Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kinosaki Onsen hot spring town!

So as mentioned previously I went back to my hostel at 7 a.m. and went straight to bed!
I slept for 3-4 hours until I had to wake up so that I had time to pack and "check-out" I am still returning to J-hoppers tomorrow since today I am going to Kinosaki-Onsen, the fam
ous hot spring town in Kyoto-prefecture about 3 hours by train from Kyoto city.
I left my luggage to the hostel and packed with me only a pair of change shirts and computer and so on and so on. Then I went to the kitchen to make me something to eat before going to the station.

I was still tired and had no intentions to make anything complicated so I just cut up some fruit, cooked some porridge fried an egg and put 1 piece of toast to the toaster. That was it and it was enough to make me full so I was satisfied. Of course some coffee was involved in this simple breakfast as well, I needed it!

From there I took my leave after taking my sweet time at the breakfast table towards the station. I just asked the ticket counter for the tickets for Kinosaki Onsen and I showed my JR pass and thus I was soon on my way.

The train does not operate so often so I had to wait for awhile so I went to look around inside the station. The Kyoto station in itself is a piece of architectural gold! It was very cool and I could even go to a terrace on the top. There was so many escalators and stairs ! The Station is very high since there are a lot of shops there. The view was nice but I think I enjoyed the stations design the most.

The time had come to go back to the tracks and board the train towards Kinosaki. The train trip was very nice and I dozed off a couple of times but weirdly enough I didn't sleep so much even though I was very tired.

I have visited Kinosaki one time before and would not mind visiting there every year. It is just so beautiful! I love it! It is preserved pretty much as it was a long time ago with its old houses, restored tho, its canal and bridges etc. It is very picturesque and majestic!

I went to my Ryokan after having asked for some help to find it from the info near the station. It took 10 minutes to walk there and I was so surprised at how beautiful my room was. Ryokans are Japanese style inns where you can enjoy the traditional Japanese style rooms and they also offer traditional Japanese food served to the rooms. These are called kaiseki ryori and are very carefully done with the utmost precision.
I had not ordered it since I was planning to eat in town.

I then put on my kimono and went out to town in my gettas, wooden slippers, which I lent from the ryokan.
I went to a couple of baths and walked around the town for a while and started to become hungry.
I could not decide on a place where to eat and there really was not many restaurants. Some of them appeared not to be open yet so I just went to Lawson, one of the many chain convenience stores in Japan, and bought some food from there and ate it at my Ryokan. I had been so exhausted of the walking and baths so I did not regret doing something so lame. I know it is kind of a shame not to eat here since I came all the way here already but I really don't care since the baths and views are enough to me.

I then went back out to the town to bathe some more. There are many hot springs to chose from so I visited today altogether 6 different bath houses. The one day bath pass was included to the price of my lodging at the Ryokan so I had only to show it to get in.
Normally it costs 1000 yen and you can use the baths so much as you want and as said, there are many to chose from and you could even go to every one if you so decided.

The night time town was SO AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL!
Imagine if you will, people in kimonos and gettas walking down in a lit up town. Alongside the river were some cranes and people who were all so relaxed. The moon was shining on the sky and adding to the mood. It is something that you MUST experience yourself to really understand the feeling I had.

The baths are open to 11 p.m. so you could easily the baths in the evening too.
So I was getting tired and started to head back to my Ryokan.

Tomorrow I will leave back to Kyoto from where I will go to Nara.

Cheers
Robert