27 September, 2010

The Oldest Hot Springs in Japan: Arima Hot Springs

Arima Hot Springs in Kobe is the oldest hot springs in Japan. During the Edo period, it was given the title "Nishiozeki," the highest rank given to the best hot springs in Japan.

                                         One of the main hot springs in Arima: Tenjin hot spring

Arima has been loved by emperors, Royal families, and other powerful individuals but Arima was especially loved by the famous shogun, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who visited here numerous times, organized the infrastructure, and helped with the development of the area.

                                                           Statue of Hideyoshi Toyotomi

Arima hot springs are know for its “golden springs.” The water actually turns from clear to this brown-ish color as soon as the water touches the air. This type of water is actually very rare in Japan. Visitors can find the “golden bath” in many locations around town, and they can even try the foot bath free of charge.

                                                                    Golden Foot Bath

Another popular hot spring is called the “silver spring.” There are two types of silver spring, one has the hydrogen carbonated water and the other has the radium water.
This hydrogen carbonated water is used to make carbonated Japanese rice cracker. With their slightly sweet flavor, they are one of the most popular souvenirs from Arima. Hydrogen carbonated water was also used to make the first soda in Japan, called the Arima Cider. They are the perfect drink after taking a nice dip in the hot springs.

                                                    Arima Cider        Carbonated Rice Crackers

During fall, I highly recommend Zuihouji Temple Park. The place is recognized as the one of the best area in Hyogo prefecture for viewing fall leaves. In November, the temple hosts the Maple Leaf Tea Party where the visitors can enjoy the green tea and watch the beautiful scenery.

                                                         Arima Maple Leaf Tea Party

This famous Arima Hot Springs is easily accessable from the central part of Kobe. Please come and see the beauty of Arima when you’re in town.

Hana (Hyogo Tourism Assocation)