History / Culture / Tour Spots in Hyogo Area

  • Ikuta Shrine
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    4.0
    818 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Shimoyamatedori 1-2-1
    This is a shrine located in Kobe City. The shrine has a history of more than 1,800 years dating back to the time of Empress Jingu, and its founding is also noted in the “Nihon Shoki” (second oldest book of classical Japanese history). It is famous as a shrine which brings love to a happy conclusion, and is also famous for marriage and prayers for easy childbirth; the shrine is fondly known by the pet name of “Ikuta San”. The vermilion-lacquered columns of the tower gate and the main shrine are impressive, so the shrine is also popular as a ceremonial hall for Shinto weddings. Many worshipers visit throughout the year and flock to the temple for the first shrine visit of the New year.

    We had lunch a Mouriya Honten and enjoyed our Kobe beef for lunch. It was expensive but Kobe beef is known all over the world. The Ikuta Shrine was just a short walk from Mouriya Honten. We saw a...

  • Himeji Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Himejishi Honmachi 68
    Also known as the White Heron Castle, this shining white castle is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Structures such as the castle tower built in the early Edo period still stand today, and these are also registered as National treasures and national Important Cultural Properties. One of the most prominent theories is that the castle was originally erected as a fort by Akamatsu Sadanori in 1346. Ikeda Terumasa began renovating the castle when he became the lord of the castle after the Battle of Sekigahara, expanding it into the expansive compound seen today. The castle tower is located in the southeast corner of the foundation. The castle looks to be composed of five tiers from the outside and internally is comprised of six floors above ground and one subterranean level. The castle shining a blinding white in the light of the sun is truly a beautiful sight.
  • Head shrine of the Ebisu sect of Shinto, Nishinomiya-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    254 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Nishinomiyashi Shakechou 1-17
    "This is the head shrine of the Shinto lineage dedicated to the god Ebisu. It's about a five-minute walk southwest from the south exit of Hyogo Prefecture's Nishinomiya Station on Hanshin Electric Railway's Main Line. Locally called ""Nishinomiya-no-Ebessan,"" its primary deities include Ebisu Okami and Amaterasu Omikami. Features include a large front gate called the ""Red Gate"" that was supposedly consecrated by Toyotomi Hideyori, the main shrine dedicated in 1663 by the fourth shogun Ietsuna, and Ebisu-no-Mori, a grove covering a portion of the precincts. The grove is a Prefectural Natural Treasure and the main shrine is a National Treasure. Events include the Toka Ebisu Festival and the shrine's main annual festival, as well as the famous Kaimon Shinji Fukuotoko Erabi ritual (an annual race to determine the year's lucky man) that draws a huge crowd every year."

    Ive been on the busiest night and the crowd is massive. Its all fun but might be a bit of a struggle for anyone with young children, the aged or infirm. Lots of colorful and interesting sights. I...

  • HAKUTSURU Sake Brewery Museum
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    4.0
    274 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Higashinada-ku Sumiyoshiminamimachi 4-5-5
    This sake brewery museum is located in Kobe City. The Hakutsuru Sake Brewery which was built in the Taisho period is being used in its original form. Exhibitions on display in the museum include materials related to the brewing of “sake” (Japanese rice wine), tools actually used in the process of sake brewing and an exhibition of dummies that recreate the details of making sake in accordance with old-fashioned manufacturing processes. The process of making refined sake is introduced in a way which is easy to understand from washing the rice, introduction of “koji” (malted rice) to the filling of casks. There is also a free sake tasting corner and a shop.

    Very near to Roko island, one can do This tour by taking the local train for around 210 yen and then Walking to the sake brewery. The info regarding sake making was clear and explained in concise...

  • Izanagi Jingu Shrine
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    4.5
    204 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Taga 740
    "This Shinto shrine is Japan's oldest and is dedicated to Izanagi and Izanami, the husband and wife gods stated to have created Japan according to the ancient ""Kojiki"" and ""Nihon shoki."" This shrine is also the only high status imperial ""jingu"" shrine in Hyogo Prefecture. A split ""husband and wife"" giant camphor tree on the grounds is 900 years old and believed to grant worshippers such blessings as matrimonial happiness, easy childbirth, and luck in finding love and marriage. Each month on the 22nd, the shrine is specially opened to visitors at night, and the main shrine and torii gate are lit up, while candles along the approach to the shrine create a magical atmosphere. During the cherry blossoming season, the shrine lights up its cherry trees at night and holds a ""Sakura Kairo Museum"" event with stage performances."

