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Southern Kinki

In southern Kinki (also known as Kansai), people are more relaxed and casual -- especially in Osaka where the locals admire a good sense of humor and great food. People in Kansai are friendly and outgoing, so don't be afraid to chat with the locals.

Even though Japan's current capital is Tokyo, the Kansai region has a longer history. It was home to the first Imperial capital, established in Osaka during the seventh century. When the capital moved to Nara, it started a thousand-year history of prosperity.

Since Osaka is Japan's second largest city, you won't find any onsen in rural or natural settings. Instead, you can enjoy a number of man-made onsen.

Osaka city landmarks include the Osaka Dome and a Universal Studios amusement park. Arcade shopping takes place in Nanba, a funky neighborhood of bars, clubs, and shops. Head to Denden Town for consumer electronics and videogame paraphernalia.

Excellent hot springs and beaches are located in Wakayama prefecture. What's great about the onsen here is that many of them were built facing the Pacific Ocean. Look at the stars and listen to the sound of the ocean during your bath. Try the tuna at local restaurants the city is famous for it.

The capital of Hyogo is Kobe, a port city with a long history. Kobe's unique mix of Japanese and foreign culture has created a mature and sophisticated city. Himeji castle is also a famous site in Hyogo. It's been refurbished inside and out. Have a look at what an ancient Japanese castle was really like.

Onsen in Southern Kinki

Hyogo Prefecture

Ryokan Rakuzan

Ashigaru Ryokan $$

Tsuruya Ryokan $

Ryokan Sensui $$ 

Wakayama Prefecture

Minshuku Sakino-ya $ 

Hotel Himeyuri  $$ 

$ = under Y8,000 per person
$$ = between Y8,000 and Y14,500
$$$ = above Y14,500
= mixed-bathing onsen
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