Tasting of Arima

Exotic Experiences to Enchant Couples

Written by Carol Lin
31 January 2015

Nothing is more romantic than going on a short holiday with your better half. Planning an exclusive 3 day 2 night getaway to Arima is the perfect way to indulge. The fastest way of getting from Tokyo to Kobe is a quick 75 minutes domestic flight from Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Kobe Airport, it takes less than an hour to get to Arima Onsen by taxi.

  • Goshobessho

Let the journey kick off at the hotel. Tocen Goshoboh is the hotel with the longest history in Arima. It expanded in 2006, adding a villa-type boutique hotel, Goshobessho. It now embraces 50,000 square feet of mountains and has 10,000 square feet of guest rooms. You will be able to enjoy yourselves in a refined and tranquil environment without worrying about any disturbances.

  • autumn leaves

You can head over to Ryozen Shunju at Hotel Hanakoyado for lunch. Ryozen Shunju offers traditional Japanese cuisine over an open counter, which allows you to enjoy and observe the chef as he prepares your meal. Be sure to pay special attention to the top-class Hyogo rice, as it has been cooked with tender loving care over a traditional iron stove using a traditional cooking pot, allowing every grain of rice to be bursting with flavor and fragrance.

Head for a stroll along the onsen street after lunch. Religion plays a large role in the origin of most Japanese onsen. Following your map, you can visit the numerous temples and shrines around the teramachi area, like Tohsen-jinjya (shrine), Onsen-ji, Nenbutsu-ji, Gokuraku-ji and Zenpuku-ji ( temples). All are filled with historical and cultural relics. A peacefull hand-in-hand stroll along this solemn yet peaceful place is sure to be a wonderful treat.

Enjoy your afternoon tea at Cafe de beau. Their signature Tanba black bean pie and Arima cake roll with natural salt from Arima onsen are a must-have.

Walking approximately 15 minutes towards Rokko-Mountain, you will arrive at the Tsuzumigataki Park, which features an 8-meter high waterfall. The water falling from the waterfall sounds like a hand drum, giving the waterfall its name. With cherry blossoms and maple trees lining the sides of the park, it has been named one of the 6 must-see spots of Arima since the Edo era.

The restaurant at Goshobessho is one of the few in Arima Onsen that serve French cuisine. It serves not only the finest ingredients from the Hyogo farmhouse and daily fresh fish from the Akashi-ura port, it also serves the best of Kobe beef. The delight and satisfaction from savoring the tender and aromatic Kobe beef with its well-marbled texture and robust flavor is a perfect experience for couples to share.

Guests can also enjoy its onsen in the bathing house, Tocen. The kinsen (golden hot spring) offers different experiences when you bathe at different times of the day.

Stylish guests will love Arima’s crafts, literature, and arts. The manufacturing of the Arima doll brush is an important cultural property of Arima, having originated from the bamboo brushes in the Edo era. The body of the brush is bound by colorful fine silk thread and the head of the doll pops up when you lift the brush. A matching set of male and female doll brushes are the best souvenirs for a couple.

Tanizaki Junichiro, a famous Japanese novelist, is another reason for art lovers to visit. He wrote a novel “A Cat, A Man called Shozo, and Two Women” when he stayed at Tocen Goshoboh. The room where he stayed and was inspired has reminded of his taste up until today. Another contemporary artist, Watanuki Hirosuke, designed a set of utensils, cups, saucers and trademarks, and other things. These items are displayed at Galeria Retiro d’ouro.

A half-day cab rental service after lunch is a perfect way to visit the back garden of Kobe, Rokko Mountain Be prepared to be wowed by the million-dollar nightscape view of Kobe from the Rokko-Shidare Observation Deck. With lights sparkling like colorful diamonds sprinkled across the land, the nightscape view of Kobe is one of the top three in Japan.

Leaving Rokko Mountain, a cab can take you to Kobe city in about 30 minutes and to Arima in about 10 minutes. You can also head to a posh restaurant in Motomachi, a foreign settlement in Kobe, for a taste of Kobe style Continental cuisine. After dinner, you will return to a surprise in your room. The Goshobessho branch of British top aromatherapy salon, Aroma Therapy B&I, will be ready in your room and at your service. You will be able to relax and release all the tension in your body with the essential oils specially prepared by their aroma therapists. There is no better way to end your trip.

After check-out on the third day, we recommend touring the Kobe breweries of Kikumasamune and Hakutsuru sake brewing museums, in Nada area. These breweries are where Japanese sake originated. You can also head further west to one of the famous landmarks of Kobe, the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, designed by a well knowm architect Tadao Ando.

Using MK Taxi Services when heading to the airport is highly recommended, as it allows you to enjoy the last bit of your quiet getaway in comfort and tranquility. You can look back at the onsen experience in slow-paced Arima and take in everything once more before leaving.