Hyogo has many things to do, split between the coastal city of Kobe and in the nearby sea and mountains. It's easy to see why Kobe is Hyogo's leading tourist destination. But the area has so much more to offer, with diverse microclimates and topography stretching from the islands of Seto Inland Sea to the Sea of Japan. 

    There are historic sites such as Himeji Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Takeda Castle Ruins, which is sometimes described as "the Machu Picchu of Japan" as it appears to float in a sea of clouds, and you can enjoy marine activities on Awaji Island. Or if you're a fan of musicals, check out the renowned Takarazuka Grand Theater. Don't forget to chill out at the Arima Onsen hot spring, which is ideally situated for a day trip from Kobe. Hyogo has something for everyone, so join us as a take a whirlwind tour of the highlights.


    Kobe Port Cruise

    To make the most of your time in the port city of Kobe, you really need to go out onto the water on a cruise ship. Kobe Port offers a wide range of cruises, from easy-going pleasure boats right through to luxury cruise ships serving first-class dinners. From the Nakatottei Chuo Cruise Terminal (commonly known as "Kamomeria") there are plenty of options for small trips, including the Royal Princess, which is Kansai's largest pleasure boat, the Fantasy, the Ocean Prince, as well as more low-key pleasure boats. From the Nakatottei Passenger Terminal you can board the luxurious Luminous Kobe No. 2, which is very popular for its dinner cruises with beautiful night views and romantic sunset cruises.

    ที่ตั้ง: Nakatottei Chuo Cruise Terminal (Kamomeria): 7-1 Hatobacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0042, Japan / Nakatottei Passenger Terminal: 5-6 Hatobacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0042, Japan


    Takeda Castle Ruins

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    Mysteriously appearing on high in the morning mist, Takeda Castle Ruins is sometimes called "the Machu Picchu of Japan" and "Castle in the Sky". As one of the largest remaining mountain castles in Japan, it's also been nominated as one of Japan's 100 finest castles. The site is open all year round (except during extremely cold weather), but if you want to see the ruins appearing to float in a sea of clouds, your best bet is to visit early in the morning on a sunny day between September and November. Head to Ritsuunkyo to take in the famous view of the castle ruins as seen on posters and commercials. If you want to know about the history of the castle and how it was built, you should be able to find everything you want at the "Castle in the Sky" information centre in Takeda Castle Castle Town Hotel EN near JR Takeda Station. As well as pamphlets, you'll also see a diorama of Takeda Castle and a full-scale stone wall replica. To get here, you can walk or take a taxi from JR Takeda Station. But if you decide to walk, be aware that it'll take about an hour.

    ที่ตั้ง: 169 Takeda, Wadayama-cho, Asago City, Hyogo 669-5252, Japan

    เปิด: *Castle entry is closed from January 4 until end of February


    Kobe Harborland

    Kobe is flanked by the sea to the south and the Rokko Mountains to the north. This exotic, romantic cityscape is perfect for travelling couples. One of the most fashionable parts of Kobe is Kobe Harborland, which is a 15-minute walk from JR Kobe Station. Harborland has it all: shopping, great food, and dinner cruises in an excellent location that benefits from a sea breeze. There's also the Anpanman Children's Museum, cinemas, and natural hot springs. What more could you ask for? Another popular attraction is the Mosaic Ferris Wheel, which uses approximately 120,000 LEDs to put on quite a show. The night view from the top is unforgettable.


    Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens

    Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens are easily accessible from downtown Kobe. There's a cable car about a 5-minute walk from JR Shin-Kobe Station, and you'll arrive at the gardens after about 10 minutes on the cable car. This is the largest herb garden in Japan, with around 75,000 flowers and herbs covering 200 species, and looks beautiful in every season. The vast grounds contain a total of 12 gardens, including a "Welcome Garden" based on Germany's old Wartburg Castle, a "Rose Symphony Garden" with about 60 varieties of rose, and a herb museum in which you can observe 100 kinds of herbs. And if it happens to be raining, you can always take part in the many hands-on programs on offer using herbs and aroma oils.

    ที่ตั้ง: 1-4-3 Kitanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo 650-0002, Japan

    เปิด: Hours vary by season. (Open every day)

    ภาพโดย Manish Prabhune (CC BY 2.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข


    Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-Gai

    A 15-minute walk from Sannomiya and a 10-minute walk from JR Shin-Kobe Station, the highlight of sightseeing in Kobe has to be the exotic Kitano Ijinkan-Gai area. From the Meiji period through to the Taisho perios, Kobe's Kitanocho area was reserved for foreigners, and their legacy can still be seen today in the many Western-style buildings producing an exotic mood in what has been designated as a Traditional Architectures Preservation District. Nearly 20 Ijinkan (Western-style residences) are open to the public in this hilly area, and probably the best and most economical way to see them is by buying an all-inclusive ticket. The Former Thomas House, which was the residence of a German trader, is a brick building that features Art Nouveau-style stained glass and chandeliers. The Uroko House is covered with natural stone, like a small castle. There's also an Uroko Museum located next door. Yamate 8-Bankan is very popular as a site of mystical energy with wish-granting chairs, believe it or not. Given its hilly location, the one thing to remember before setting out to explore Kitano Ijinkan-Gai is the need to wear comfortable shoes.