    We drove from Somoto where we stayed. Upon arrival, two carpark were available. Maybe it was Sunday, some ceremonial event tajen place. We strolled along the side entrance since we parked our car...

  • Minatogawa Shrine
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    4.0
    195 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Tamondori 3-1-1
    "A Shinto shrine conveniently located a three-minute walk from Kobe Station and Kosoku Kobe Station as well as a five-minute walk from Okurayama Station and Harborland Station. The shrine is dedicated to Kusunoki Masashige, who worked to take down the Kamakura shogunate government and later battled the army of Ashikaga Takauji. Locally, the shrine is known as ""Nanko-san."" The grounds encompass a graveyard and battleground designated National Historic Sites. The Nanko Festival, started as an unofficial festival by private citizens on May 25, 1872, is now held every five years; during the festival, a parade is conducted with people dressed in traditional samurai costumes. The shrine also holds wedding ceremonies throughout the year."

    One of the first things that struck me about Minatogawa Shrine besides its beauty was how peaceful it is. There werent a lot of tourists at the shrine and it was nice to walk around and enjoy the...

  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
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    4.0
    170 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Kitanochou 3-12
    This is a shrine located in Kobe City. Sugawara Michizane known as the god of learning is enshrined here. The temple is positioned on a hill in Kitano, where the cultures of foreign countries remain; it was named “Tenku (roof of Heaven) shrine” as it commands a view of Kobe Kitano Ijinkan. In 1180 on the occasion of Taira no Kiyomori transferring the capital to Kobe, this temple was created on the transfer and enshrining of the capital’s guardian deity to Kyoto Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The main shrine, front shrine and “Torii” (Shinto shrine archway) have all been designated as Important Traditional Buildings.

    It is a shrine for those seeking academic success. Students sitting for examinations will come here to seek blessings. However, only a small space is designated for hanging the blessings...

  • UCC Coffee Museum
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    4.0
    242 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyougo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Minatojimanakamachi 6-6-2
    A coffee museum operated by the UCC coffee company. The museum has five large exhibition areas where visitors can learn about the origins and culture of coffee as well as how it is grown, selected, and roasted. There are also quiz corners where visitors can demonstrate the knowledge of coffee history and culture they have acquired. The museum holds four tasting events a day during which fresh coffees are brewed right in front of you. The museum also conducts events such as a latte art class and bean roasting experience children can participate in.

    The UCC Coffee Museum explains the history of coffee both from a world perspective and from its arrival from Brazil over a hundred years ago. There is also a coffee tasting corner and a gift shop...

  • The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum
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    4.0
    137 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Takaradukashi Mukogawachou 7-65
    "A museum which celebrates the achievements of noted manga artist Osamu Tezuka. The museum's entrance is modeled after a palace appearing in ""Princess Knight,"" and a life-sized figure dolls of Astro Boy welcomes visitors. The museum has a theater showing original movies and a standing exhibition room designed to look like a pod from the future. There's also a library with a full featured search system. There's an animation studio on the first floor where visitors can learn how animated works are made. The museum cafe is modeled after ""Kimba, the White Lion."" Note: The museum is temporarily closed for renovations from December 25, 2018 to March 31, 2019."

    This place was pretty cool, with plenty of historical information and time capsules. I felt strangely like I was suddenly thrust into an episode of Dr Who for some reason.

  • Mondo Yakujin Tokoji Temple
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    4.0
    107 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Nishinomiyashi Mondonishimachi 2-26
    This Buddhist temple is about 10 minutes by taxi from Hankyu Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station. One of Japan's three Yakujin temples, it enshrines Yakujin Myoo, who is said to ward off all misfortune. Features besides the front gate which was completely destroyed by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and then rebuilt include an inner tower gate and the Yakujindo sub-shrine. Besides Yakujin Myoo, the temple also honors Fudo Myoo, Aizen Myoo, Daikokuten, the principal object of worship Yakushi Ruriko Nyorai, and Kukai, later known as Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon sect of Buddhism. The spacious precincts feature an area with sand from each of the stops on Shikoku's 88 Temple Pilgrimage along with representations of their principle objects of worship, giving you a chance to replicate the pilgrimage with ease.

