Hyogo Prefecture is full of reasonable attractions that can be enjoyed on a tight budget. In the city of Kobe you can enjoy "million-dollar" night views free of charge from the Kobe City Hall 24th Floor Observation Lobby. Admission to the Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-Gai district is cheap or free of charge. Hyogo also has many factories offering tours, including those of companies such as Kewpie and the UCC coffee company, as well as sake breweries and other places where you can enjoy free tastings. And if you're looking for more of an intellectual challenge, check out the playful science experiences on offer at Nadahama Science Square and learn about geological formations and fossils at the Genbudo Museum. You don't need a big budget to check out these reasonably priced highlights in the Hyogo area.

    1

    Kobe City Hall Observation Lobby

    The Kobe City Hall Observation Lobby has amazing views of the city from its 24th floor vantage point. Up there at about 100 metre above the ground, you can enjoy the million-dollar night view of Kobe free of charge. Simply go into Building No. 1 of Kobe City Hall facing Flower Road and take the lift for the upper floors to arrive at the observation lobby. From the observation room on the 24th floor you can see the cityscape of Harborland in the west, Rokko Island and Kobe in the east, and Kobe East Park and Port Island in the south. On a clear day, you may even be able to see the Kii Peninsula. At night, the illuminations on Mt. Ikariyama, Mt. Ikariyama and other mountains behind the city produce a dazzling backdrop of colour behind the city.

    ที่ตั้ง: 6-5-1 Kanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0001, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 8.15 am to 10 pm on weekdays, and from 10 am to 10 pm on weekends and holidays Closed over New Year holidays and during facility inspections

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    2

    Tajima Pasture Park

    Tajima Pasture Park is a public park located in the town of Shinonsen. And it's so much more than a park, with other features on-site including a vast ranch, an observatory, a visitor centre where you can get hands-on with crops, and the Tajima Beef Museum. You can also interact with animals free of charge. There are Tajima cattle grazing without a care in the world, and you can freely interact with the sheep and goats living here at their leisure. There are also small animal huts with lambs, goats and rabbits. Over at the visitor centre you can try your hand at making pancakes, soba noodles and sausages, and you only have to pay for the cost of materials and use of the room. Thanks to the park's high altitude, there are also ski schools held here in winter. The easiest way of getting here is by car.

    ที่ตั้ง: 1033 Tando, Shinonsen, Mikata District, Hyogo 669-6813, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 9 am to 5 pm Closed on Thursdays

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    ภาพโดย 藤谷良秀 (CC BY-SA 4.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    3

    Genbudo Cave

    Genbudo Cave near Kinosaki Onsen is a designated National Natural Monument and has been selected as one of Japan's "Top 100 Geological Sites". The site originated when magma from an eruption 1.6 million years ago was cooled and then eroded by rivers. Genbudo Park, where Genbudo Cave is located, has a total of 5 caves, including the impressive Seiryu Cave, a 33-metre-high and 44-metre-wide precipice. There's no admission fee or parking fee for the park, so you won't need any cash. But there is a paid guided tour offering more information, or you might want to visit the Genbudo Museum, which opened in 2018. The museum has an excellent collection of rare gems and minerals as well as giant Asian elephant bones. The best way of getting here is to rent a bicycle from Kinosaki Onsen.

    ที่ตั้ง: Akaishi, Toyooka, Hyogo 668-0801, Japan

    เปิด: Open all year round

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    ภาพโดย Hashi photo (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    4

    Takarazuka Revue Hall of Fame

    Takarazuka City in Hyogo Prefecture is home to the famous Takarazuka Revue. At the Takarazuka Revue Hall of Fame you can take a deep dive into the troupe's glittering 100-year history for only 500 yen. The 2nd floor is full of photos and items related to the graduates and staff of the Takarazuka Revue. This is the place to check out the performers' treasures while listening to songs connected to the performers. Heading up to the 3rd floor, you'll get a closer look at the costumes that the current crop of stars have been wearing in their recent performances, and at the "Props Experience Corner" you'll be able to pick up some the props that have actually been used on-stage. And last but not least, there's a "Grand Finale Stairway" where you can experience what it must be like to close the curtain on a great performance. Strike a pose and take a photo worth keeping with the stage set in the background. To get here, head to Takarazuka Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line. The opera hall is right next to the station.

    ที่ตั้ง: 1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City, Hyogo 665-8558, Japan

    เปิด: 1st performance: from 10 am to 5 pm 2nd performance: from 9.3 am to 5 pm Closed when Takarazuka Grand Theater is closed

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    ภาพโดย 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    5

    Kobe Maritime Museum and Kobe Port Tower

    Kobe Maritime Museum is one of the iconic features of the port city of Kobe. Established to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of Kobe Port, its impressive architecture is inspired by waves and ship sails. On the 1st floor, there's an exhibition room introducing cruise ships as well as a Kawasaki World corporate museum showcasing the famous Kawasaki company whose history is closely linked to that of Kobe Port. The 2nd floor has dioramas and Japanese ship models tracing the history of Japanese boats from the Nara period. If you're planning to visit both the Kobe Maritime Museum and Kobe Port Tower, it's a cheaper to get a combined ticket for the two sites. To get here, take the Kaigan Line to Minato Motomachi Station.

