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Strolling a traditional onsen town

“Sozoro aruki” is the Japanese term for strolling – meaning to walk around without a goal or purpose in mind. In old-style hot spring towns like Kinosaki Onsen wandering through the picturesque streets while exploring the many shops, cafes, bars & restaurants is a time-honored activity.

A companion Japanese term is “sotoyu meguri” – which means touring the public hot springs. In Kinosaki Onsen, there are seven public hot springs to enjoy: each with its own unique style.

Night strolling in Kinosaki Onsen

Putting on a yukata robe & geta sandals and then going out to enjoy the public baths and stroll the town is a must-do when visiting Kinosaki Onsen. Below is a typical schedule for enjoying a one night stay.

2-3 pm: arrive Kinosaki Onsen / check-in to ryokan
3:30 pm: enjoy a bath at the ryokan
4:30 pm: go out and visit one of the public baths
5:30-6pm: return to ryokan / enjoy kaiseki dinner
8pm: go out for night strolling / public baths / enjoy shops & night entertainment
10pm: return to ryokan
10am (next day): check-out of ryokan

Guests staying at Nishimuraya Honkan or Nishimuraya Hotel Shogetsutei enjoy free access to the public hot springs from 2pm on check-in day until 3:30 pm on check-out day.*

As an added convenience, the Kinosaki Onsen Tourism Center (located in front of JR Kinosaki Onsen Station) offers a baggage check service. For 200 JPY per item check your bags to the ryokan upon arrival, leaving you hands free to enjoy your first stroll through the town before arriving to the ryokan by foot. Visitors enjoying lunch in Kinosaki Onsen will often utilize this service.

Guests of Nishimuraya Honkan or Nishimuraya Hotel Shogetsutei may also check their items (complimentary) after check-out for pickup later at the Tourism Center. You can enjoy one last stroll through Kinosaki Onsen before heading to your next destination.

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