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Kinosaki Onsen and Arima Onsen Win the Hot Spring General Election

 Hot spring resorts across Japan were judged in a national hot springs competition dubbed the Onsen So-senkyo (Hot Spring General Election) 2016 on criteria such as the health benefits of the water and the efforts made to emphasize their attractiveness. In the election, Kinosaki Onsen (Toyooka, Hyogo) and Arima Onsen (Kobe, Hyogo) won the first prize in the Inbound Tourism Category and the Sports & Rehabilitation Category, respectively.

   Hosted by the Uruoi (moisture) Japan Project, which was launched in collaboration with the public and private sectors, and supported by the Ministry of the Environment and the Japan Tourism Agency, the Hot Spring General Election was held in 2016 for the first time with the aim of promoting the attractiveness and benefits of hot springs to tourists, thereby revitalizing local areas. One hundred and twenty-five hot springs from 104 municipalities boasting hot spring resorts entered in eight categories including inbound tourism, sports & rehabilitation, the best facilities for families, and girls’ trips. http://www.uruoi-japan.jp/onsen/ (in Japanese)

 Kinosaki Onsen was commended for the services to tourists provided in concert with stations, inns, sotoyu (hot spring baths that are not located inside inns), and souvenir shops. It also earned high marks for the efforts made to cater to foreign tourists, such as launching a city-run hotel booking website for foreigners, having English-speaking staff stationed at tourist information offices, and providing free Wi-Fi. The number of foreign tourists visiting hot springs in Kinosaki has skyrocketed, increasing 30-fold in the past four years.
 Arima Onsen rated highly for its chalybeate water, which is said to be effective for recovering from exhaustion. Other contributing factors to the high rating of Arima Onsen include the belief that Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a famous 16th century warrior, visited the area for spa treatments, and the onsen’s popularity among climbers who want to relax in a hot spring after trekking on Mount Rokko.
Arima Onsen has “gold spring,” which is believed to have a therapeutic effect on excessive sensitivity to cold, allergic skin diseases, etc
Townscape of Arima hot spring resort
Foreign tourists in yukata strolling in the hot spring town of Kinosaki
Contact : Kinosaki Tourist Information Center
Phone or E-mail +81-796-32-3663
Website http://www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp/global/
Contact : Arima Onsen Tourist General Information Center
Phone or E-mail +81-78-904-0708
Website http://www.arima-onsen.com/