    ที่ตั้ง: 2-2 Hatobacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0042, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 10 am to 5 pm Closed on Mondays and New Year holidays

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    ภาพโดย Zairon (CC BY-SA 4.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    6

    Take a walk around Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-Gai

    Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-gai is an area that includes Kitano-cho and Yamamoto-dori, which are traditional building preservation districts where you can still find many Western-style buildings that were built in the Meiji and Taisho eras. Kobe's main appeal to tourists is its romantic cityscape coupled with an exotic atmosphere. If you want to enter all the buildings that are open to the public, it'll cost you 3,000 yen or upwards even if you use a pass. So here are some tips for enjoying the nostalgic scenery of this city on a budget. Start by visiting The Former Thomas House and Moegi House, which are owned by Kobe City and are designated as Nationally Important Cultural Properties. The admission ticket for these 2 buildings is just 650 yen. Next, stop by the Line House, one of Kobe City's finest certified traditional building. Admission is free of charge.

    ที่ตั้ง: 3-13-3 Kitanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0002, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 9 am to 6 pm

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    7

    Tour the sake breweries of Nada

    The combined area of Higashinada Ward, Nada Ward, and Nishinomiya City in Kobe City has long been called "Nada Gogo" and is one of Japan's leading sake production areas. Sake brewing began here in the Kamakura period, and now just under 30 sake breweries are active in the area. As you walk through the streets of Nada Gogo, you'll no doubt be overwhelmed by the indescribable aroma of newly brewed sake. Each sake brewery is open for visits all year round, and the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum is one of the area's highlights. The old-fashioned sake brewing process is preserved as-is, and there are even life-sized dolls to give an idea of scale. The brewery tour is free of charge, and after the tour, you can try some samples and purchase rare sake that's only available here. Some of the breweries also serve snacks that go well with sake. To get to Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, get off at Hanshin Sumiyoshi Station and then walk for about 5 minutes.

    ที่ตั้ง: 4-5-5 Sumiyoshi Minamimachi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 658-0041, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm Closed over O-Bon and New Year holidays

    8

    UCC Coffee Museum

    UCC Coffee Museum on Kobe's Port Island is the only coffee museum in Japan. The exterior of the building is designed to look like a mosque out of respect for Islam's role in the spreading of coffee culture. The admission fee is 300 yen for adults, and it's free for children and teenagers, so the whole family can enjoy this museum for about the price of a cup of coffee. You'll also receive a tasting voucher that you can use to sample and compare different coffee drinks based on the day's theme. There's an exhibition room where you can learn about the history of coffee, actually touch beans, and learn about roasting and brewing tools. You can also listen to an audio guide on your smartphone. If you become a member of Club UCC (it's free), you'll receive coupons to use for souvenirs. To get here, take the train to Port Liner Minami Koen Station and then walk for about 1 minute.

    ที่ตั้ง: 6-6-2 Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0046, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 10 am to 5 pm Closed on Mondays (or on the next day if Monday is a public holiday) and over New Year holidays

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    ภาพโดย KishujiRapid (CC BY-SA 4.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    9

    Kewpie Kobe Factory

    With its familiar doll logo, Kewpie Mayonnaise offers open kitchens (factory tours) at 5 of its factories nationwide, including here in Kobe. The Kobe factory was built from the ground up with the idea of eventually giving factory tours, and this means a unique opportunity to see robots in action up-close. Children in particular will be wowed to see these cutting-edge industrial high-performance robots. The tour takes about 90 minutes and you'll need to book ahead on the website or by phone. After an introduction in the entrance hall (which is modelled on a salad!), there are videos to watch, the manufacturing process to observe, and finally mayonnaise to sample. In the tasting area you can try more than 10 kinds of Kewpie mayonnaises and dressings. There are also mayonnaise-related souvenirs, too. And you can buy goods and merchandise at the Kewpie Shop on-site. To get here, take the bus from JR Konan Yamate Station and get off at the Fukaehamamachi West stop.

    ที่ตั้ง: 27-1 Fukaehamamachi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 658-0023, Japan

    เปิด: Reservation required

    ภาพโดย Anna Hanks (CC BY 2.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    10

    Nadahama Science Square

    Nadahama Science Square is a special facility that was established by Kobe Steel. Here you can learn about steelmaking, power generation, energy, and the environment while having fun. Admission is free. Outside there's also a biotope with a rich ecosystem inhabited by insects and Oryzias ricefish. Kids who love science will have a field day. There's 3D "Wonder Maze" that's like a huge climbing frame, and an "Energy Tower" where they can learn about kinetic energy while playing with a ball. On top of that, there are experimental classrooms with lessons that children and grown-ups alike will really enjoy. Nadhama Science Square is a 12-minute walk from Oishi Station on the Hanshin Line, and there's also free parking on-site.

    ที่ตั้ง: 2 Nadahamahigashicho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 657-0863, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm Closed on Mondays (or on the following normal weekday if Monday is a public holiday)

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    ภาพโดย Tatsuo Yamashita (CC BY 2.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

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