After taking the meal at Kobe, I took the train from Sannomiya Station, with a few transits, to the Arima Onsen station. Upon arrival, I realized that the weather here is cooler and temperature is slightly lower than the town area, due to this place is located at higher sea level place.
Arima Onsen is the oldest hot spring area in Japan. The hot spring here is actually carbonated hot spring, the people living here using the carbonated hot spring to make “Tansan Senbei” or carbonated crackers. The shop below is right in front the train station, selling the crackers and also providing samples for visitors to taste.
River running across the town and you can actually going down, long bench are available down there too.
walking along the uphill road, there are many shops and restaurants at the sides.
On one side of the road, there is this food bath hot spring which is free of charge. The hot spring contains iron, thus the color of the hot spring looked muddy. The temperature of the water is 42.3 degree Celsius and higher if near the source. The benefits includes soothing the muscle pain and fatigues of feet. I soak my feet for about 15 minutes and it really feel great after that.
There is a drinkable spring water nearby and you can drink the water for free. It was depleted in 1993 but it become active again after the Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. But during that day there was no spring water coming out too. It was said that the water taste salty and hot.
A shop selling Matsutake (Japanese mushroom) Konbu.
This shop on the right is where the carbonated crackers originated.
A fortune cat (Maneki neko) in front of a souvenir shop.
A shop selling Arima Writing Brush, a traditional craft work and only available in Arima. It is a traditional writing brush in which if you stand it up and write something, a miniature doll will pop out at the brush holder, while you lay it down the doll will be retracted into the holder.
This shop is selling another famous traditional craft work called Arima basket, or Arima Kutsuwa (有馬籠). They are using the bamboo from the nearby Rokkosan (六甲山) as the material from the baskets and other craft works. It has a long history and their products are admired even by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉), and even awarded grand prices in the Vienna World Expo during Edo Era. More info: http://www.jcrafts.com/eg/shop/special.asp?id=arimakago
Found a kitty lazing in the afternoon and watching passerby and visitors crossing the street.
Another grey kitty did not bother about the outside world and just woke up from its power nap.
Continuing the uphill route, you will soon reaching the Tansan Spring.
A pond of spring water with carbon dioxide bubbling out under the water. This place is where the carbonated spring originated from in Arima.
There is a water tap nearby, where you can taste the carbonated spring water. Upon loosen the tap, a strong smell of sulfur emitted from it. However, the the water taste like soda water. I burped a few time after drinking the water. That no wonder people living here used to use the water mixed with sugar to make soda.
There is a signboard which advice people not to drink too much to avoid stomachache, and not to bring out due to deterioration.
A well nearby which I didn’t dare to stay close to it, look scary and reminding me of Sadako.
There are a couple of Buddhist Temple and Shrine at Arima with long history. This is Gokuraku-Ji Temple, which dedicated to Amitabha.
This is the Onsen Zen Temple. This temple was built by the Buddhist, Gyouki, who was conducted by Yakushi-Nyorai(Buddha who deals with medicine) to Arima Hot Springs in 724. Wooden images of Gyouki and Ninsai are enshrined, and they are purified by the first hot spring of the year in Irizomeshiki on January 2 every year. This temple possesses a lot of other treasures, such as a standing image of Haira-Taishou(an important cultural property) at the main shrine of this temple.
There are many cute dolls placed at the entrance of the temple. You can take one and put the money into the donation box.
This is where the hot water are supplied to the Onsen.
Hey pal, you also came to Japan.
After exploring the area, I came to this Onsen called Ginnoyu for a relaxing hot spring experience. It’s not crowded and I enjoyed the facilities. After finished, I sit at the resting area near the lobby and having my drink there.
After that, I took the bus and headed back to Osaka. Arima Onsen is a lovely place, I will bring the memory back with me, and I will come back here again.
By Train: From Sannomiya or Shin-Kobe Station, take the subway to Tanigami Station (10-15 minutes, 4-5 departures per hour). Then, take the Shintetsu Arima-Sanda Line to Arima-guchi and transfer to the Arima Line to Arima Onsen Station (20 minutes, 4 departures per hour). The entire journey takes 30-40 minutes and costs 720 yen from Shin-Kobe and 900 yen from Sannomiya Station.
From Osaka: Hankyu Bus and Nishinihon JR Bus operate one or two highway buses per hour from Hankyu Umeda Station or JR Osaka Station (60 minutes, 1330 yen) via Shin-Osaka Station (50 minutes, 1200 yen) to Arima Onsen. Nishinihon JR Bus offers round trip tickets for 2400 yen and 2200 yen respectively.