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


    Mount Rokkō

    The popular Mount Rokkō area has a lot going for it, whether as a place to take a scenic drive, as a hiking environment, or as a leisure area that's easy to get to from the city by cable car. Families will love the Rokkosan Pasture farm experience, where visitors can interact with ponies and sheep and feed calves with milk in natural surroundings full of clear, fresh air. Mount Rokkō is also one of the most famous locations for night views in Kansai. From the Kikuseidai observatory on Mt. Maya you can enjoy what's known as one of the "three great night views of Japan," taking in the cityscape of Kobe and Osaka and Kansai International Airport. Mount Rokkō is full of spectacular night from various vantage points such as Rokko Garden Terrace and the observatory, making it the perfect spot for a romantic date.

    ที่ตั้ง: Higashinada-ku and Kita-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo, Japan


    Arima Onsen

    Just 30 minutes by train or cable car from downtown Kobe, Arima Onsen one of Japan's three greatest old hot springs. The nearest station is Arima Onsen Station on the Kobe Electric Railway. Once the haunt of Toyotomi Hideyoshi as his inner sanctum in Kobe, Arima Onsen is now a popular tourist spot ideally suited to day-trips. It has two types of hot spring water: the reddish-brown "Kinsen" that contains iron and the transparent "Ginsen" radium spring water. As well as the "Kin no Yu" and "Gin no Yu" outdoor baths, various hot spring inns also offer day-trip plans where you can bathe and enjoy a meal. If you really get into the hot spring thing, you might even want to try different hot springs in town as you go from one to another, basking in the nostalgic ambience.

    ที่ตั้ง: Arima-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo, Japan


    Takarazuka Revue Theater Troupe

    Next door to Kobe in Takarazuka City, you'll find the Takarazuka Grand Theater, which is the home of the famous Takarazuka Revue and a magnet for fans with its impressively grand stage. If you want to take in a show, you'll need to book tickets well in advance. An easier option is reserve a spot in the popular "Stage Studio" where you can wear a costume and stake makeup before having a commemorative photo taken. The journey to see the Takarazuka Revue begins when you arrive at Hankyu Takarazuka Station. The "Hana no Michi" is a special walkway leading from the station to the Takarazuka Grand Theater, and it's a particularly gorgeous path during cherry blossom season. The theatre has a restaurant and ice cream shop, so you can take a break here between performances. Another must-see is the Takarazuka Revue Hall, which celebrates the 100-year history of the Takarazuka Revue. Located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Takarazuka Grand Theater, the "Hall of Fame Zone" and the "Special Exhibition/Current Takarazuka Revue Zone" are well worth a look.

    ที่ตั้ง: 1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City, Hyogo 665-0845, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 10 am to 6 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

    ภาพโดย 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

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    Located a 16-minute walk from Himeji Station, Himeji Castle is the undisputed jewel in Himeji's crown. It is also known as Shirasagi (or "White Heron") Castle because of the beauty of its white castle tower. This famous castle was the first place in Japan to be registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site (along with Horyuji Temple) and there's no doubting its status as a national treasure. The castle tower was given a major restoration in 2015, making it even more beautiful. It's possible to view the inside, but on busy days numbered tickets will be handed out in advance, so make sure you get your ticket to avoid disappointment. Himeji Castle has many highlights, and you can get explanations of the site using AR (Augmented Reality) and computer graphics by downloading the Himeji-jo app. And don't miss Koko-en, which is a vast Japanese garden on the castle grounds where you can enjoy matcha and Japanese sweets.

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    ที่ตั้ง: 68 Honmachi, Himeji City, Hyogo 670-0012, Japan

    เปิด: Open from 9 am to 4 pm. Summer (April 27—August 31): open from 9 am to 5 pm.


    Awaji Island

    Awaji Island is a paradise island in the Seto Inland Sea. Directly connected to Kobe by the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway, making it easy to get to by car or bus, Awaji Island is one of Kansai's leading resorts. A day trip certainly isn't out of the question, but ideally you'll want to stay overnight to really enjoy the beautiful sea and sunset. Blessed with a warm climate throughout the year, Awaji Island is rich with flora and, as legend has it, mystical energy. Popular sightseeing spots include a cruise offering views of the powerful whirlpools in the sea around Awaji Island, the beautiful seasonal flowers of National Akashi Kaikyo Park, and Awaji Farm Park England Hill with its koalas, sheep and other animals. There are also activities such as swimming, fishing, barbecues, paragliding, and sea kayaking. What more could you ask for from an island getaway?

    ที่ตั้ง: Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture; Sumoto City, Hyogo Prefecture; Minamiawaji City, Hyogo Prefecture

    ภาพโดย 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข


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