Arima Onsen (有馬温泉) is one of the oldest hot springs
in Japan. In the 700s, a monk named Gyoki (行基)
discovered Arima Onsen. Word spread of the healing
properties of the water, which drew in large crowds over
a 300 year period as the area developed. But in 1097,
there was a huge flood that severely damaged the city
and prevented further operations. Since then, the city
remained in ruin for 95years. However, another monk,
Ninsai (仁西) tried to rebuild Arima Onsen. He
constructed 12 accommodations in 1191. Unfortunately,
this rebuilt city was devastated by a fire. In 1583,
Hideyoshi Toyotomi (豊臣秀吉) visited Arima Onsen and
enjoyed the waters of the old hot spring. It was at this
time that he helped rebuild the onsen. Today it is one of
the oldest running traditional onsen in Japan.
Arima Onsen has three different type of hot springs, Kinsen (金泉), Ginsen (銀泉), and Dousen (銅泉). Each hot spring has different a function. Kinsen is good for poor circulation, and joint pain. Ginsen is good for high blood pressure and heart disease. Dousen is good for menopausal disorder and asthma. Arima Onsen is also famous for Geisha (芸妓), traditional female entertainers. They perform traditional dances, singing, and chat with the customers. They always put white make up on their face and wear Japanese traditional clothes kimono.