    本殿に上がるまでに厄坂があります。正門下に男厄坂、正門に上がる手前に女厄坂があります。厄払いの受付けを終えると、本殿階下の待合室に行き、名前をよばれると本殿に上がれました。

  • Akashi Castle
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    4.0
    183 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Akashishi Akashikouen 1-27
    This castle site is on the grounds of Akashi Park in Akashi City. The castle was built in 1619 by the first lord of the Akashi clan, Ogasawara Tadazane. Its remains are a National Historic Site. The tatsumi yagura turret and hitsuji-saru turret have the three-story structure, now rare in Japan and they are both National Important Cultural Properties. It's said that the hitsuji-saru turret has been transferred from Fushimi Castle.

    We visited on a cool day and were surprized by the tranquillity that this park and castle ruins presented us with. The Sentry Towers were in very good condition, and were surrounded by tranquil...

  • Kazamidori Mansion
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    4.0
    241 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Kitanochou 3-13-3
    Designated as a national Important Cultural Property of Japan, Kazamidori Mansion is a former residence of Gottfried Thomas and the only brick building left standing in the former foreign settlement area in the Kitano and Yamamoto districts. The weathercock standing on top of this austere building is very well known. Located about 15 minutes on foot from Sannomiya Station on the JR, Hankyu, Hanshin and Subway lines.

    Wonderful example of 1900’s European living in Kobe. Certainly worth taking a walk around inside to see how they lived back then

  • Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
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    4.5
    198 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Wakinohamakaigandori 1-5-2
    Located in the HAT in Kobe, this facility looks to take the lessons learned from the Great Kobe Earthquake of 1995 and teach the importance of Emergency Management, natural disaster reduction, and natural disaster prevention to the 21st century and the world though a collection of documents, sources, and exhibits that will help train the youth in emergency management. In the Great Earthquake Hall on the fourth floor of the West Bldg. you can experience the terrible sights and sounds of an earthquake's destruction in the theater as well as visit a diorama of what the cityscape looked like immediately following the earthquake. There are records of the experiences of disaster victims and on the third floor of the East Bldg. there is the Threat of Wind and Water Disasters corner where you can learn about storm and flood damage. This is a popular destination for school events as well as those in training.

    Having never experienced an earthquake before, this museum was an eye-opener for myself. Earthquake is kinda a part and parcel of life in Japan as this region lies on many of the tectonic lines. The...

  • Kiyoshikojin Seicho-ji Temple
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    4.5
    93 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Takaradukashi Maitani Kiyoshi 1
    "This Buddhist temple in Maitani Kiyoshi, Takarazuka City was founded in 896. It was bestowed with the title of ""Japan's First Kiyoshikojin"" by Emperor Uda. Mixing Buddhist and native Shinto elements, it's primary god Kojin is known as a deity of fire, the hearth, and the kitchen. People in their unlucky years keep hibashi fire tongs thought to be blessed by Kojin as talismans during the period, and later dedicate them to the deity at the temple's Hibashi-Nojo Hall. The precincts also feature the Tessai Museum, which displays the work of the calligrapher Tessai Tomioka."

    We enjoyed the walk to the temple from the station. It is lined with interesting shops and restaurants. We visited in Winter so the trees were without leaves and it was quite cold. The turtle pond...

  • Sasayama Castle Ruins
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    4.0
    130 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Sasayamashi Kitashinmachi 2-3
    The ruins of Sasayama Castle, flatland-mountain castle build on a small hill called Sasayama, located a 10-minute drive east from the Tannan Sasayamaguchi interchange on the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway. The castle's moat, stone base, and base of keep still stand. Sasayama castle never had a keep, instead centering on a hall called the Oshoin, which was rebuilt in March 2000. Inside the hall, visitors can view informational panels on historic events which occurred in Sasayama Domain during the Edo period as well as models and other exhibits which provide information on what the castle and town beneath it once looked like as well as the different lords who ruled the area. The hall's theater room screens informational videos.

    I had the chance to visit the castle ruins just when the cherry trees were in full bloom. There were dozens of cherry trees on the site and literarily hundreds more around it. The cherry blossoms...

