The oldest hot spring in Japan, Arima Onsen, is close to Kobe City.
There are two types of hot springs in this area: a dark, muddy spring called Kin no yu(Gold hot spring) and a clear, colorless spring called Gin no yu(Silver Hot Spring).
We would like to introduce you to two public baths, Kin no Yu and Gin no Yu, where you can enjoy both the Kin no Yu and Gin no Yu springs easily.
You can also stop by the silver spring where you can drink a cup of natural cider.
Gold Hot Spring and Silver Hot Spring
Arima Onsen, which appears in the Chronicles of Japan, has long been known as Japan’s oldest hot spring.
Its close to the center of Kobe, about 30 minutes away by train, makes it a popular destination for many visitors.
The number of tourists visiting Kobe is increasing, and the plan to stretch out from Kobe and stay one night is common.
The narrow alleyways of the onsen town, where yukata suits you, are also full of atmosphere.
Anyaways, there are two types of hot water in Arima Onsen, a gold spring and a silver spring.
As a side note, the words “kinsen(gold)” and “ginsen(silver)” are officially registered as trademarks by the Arima Onsen Ryokan Cooperative Association.
The reason why the hot water of Arima Onsen is called Kinsen and Ginsen is because Arima Onsen has several different spring sources, and the water is divided into two main types: one that becomes muddy with a gold (brown) color when exposed to the air, and another that is colorless and transparent.
If you visit Arima Onsen, try to compare the two types of hot water.
If you want to get into the Gold Spring, Arima Hon Onsen Kin no Yu!
Now, if you want to enjoy the gold and silver springs, you must visit the gold and silver baths in the public baths.
Let’s start with the Kin no Yu(gold hot spring).
It’s located at a three-way intersection near a busy street with souvenir shops and the Arima Toy Museum across the street.
The men’s bath is called Ichino-yu and the women’s bath is called Ni-no-yu, and there are two types of bathrooms: a 44-degree hot water bath tub with plenty of golden spring water and a 42-degree warm water bath tub.
The color of the hot water of the high-sodium chloride containing iron sodium chloride high-salt hot spring is dark orange, and it is cloudy as if it had melted chocolate
And, when you go in, you can’t see the arms and legs you sank into at all.
This public bath is a great public bath, and the locals have been known to say that if you’re in Arima Onsen, you should definitely take a bath in this golden hot spring.
However, be careful not to overdo it bucause the water is very thick.
Arima Onsen’s Gourd is the Symbol of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
The public bathhouse, Kin no Yu, also has a selection of Hideyoshi’s drinking fountains and footbaths.
You can use these two baths without paying fee, so feel free to drop by.
Since the gold spring is not suitable for drinking, the hot water in the drinking fountain is not gold, but silver sodium chloride spring.
What’s interesting is the gourds placed at the entrance of the spring.
In addition to the Kinno-yu Spa, if you walk around the Arima Onsen, you may notice gourds here and there in the bathhouse.
In fact, these gourds are the seals of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who loved Arima Onsen and assisted in its recovery.
If you want to get into a Silver Onsen, Arima Onsen Gin no Yu!
Let’s also take a look at another public bathhouse in Arima Onsen, Gin no Yu.
This one is located halfway up the hill, just outside the hot spring town.
You’ll find it when you are going up the hill from Arima Onsenji Temple, Gokurakuji Temple and Nenbutsuji Temple.
The hot water in Gin no Yu(silver hot spring) is a mixture of carbonate and radium springs.
The water is clear and colorless and warms you up well, but you will feel refreshed afterwards.
This bathhouse is also equipped with a mist sauna and a Jacuzzi.
Not only the color of the water you see, but also the feeling you get from the bathing experience is different from that of the Kin no yu, so if you come to Arima Onsen, be sure to compare the two types of baths.
Try to drink natural cider and silver hot water carbonated spring
Arima Onsen’s popular souvenirs are carbonated rice crackers and Arima Cider Water.
So, the last place we would like to introduce to you is a place where you can drink either the carbonated spring or the radium spring in Gin no Yu.
This place is located in a Tansan sengen park(carbonated spring park) about a 5 minute walk up the hill from Gin no Yu.
The natural carbonated spring water of Arima Onsen used to be drunk as cider with sugar added to it.
Before the Meiji era, it was called poisonous water and people didn’t even go near it.
The bubbling carbon dioxide spring gushes out of the roofed spring.
Next to it is a tap for drinking water!
The crisp, refreshing taste of this drink may make you smile.
The taste of this drink will surely soak into your body after a hot spring bath.
Enjoy Both the Gold and Silver baths!
We’ve introduced you to the public bathhouse Kin no Yu, the public bathhouse Gin no Yu, and the carbonated spring source where you can drink a carbonated spring.
The Kin no Yu and the Gin no Yu public baths are closed so that you can take a bath at either of them whenever you visit Arima Onsen.
There are also special tickets available for both Kin no yu and Gin no yu, or for the Taiko no Yudenkan (museum) and all three museums, so please check them out.