Kinosaki

Kinosaki is a small town close to the Japan sea about two and a half hours from Osaka by slow train; it’s famous for its hot springs. It is a great place to visit if you have the time.

You need to stay for the night, enjoy at least one of the half-dozen public hot springs, relax in yukata at a Japanese traditional inn, take a stroll through the streets in geta (wooden footwear), and most importantly, enjoy a banquet of crab in the comfort of your own tatami room.

Add to that: go for a hike in the nearby hills, peruse some of the souvenir stores selling wooden crafts, gawk at the prices for fresh crab on sale along the streets, eat tamago-onsen (soft-boiled egg made with hot spring water) and take a short bus to any of the nearby towns competing with Kinosaki for tourists.

It’s a good way to spend two free days in the winter. A touch of snow would have made my visit on Boxing Day a bit more charming; instead there was rain and overcast skies. But the crab was absolutely delicious. It’s a fun spot for any photographer.

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