Arima Hot Spring

Arima Hot Spring is located in the northern part of Kobe City, and is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. Japanese mythology says that this spring was found when people saw crows healing their wounds by taking hot water. The spring was written about in Nihon-Shoki (completed around 720) or Makuranoshoshi (The Pillow Book) (written around 1000). Since then, this spring has prospered and so has a long history. For example, Onsenji-Temple in this town was built in 724. Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537 to 1598) went there many times over.

There are two types of springs, Kinsen (gold spring) and Ginsen (silver spring). The Kinsen looks brown by iron in the water coming in contact with the air which oxidizes the iron, and is sticky, clinging to a human body; and the Ginsen is transparent and smooth.

The center area of this town where shops and restaurants are gathered is not so large, and you can have a look around in a few hours, but every road is narrow and steep and there are many stairs here and there.

Here, I show you the town of Arima Hot Spring, and in autumn for the autumn leaves and in cherry blossom time.

The town has many old and profound wooden buildings, from which you can perceive that this town has a long history. There are some parts where steam spouts from a groove at the side of a road, and spring sources in the town. In addition, it is the characteristic of this town that there are many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. It is good to stroll the town wearing a yukata (informal cotton kimono) in summer, but wearing getas (Japanese wooden shoes) may give you to foot pain.

  • Spring source in the town.

  • Too many stairs.

    This is Onsen-ji Temple.

    Finally we reached this shrine, after going up the long, long stair way.

  • The autumn leaves in Arima are worth seeing.
    Under them, here is Zuihoji Park, located at the highest part (an elevation of 500 meters) of this town. The distance from the center of the town is about 940 meters, the road is a slope but is well-paved and so you can reach there without taking pains wearing sneakers. This park was made by Kobe City in the beginning of the Meiji period, converting the remained site of Zuiho-ji Temple, which was abandoned, and so some traces of the temple remain in the entrance gate and gardens. The park has promenades and so you can enjoy various views.

  • The center area of the town.

Arima is enveloped by cherry blossoms in spring. There are promenades in rows of cherry trees along Arima River ― they are beautiful walkways. The riverbed glitters.

  • This is Tsutsumigataki Waterfall. The way to the waterfall is gently sloping, and we reached it before we knew it while strolling with chatting. People say that the place has the highest concentration of negative ions in Arima. There is a small shop beside the waterfall basin. We bought a canned tea and relaxed while watching the waterfall. We seemed to be able to spend hours there.

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