Kinosaki Onsen, Hyogo Prefecture ー With exams starting next week, there was just enough time to go on one last quick trip before switching to study mode! The original plan was to go to Kanazawa which is famous for gold (among other things), but unfortunately, there was a severe snow storm that stopped the trains going in that direction. After some last minute changes, we decided on a small onsen town in northern Hyogo Prefecture called Kinosaki.
A scenic 2 hour and 40 minute train ride from Osaka station (¥5,600) will get you to Kinosaki Onsen right in time to roam the streets before sitting down for lunch. We left Osaka – a snowless urban centre – and arrived in a winter wonderland. Of course having cancelled a trip to Kanazawa, we were aware that there was a snowstorm along the Japan coast, but we had no idea to what extent it had spread!
Nevertheless, the town looked beautiful – even with snow falling endlessly from the roofs directly onto the sidewalks. We jumped over puddles, dodged the spray from cars, and ducked out of the way of falling snow for a little while before giving in and finding refuge in a restaurant. Okesho Sengyo (おけしょう鮮魚) was the local recommendation and it did not disappoint! Diners have the option of selecting their own fish from the market below and having it prepared for them, or ordering from the menu. We chose the later and dined on assorted fish over rice.
Once we finished lunch and our socks had dried, it was time to hit the streets and explore more of the town. Kinosaki Onsen is famous for 7 hot springs that are scattered around the town. If you’re interested in reading more about each bath, here is a link. We went to 2 of the baths, the second one have a large outdoor area where you could sit and watch a waterfall cascade down into the bath. It was a great way to relax and escape the cold (might be a good idea to bring back to Canada!).
Here’s hoping that the next round of exams go well! Once they are over, I’ll submit my thesis and then be done the first year. Had to believe it’s almost over.