Relaxing in Hyogo private onsen without the crowds
Sep 08, 2020
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the need for social distancing, a private hot spring bath (or onsen) is the perfect way to enjoy the hot springs without crowds. Kinosaki Onsen is known for its seven public onsens spread out through town, but it also has around 40 private onsens inside various accommodations.
The private hot spring baths inside ryokan, or traditional Japanese inns, can be used per reservation or on a first-come-first-served basis, sometimes for an extra charge. That way, guests can enjoy a relaxing soak either by themselves or with their friends, family, or partner, away from other guests.
There are three different ways to enjoy a bath privately: a private onsen in a ryokan, a private session in one of the public onsen, and a private bath inside the guest’s room.
For an all-out relaxation experience, Nishimuraya Hotel Shogetsutei has three different private onsen spas, each complete with their own rock sauna and lounge. Guests staying at Nishimuraya (both Hotel Shogetsutei and Honkan) can reserve their desired time and bath, which is available in either a Japanese, Balinese, or Chinese style. With some complimentary sparkling wine, these open-air hot springs are perfect for those on a romantic honeymoon. The ryokan also provides various massages and aroma treatments at the Relaxation Salon Fuka.
In Nishimuraya Honkan, a traditional Japanese-style inn with over 150 years of history, some of the guest rooms have their own private bath; however, these baths do not use hot spring water. Whether staying with family or friends in a room together, one can enjoy an intimate experience in a private outdoor bath with a gorgeous view.
Three fragrant baths are available for reservations at Yuraku, a ryokan surrounded by greenery and woods located in the backroads of town. Guests can choose between orchids & roses, oranges & limes, and apples for a relaxing dip perfect for couples.
Another ryokan in Kinosaki with private hot springs is Shinonomesou, an inn with a cozy wooden exterior and interior complimenting the ambiance of the town. Here, guests can relax in a bath accented with a beautiful tiled mural and a hot tub. This spacious bath is perfect for families.
Additionally, for a fee, families can enjoy a private hot spring bath within one of two public baths, Ichino-yu or Jizo-yu, upon arrival in Kinosaki. The seven public onsen and many of the town’s private onsen, including Yuraku and Shinonomeso, are also completely tattoo-friendly. For other private onsens, please contact the ryokan in advance, as the rules differ by business. Private onsen is the perfect solution for those looking for a quiet, relaxing space to themselves at the hot springs.