city of Kobe has many other popular attractions and hidden gems worth exploring. For example, for those who love nature, the Nunobiki Falls, ranked the same as the Kegon Falls (華厳滝) in Nikkō National Park, is probably the next spot you want to visit.

The Kitano Ijinkan-gai up on the hill is another place in Kobe for some great Instagram photos!

To find out more about this amazing city, please refer to our article on Kobe (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.