  • Ako Oishi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    170 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Akoushi Kamikariya 131-7
    Oishi-jinja Shrine is dedicated to Oishi Yoshio (Kuranosuke) and the 47 Ronin (masterless samurai) from the Chushingura literature. As the 47 Ronin endured a difficult 22-month period, it's thought worshiping here will make one's greatest wish come true. It's on the north side of the Ako Castle Ruins. The shrine's Gishi Treasure House and Gishi Museum have displays of Kuranosuke's swords as well as items connected to the 47 Ronin. It's a great chance to learn more about Ako Gishi, another name for the 47 Ronin. The Ako Gishi Festival is held on December 14 every year to commemorate the 47 Ronin's raid on the Kira Residence. It's a lively event with crowds and parades through downtown Ako, as well as lantern stands lit in honor of the Ronin along the way to the shrine.

    There were questions unanswered from my first visit which I was able to this time. The temple is more than just the building you see. there is a four building museum there to explain further the...

  • Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum
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    4.5
    150 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyogo Kobe-shi Chuo-ku Kumochicho 7-5-1
    This museum is Takenaka Corporation’s corporate museum located in Chuo Ward, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. It is Japan’s only museum that features collections and exhibits on the theme of carpenter tools. The permanent exhibits feature carpenter tools that supported Japan’s construction in the past and introduce the skill and wisdom of the carpenters who wielded them, not to mention the culture surrounding architecture and trees. There are models visitors can touch as well as touch panel picture scrolls, allowing visitors to enjoy the displays using all five senses. Special exhibits focused on architecture and design are opened several times a year.

    This is an essential prerequisite to any tour of Japan. Temples won’t ever become boring after this visit.

  • Kobe Maritime Museum and Kawasaki Good Times World
    rating-image
    3.5
    98 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Hatobachou 2-2
    This museum in Kobe is characterized by its unique structure which is meant to resemble waves and the sail of a ship. Focusing on the history of Kobe Port the exhibits introduce the facilities and roles of the port. There are also a large number of ship models that show off everything from the charms of a cruise ship to the inner workings of the vessel in an easy to understand manner. The attached Kawasaki World Museum, run by the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group, tells you about the history of the company and allows you to see, touch, and experience everything from their first machines that crossed land, sea, and sky, to their latest technological advancements. With actual copies of the 0-Series Shinkansen Bullet Train, as well as motorcycles, helicopters, and industrial robots as well as hand-on simulations there's something for everyone from kids to adults to enjoy.

    Went there to visit. This is truly a place to enrich your knowledge of ports, ships and technology. When we passed by it at night, it looks very beautiful.

  • Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park
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    4.5
    93 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Ogura 177
    This memorial park approximately 20 minutes by car from Awaji Interchange has facilities with exhibitions on the Nojima Fault that caused the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on January 17, 1995. A portion of the fault pushed above ground during the quake, and the Nojima Fault Preservation Museum provides access to this designated Natural Monument. The Kobe Wall that survived the Kobe Air Raids and the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake has been relocated there too. Together they tell a frightful story of the horror of disasters natural and man-made. There is also a seminar house where you can listen to talks on the disaster. They have a shop and a restaurant serving local fare too.

    What is most impressive about this museum is that it includes some of the actual roads/land affected by the earthquake so you can actually SEE how the land moved, how the road buckled. The simulated...

  • Sumoto Castle Ruins
    rating-image
    4.0
    105 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Sumotoshi Orodani 1272-1
    A castle ruin located on 130-meter Mt. Mikumayama located on the south side of the city's urban area. The castle served as a center for the ruling of Awaji Province from the Warring States period to the Edo period. The castle's fortress, an excellent example of Warring States period architecture, is well preserved and has been designated a National Historic Site as well as a Cultural Property by Hyogo Prefecture. The current castle tower was built as an observatory in 1928 and is Japan's oldest imitation castle tower (entry is prohibited at the present time). The surrounding grounds are maintained as a park which offers a sweeping view of the Kitan Strait and which is also a renowned destination for cherry blossom viewing in the spring.

    This was actually a hike up Mount Mikuma which had a very steep incline but wasnt all that difficult to hike upwards. The start of the climb is near a hotel called Yumekaiyu. Look for signs for...

Hyogo Areas

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Hyogo prefecture stretches from the north coast to the south coast on the western end of the popular Kansai region, encompassing verdant mountains, urban beaches, and fantastic historical sights. The prefecture's main attractions lie along the south coast at Kobe, the prefectural capital, a pretty harbor city best known for its production of the renowned Kobe beef, and Himeji, the home of Himeji Castle, one of the country's most beautifully preserved feudal castles, perched magically atop a hill.

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