Arima is a spa town in Hyogo Prefecture, just 30 minutes by train from Shin-Kobe station. Arima Hot Springs is considered by aficionados to be one of Japan's three oldest and most famous onsen. The hot spring water that bubbles up from the bowels of the earth at Arima is said to be especially moisturizing and warming to the body and has been recommended as a tonic by generations of Kansai physicians.

Now fans can buy a souvenir Arima Six Hot Springs bath salts set, which brings together six of the distinct aromas to be found at Arima. The salts are based on those found in each of the six springs at Arima. The colours and aromas of the waters have been reproduced as closely as possible, making Arima Six Hot Springs premium bath salts.

The springs at Arima cover the gamut of minerals considered to be of value in a hot spring. They include in abundance the nine principal components considered recuperative, according to guidelines laid down by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. At Arima you can find simple springs, carbon dioxide springs, bicarbonate springs, chloride springs, sulphate springs, iron springs, sulphur springs and acidic springs.

There is also a "mystery hot spring" created by overlapping accidents. Hot springs are usually a sign of volcanic activity nearby, but there are no volcanos anywhere near Arima. Aficionados will also tell you that it takes about six million years for the seawater in Kobe Bay to become Arima hot water, a sure sign of health-boosting properties.

When having a bath with Arima bath salts, a film sometimes forms on your skin, for the concentration of salt in the water is 1.4 times that of seawater. This is sure to warm the body and will soon having you pouring with sweat. Arima bath salts also have a tremendous moisturizing effect and are efficacious in the treatment of various skin diseases.

A visit to the hot springs at Arima is a good idea at any time of year, but especially when winter temperatures set you shivering. Why not buy a set of Arima Six Hot Springs bath salts as a souvenir or gift for a loved one? And if you leave Arima kicking yourself for not having bought a set of bath salts, rest assured that they’re also available at Arima onsen’s antenna shop at Sannomiya Station in Kobe. A packet costs 1000 yen (tax excluded).

By - George Lloyd.