Looking for a hot spring in Kansai, near Osaka?
Arima Onsen is the most popular hot spring in the area, however it is not convenient to access and it can be really crowded. How about Koyokan Bettei Azale in Takedao Onsen?
Koyokan Bettei Azale offers premium quality hot spring baths. This is a off the beaten tracks spot; most Japanese people living in Osaka don’t even know about it. Takedao Onsen is located 40 minutes away from Osaka, on the Western side of the agglomeration.
From Osaka Station you will take the JR Fukuchiyama line bound for Takarazuka. If you take an express train don’t forget to change to a local train in Nishinomiya Najio Station (express trains do not stop at the Takedao Station).
Takedao Onsen is hidden between Takarazuka and Sanda, in the Muko valley. This valley is so small that the train station was built inside a tunnel. Once you will get off the train, you will find yourself surrounded by nature. You will also notice that it’s a very quiet place; the only sound is coming from the river.From the exit of the train station, go on your right and walk 5 minutes. You will have to cross a dark tunnel, luckily it is only 50 meters long (about 160 ft); and on the right you will find the entrance of the Koyokan Bettei Azale.
The Koyokan Bettei Azale is a luxurious ryokan (Japanese Traditional Inn), renovated 3 years ago. It offers all the modern comfort, though it didn’t lose its Japanese charms. The Ryokan has 12 Japanese combined Western Hanare (Private Guest Residence) with private bathroom and views of the river or mountains.
As a Hot Spring Ryokan, what I really appreciate about the Koyokan Bettei Azale is its baths. The baths are clean, quiet (few people know about this place) and though you go there on Saturdays you might be the only person using the baths. I went there last Saturday and I could enjoy the baths all for myself. It was great!!
I first took a quick shower beside the indoor bath. Then I could relax in the outdoor bath, listen to birds…what a relief when you come from the city center of Osaka.
For information the water temperature was 39 C degrees (Around 100 F), which is quiet mild.
After the bath I would suggest you to have a drink on the terrace, and just enjoy your time.