This past summer my mom visited me in Japan and our schedule was action packed to say the least. Although we had a great time travelling around western Japan, there is one particular experience I wanted to highlight, which was our journey up Mt. Rokko and to Arima Onsen in Kobe. Although I have been to Kobe several times, this trip out of the city is something I have never ventured to do and was excited to try with my mom. Mt. Rokko (931 meters or 3054 feet) is the highest peak in the Mt. Rokko mountain range and provides a scenic green backdrop to the city of Kobe. At its peak, a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Kobe can be captured from its observatory deck. In addition to its observatory, various small tourist attractions can be found on Mt. Rokko, including: a botanical garden, a music box museum, a pasture with flowers and sheep, Japan’s first golf course and the Rokko Garden Terrace, a complex of a few restaurants and shops. On the opposite side of the mountain accessible by ropeway lies Arima Onsen, a famous hot spring town with a history of over one thousand years. Arima Onsen is considered one of Japan’s oldest hot spring resorts and is a fixture among the top in onsen rankings. The town has two types of hot spring waters which spring up at various sources around the town: the Kinsen (“gold water”) is colored brown with iron deposits and is said to be good for skin ailments and muscle pain, while the clear Ginsen (“silver water”) contains radium and carbonate and is said to cure various muscle and joint ailments. My mom and I chose to visit Taiko no Yu, the only onsen in town that offers both experiences. Be aware travelling up Mt. Rokko and to Arima Onsen is no short of a journey and will require you to board or be boarded by nearly every form of transportation from Sannomiya Station in order to get there, including: trains, a cable car, busses, a ropeway; and even possibly yourself if I happen to get tired and require a piggy back ride.. 🙂 This experience is a must do if travelling to Kobe, Japan!
For information on onsens near Seattle see Seattle Met article: Hidden Hot Springs Near Seattle