Saturday, February 1, 2014

Japan (Oct2013): Day 10 Kinosaki onsen

Day 10 (4/11/13): Tottori to Kinosaki onsen
Day breakdown:
1019-1103 Tottori to Hamasaka via JR San-in line local train
1206-1303 Hamasaka to Kinosaki onsen via JR San-in line local train
1340-1410 Lunch
1415 Check-in at ryokan
1425-1530 Walked around Kinosaki onsen
1615-1700 Onsen
1710-1740 Walked around Kinosaki onsen taking photos of canal
1750-1805 Went to nearby store (mini supermarket) to buy bento for dinner
1805 Arrival at ryokan

1050yen Lunch of Tempura Kani (crab) + rice
138yen Rice crackers
150yen Ebi Korokke (Prawn croquette) for dinner
298yen Fried rice for dinner
210yen 2 packs of Panda biscuits from convenience store
105yen Mineral water from convenience store
180yen Castella cake from convenience store

The trains on the JR San-in line between Tottori and Kinosaki onsen are pretty infrequent, so I took the 1019hr train from Tottori in the morning, and would eventually arrive at Kinosaki onsen at 1303hr (with a 1hr transfer at Hamasaka station).

Remember to use hyperdia website to check your train timings.

For those who have JR Pass (the nationwide version) or the JR Kansai Area Wide Pass (7000yen), you can use either of those pass to reach Kinosaki onsen from Kyoto/Osaka. It's about 3hr train ride from Kyoto/Osaka via Ltd Exp trains.

Although Kinosaki onsen is a small town, but I really loved the atmosphere and it's a nice place to spend a relaxing overnight stay away from the packed itinerary of Kyoto and Osaka visits.

The 1 carriage JR San-in line train which I took from Tottori to Hamasaka.

Press button to open the train door when boarding.

Bye bye Tottori

Even though this train has only 1 carriage, but there's a toilet onboard the train.

Many stations along the JR San-in line are unmanned, so for those stations, you will have to pay your fares (listed on this electronic board above the train driver) before you alight from the train. 

Arrival at Hamasaka station for my 1hr wait for my next train to Kinosaki onsen.
Hamasaka station platform

Hamasaka station

Opposite Hamasaka station. 

Was happy to find this public hotspring foot bath located just next to Hamasaka station. So I spent a nice leisurely 30mins here soaking my feet while waiting to catch my next train. 
Foot bath.

Taking this train from Hamasaka to Kinosaki onsen.

Have to press button to open door as well.

There's a toilet onboard this train as well.

Not all doors on this train will open even when you press the door open button to alight. So this diagram helps to explain which door will open. To help you remember, just use the door nearest to the train driver when alighting.
Random scenics during the train ride

Arrival at Kinosaki Onsen station

Alighted from the train which I just took.

Kinosaki onsen station
 While I was looking a bit lost while trying to figure my way around at the station, a lady from the Kinosaki onsen tourism office approached me and asked me which ryokan am I staying at for the night. I replied with the name of the ryokan and she brought me to a courtesy van to drive me to my ryokan. Thank you :)

Lobby area of the ryokan which I stayed at. Kawaguchiya Honkan 
Exterior of the ryokan, Kawaguchiya Honkan.
 After depositing my luggage at the ryokan, I headed out to explore Kinosaki onsen town.

Convenience store.

Winter is crab season, so it is recommended that you give crab a try if you happen to be here during winter. 

I ended up walking back to the station again. :)

A restaurant just opposite Kinosaki onsen, selling fried food to go with rice.

Just outside Kinosaki onsen station.

1 of the many public onsen (hotspring) buildings in Kinosaki onsen town.

Kinosaki onsen station.

Time for my lunch. 
Paid for the meal first, then pass the meal ticket to the staff to place my order.

My lunch. Tempura crab (850yen) with rice (200yen). 

Continued to walk around.

Went back to ryokan for check in. 
My room. 6300yen for single person room (without any meals). 
 Ryokans are usually really expensive (at least 10,000yen per pax) because they often include breakfast and dinner (half-board). Some ryokans serve dinner in your room, some will require you to have dinner in their dining hall. But since I'm on a budget on this trip, so I chose a room without any meals to save on room costs. But that's also because I've already tried other ryokan stays with dinner served in the room.
So if it's your first trip to Japan, then I would strongly recommend that you try 1 night at a ryokan stay with half board (breakfast + dinner) instead of just getting a room only without any meals.
1 door (the one that's half opened) leads to the entrance door, the other door (the one that's closed) leads to my toilet and bathroom.

Some ryokan rooms will not have ensuite toilet nor bathrooms (so you will have to use the shared toilets outside your room and the ryokan's onsen for bathing). So if this is a concern, best check the details of the room description carefully when you make your room bookings.

Then I went out to explore the town again.

Map of Kinosaki onsen town

Another public onsen building

Yet another public onsen building

This shop sells softserve (ice cream) of many different flavours. Located just opposite a Hello Kitty shop.
Hello Kitty shop

Went back to ryokan to change into my yukata and brought my towels and headed for a nearby public onsen building for my onsen soak. My ryokan stay included a onsen pass which allows me access to all of the public onsen baths for free. 
Many foreign tourists may not understand why you can't wear any bathing suit/shorts into onsen, and instead you will have to be all naked for it. That's because, onsen is primarily a bathing facility. You don't wear swimming suit when you take a shower, right? Likewise, you will have to be naked when you go to dip in an onsen. 
Remember to wash yourself thoroughly before dipping into the onsen as a courtesy to all others using the onsen to keep the onsen water clean.
I went to this onsen.

Sun was setting by the time I came out from my onsen.

After the sun went down

Bought this from a nearby mini supermarket for my dinner. Prawn croquette (150yen) + Fried rice (298yen).


  1. Hi, I will visit Tottori from Kinosaki. I need to transfer the train @ Hamasaka station. I will have only 2 minutes to transfer the train and having my luggage with me.

    Do I need to change the platform at Hamasaka station.

    Thank you ver much.

  2. Hi, I will visit Tottori from Kinosaki. I need to transfer the train @ Hamasaka station. I will have only 2 minutes to transfer the train and having my luggage with me.

    Do I need to change the platform at Hamasaka station.

    Thank you ver much.

    1. I'm not 100% sure though, but I somehow recalled having to use the stairs via the underpass to get to the other platform to transfer to the train that goes to Kinosaki onsen.

  3. Hi Sam,

    My name is Shinei and I will be going to Kinosaki Onsen from Kyoto using the Kansai Wide Area Pass.

    I have checked on Hyperdia and it shows there's a fee for "Unreserved Seats" on the limited express... I'm confused why do I need to pay for it if I'm not requesting any designated seats...

    Many thanks if you could help me on my above inquiry.