Learn the Ancient Onsenji Bathing Method at Kinosaki Onsen


Visit Onsenji Temple and learn about toji — the ancient bathing method from Kinosaki Onsen, a 1300-year-old hot spring town. Also enjoy a ropeway ride and panoramic views from the summit of Mt. Daishi.


  • Visit the Onsenji Temple
  • Learn about toji, Kinosaki Onsen’s ancient bathing method
  • Bring home a tenugui (traditional hand towel)
  • Ride the Kinosaki Ropeway up Mt. Daishi for a stunning summit view
  • Try clay disc-throwing at Mt. Daishi's summit — a fun local custom for wish-making

Key Information


Surrounded by mountains and sea, Kinosaki Onsen is a postcard-perfect hot spring retreat. Seven public bathhouses sit within walking distance of each other in the scenic onsen town, where holidaymakers in yukata and geta (wooden sandals) saunter from bathhouse to bathhouse, or take lazy strolls along the willow-lined canal that runs through its streets. But before enjoying the hot springs, locals know to first visit Kinosaki Onsen’s Onsenji Temple, pray for blessings to the guardian of the sacred hot springs in order to be healed by the waters, and then obtain a yu-shaku — a hot spring ladle that is a necessity for entry into the hot springs. This is a ritual that was conscientiously followed until the Edo period. In this 2.5-hour tour, you will learn about this same ancient ritual, and also about the history of Onsenji Temple and the founder of Kinosaki Onsen, so you can enjoy Kinosaki Onsen’s hot springs the traditional way. You will first meet your guide at either JR Kinosaki Onsen Station or your ryokan (hotel) in Kinosaki Onsen (please provide the name of your ryokan when booking). The first stop is Yakushido Hall at the foot of Mt. Daishi, from where you will begin a 15-minute hike to Onsenji Temple midway up the mountain. At Onsenji Temple, you will learn about the ancient toji bathing method, and then receive a tenugui (hand towel) and kawarake (small clay discs). You can also buy a yu-shaku here for 2,000 JPY. In the final hour of the tour, ascend Mt. Daishi using the Kinosaki Ropeway. Enjoy a stunning summit view of the town, the Maruyama River and Sea of Japan, then put your kawarake to use. Throw the clay discs at a target located just off the mountain, make a wish, and it may just be granted. The tour will end at Sanroku Station at the foot of the mountain. From there, begin your own hot spring pilgrimage in Kinosaki Onsen, and put your knowledge of the toji method and new bathing tools to use!