07 September, 2012

Hyogo’s Best Viewpoints: Kinosaki Hot Springs and the Observation Deck.

In this issue, we’ll be starting a new series about Hyogo’s best views. The first edition features Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway and observation deck/observatory. Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway (676m) opened in 1963. It runs between Kinosaki Hot Springs resort and the summit of Mt. Daishi.

This cable car will afford you sweeping vistas of Kinosaki town and the Sea of Japan. At the middle station, there is a temple called Onsen-ji and visitors who continue to the observatory at the mountaintop will be able to enjoy a great view of Kinosaki in any season.

First, you need to buy a ticket to ride. A round-trip ticket for adults (junior high and older) costs 880 yen or 440 yen for children (aged six and over). There is no charge for children under 5 accompanied by an adult.
Return Ticket
Sanjo station (to the upper station): Adult (13+) 880 yen, Children (6+) 440 yen
Chukan station (to the middle station): Adult (13+) 540 yen, Children (6+) 270 yen
Single Ticket
Sanjo station: Adult (13+) 450 yen, Children (6+) 230 yen
Chukan station: Adult (13+) 280 yen, Children (6+) 140 yen
Kinosaki Hot Springs is also famous for Matsuba snow crab. Kinosaki Onsen Mascot Joe and Saki will welcome you to town.

The ropeway departs every 20 minutes between 9:10 am to 4:50 pm. The last car leaves the summit at 5:10 pm to return to town. The ropeway is not in operation on the second and fourth Thursday of the month excluding holidays and December 29 to January 5.
Now, time to enjoy the view from the ropeway!

Arriving at the middle station, you’ll be able to visit Onsen-ji temple and Kinosaki museum. The stunning Onsen-ji is located in front of the new station and is designated as an important cultural property of Japan. Kinosaki Museum is just a few minutes away on foot from the temple and is also well worth a visit.

Just past the café is the observatory. Before you eyes is a spectacular view out across the gently flowing Maruyama River and the Sea of Japan beyond. It is a great photo opportunity, with Kinosaki town framed against the sea.

Sotoyu Meguri (visiting seven public baths) is the best way to experience a slice of Kinosaki Hot Springs, but there is a variety of other attractions nearby, such as Kinosaki Marine World, which was introduced in a previous issue. ( http://hyogo-tourism-en.blogspot.jp/2012/07/kinosaki-marine-world.html) 
Come and enjoy classic hot spring tradition in Kinosaki!

How to get to Kinosaki Onsen Ropeways: 15 minute walk from JR Kinosaki Onsen station.
Miharashi Café Chaya
Opening hours: 10.00-16.00 (closed on second and fourth Thursday of the month.)

Hyogo Tourism Guide on Hot spring resorts.
Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway
Kinosaki Onsen Tourism Association
Next issue will feature the Historic Art Festival 2012 in Tamba Sasayama. Don’t miss it!