Arima Onsen 有馬温泉
Arima Onsen is a historical retreat and also a spa. The view is simply magnificent because it is surrounded by mountains and in spring, you get a magnificent view of the cherry blossoms. For a moment of quietude, while relaxing in the hot springs, this is the perfect place to go.
If you're an overnight guest, most accommodations offer free access to the hot springs.
If you're going for a one-day trip, admission fee is between 550-2,400 yen.
What To Do
Of course, you should visit an onsen! If getting naked in front of a group of strangers isn't your thing, you can rent a private onsen for a few hours. Some rooms even come with private baths in the room.
You should definitely visit one of the many beautiful temples and shrines.
This area is beautiful for cherry blossoming viewing, or "hanami" (花見) in Japanese, with the many cherry trees adoring the canal. What a breathtaking sight!
It's also a great place to go hiking. You will feel so refreshed walking through Kobe's stunning mountains.
You should also fill up on all the delicious cuisine the area has to offer.
More on this below.
Where To Eat
There are so many delicious restaurants to choose from, the choice might seem overwhelming! For a small town, there is surprisingly a lot of variety, there are of course Japanese cuisine restaurants, such as tempura, sushi, soba, okonomiyaki, fresh fish, curry, but there is also French and Italian restaurants and amazingly charming bakeries.
Here are some suggestions.
Lunch: Sabo Thic Tac (茶房 チックタク)
Sabo Thic Tac is a 100-year-old building with an impressive decor. It has some pinball machines and some vintage Japanese posters orning the walls. This traditional Japanese coffee shop is incredibly charming and is worth visiting, both for the decor and for the delicious curry.
This retro cafe serves delicious French pastries and coffee. The interior decor is typical of a traditional Japanese cafe, however, they also have beautiful exterior seats which are slightly reminiscent of the French countryside, with an undeniably beautiful Japanese touch.
You should definitely try the salt caramel parfait which is beautifully decorated, as well as their famous roll cake!
Shunju is a restaurant within the Hotel Hana Koyado. They serve delicately grilled and cooked seasonal vegetables and meat. The restaurant has a traditional open kitchen so you watch the chefs cook the ingredients over the charcoal grill before your eyes.
Reservations are required for this restaurant.
The nearest station to the Arima hot springs is Rokko Sanjo Station.
You can take a bus from Sannomiya Station or Shin-Kobe Station directly to Arima Onsen.
You can either take a local bus (Hankyu or Shinki Bus) or a highway bus from these two stations and it takes approximately the same amount of time and is 700-800 yen for a one-way trip.
From Shin-Kobe Station you can take the Hokushinkyuko Line to Tanigami Station, from there you can switch to the Kobe Dentestsu-Arima Line to Arimaonsen Station.
While in the Kansai area, this beautiful onsen area is easily accessible for a day trip or a weekend trip. You'll be able to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery and relax in the exquisite hot spring baths.