Discover the spring, summer, autumn & winter in Kinosaki Onsen and pick the best time to travel to a classic hot spring town…
Kinosaki Onsen, located conveniently nearby to all the major cities of the Kansai region such as Kyoto & Osaka, is a charming & atmospheric traditional hot spring town, praised by the Lonely Planet travel guide as the “best onsen town” in Japan. Kinosaki Onsen is also blessed with four distinct seasons.
Spring (April ~ May)
In late March or early April the blooming cherry blossoms along the Otani River running through central Kinosaki Onsen create an amazing arcade of color. Peak blooming times vary every year according to weather, but in general the peak is about 1 week after blooming starts. The months of April & May offer a particularly mild & pleasant climate.
Summer (June ~ August)
Your image of hot spring enjoyment may not be in summer, but hot spring towns & resorts are a popular destination during the summer months for Japanese families taking advantage of school breaks to enjoy a relaxing break. Kinosaki’s proximity to the Sea of Japan means it is usually a little cooler than the inland cities surrounded by high mountains.
June is the rainy season but in fact hot spring towns are known as one of the best trips for a rainy day because of the photographic atmosphere. July is when the heat begins but Shogetsutei’s garden pool opens at the end of July for the start of summer swimming. August is the obon holiday period in Japan and typically the period between the second and third weekends is the busiest, but other works are comparatively less busy and quiet.
Autumn (Oct ~ Nov)
The cool weathers slowly begin to return from around mid September and by October the temperatures have returned to spring-like comfortable. The famous Kinosaki Onsen danjiri “shrine fighting” festival is on 14th & 15th of October. Autumn colors begin to show partly starting around late October, reaching their full peak around the end of November or into early December. The “Matsuba Crab” fishing season begins on 7 November and signals the start of Kinosaki’s busy crab season.
Winter (Dec ~ March)
Throughout Japan, Kinosaki Onsen is probably best known as the premiere destination to enjoy Matsuba Crab, the local name for the snow crab fished from the Sea of Japan between 7 November to late March. The cold weather also makes the hot spring baths extra enjoyable!