History / Culture / Tour Spots in Hyogo Area

  • 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.
  • Ikuta Shrine
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    4.0
    839 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.

    Although most shrines we had visited are quite prominent, this shrine entrance is not as grand and tucked along Higashimon Street. The torii gates here are really bright and nice.

  • Shoshazan Engyoji Temple
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    4.5
    460 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Himejishi Shosha 2968
    A Tendai sect Buddhist temple which is the 27th station on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Founded in 966 by the priest Shoku, due to its high status, it is nicknamed the Mt. Hiei (a mountain sacred to the Tendai sect) of the West. The entire top of Mt. Shosha is dotted with the temple’s buildings, such as the great hall which serves as the main temple nave, the refectory, and Jogyodo Hall. Today, visitors can take a ropeway to Sanjo Station, the closest station to the temple, after which it’s an approximately one kilometer/20 minute walk along the temple path before reaching the Maniden Hall in the center of the mountain. A microbus service is also available. The grounds contain a dining hall where visitors can enjoy traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, as well as a traditional lodging house for pilgrims.

    We were fortunate enough to come here in March when the ropeway was being maintained and so it wasn’t running. Instead we hiked up the hill path (around 45 minutes steep hike) to the top. When we...

  • Izanagi-jingu Shrine
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    4.5
    219 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Awaji-shi Taga 740
    Izanagi Shrine, located in the Taga district of Awaji City, is the oldest shrine in Japan and is dedicated to the deities Izanagi and Izanami. The shrine was built on the site where Izanagi no Mikami, the creator of the Japanese archipelago in the age of mythology, spent the remainder of his life, and the area was a sacred site forbidding footsteps. In 1954, the shrine's name was changed from a Shinto shrine to a Shinto shrine, making it the only Shinto shrine in Hyogo Prefecture.

    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...

  • Nakayama-dera Temple
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    4.0
    201 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Takaradukashi Nakayamadera 2-11-1
    This Buddhist temple is in Nakayamadera Temple, Takarazuka City. Built by Shotoku Taishi, it's regarded as Japan's first sanctuary dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon, a goddess of mercy. It's the 24th temple of 33 on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. The principal object of worship is an image of an 11-headed Kanzeon Bodhisattva that is thought to aid women in particular. As worshiping there fulfilled Toyotomi Hideyoshi's prayers for a child, the temple attracts people seeking fertility and safe childbirth.

    Easy access with escalators in most areas - which is a huge plus when travelling with elders. Gods here are famous for granting new babies. You could see the Takarazuka-Kansai plateau which is...

  • Akashi Castle
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    3.5
    192 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...

  • Sasayama Castle Ruins
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    4.0
    138 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...

  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
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    4.0
    178 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...

  • Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum
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    4.5
    158 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.

    Youll love this place if you are woodworker or related to someone into woodworking. Its an awesome building that combined modern architecture with wood throughout. The art and craft of building...

  • Minatogawa Shrine
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    4.0
    201 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...

  • UCC Coffee Museum
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    4.0
    241 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyogo Kobe-shi Chuo-ku Minatojimanakamachi 6-6-2

    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...

  • Kobe City Museum
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    4.0
    185 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Kyoumachi 24
    Located in Kobe City, Kobe City Museum was opened in 1982. The building that houses the Museum was originally constructed to serve as the Kobe Branch of the former Yokohama Specie Bank; some extension work was undertaken when it was redeveloped to house the Museum. The building is registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property; it was the last building project completed by the famous architect Sakurai Kotaro. There are around 70,000 items in the Museum’s collections, including National Treasures; the items include archeological finds, works of art imported into Japan from Southeast Asia and Europe during the Edo period and earlier, art related to Kobe, the “Portrait of St. Francis Xavier” and other famous artworks, etc. Besides the Museum’s permanent exhibitions, several thematic exhibitions are held every year.

    The museum is amazing if you’re interested in Kobe’s history. The first floor is free. If you don’t speak Japanese well, you won’t have to worry since they have all English subtitles when projecting...

  • The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum
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    4.0
    140 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.

  • Kobe Maritime Museum and Kawasaki Good Times World
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    3.5
    98 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Hatobachou 2-2
    "The Kobe Maritime Museum, which features a large roof with a white space frame structure evoking the image of sails of a sailing ship running across the ocean and sea waves, opened in 1987 as the ""commemorative project of the 120th anniversary of the opening of the modern Port of Kobe"" under the concept of ""Kobe, starting from the sea and the port, sails for the future"". Visitors can experience the structure of ships, the fascination of cruise ships, port facilities, and the history and future of the sea, ships, and ports. The ""past"", ""present"", and ""future"" of the sea, ships, and ports are introduced in an easy-to-understand manner through the real objects, diorama models, videos, and graphics, etc., showing how ports and cities have changed with the times. Attached to the museum is the ""Kawasaki Good Times World"" that opened in 2006. It is a corporate museum of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group, which has been working together with the Port of Kobe since the opening of the port."

    We went for my som who is an engineer. It was more interesting than I expected. If you are into any history, automobiles, boats, and that sort of thing, you can easily enjoy even if not a super hobby...

  • Banshu Kiyomizu-dera Temple
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    4.0
    50 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Katoushi Hiraki 1194
    "A Buddhist temple located a 20-minute drive from the Sanda-nishi interchange on the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway. The temple has two main buildings, the Daikodo enshrine a thousand-armed statue of Kannon and the Konponchudo enshrining an 11-headed Kanzeon Bodhisattva which is rarely shown to the public, the temple's principal object of worship. Cherry trees and rhododendrons grow on the grounds and visitors can enjoy the sight of their blossoms from late April to mid-May. The temple is also the 25th temple on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage and, in order to distinguish it from the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, the temple is also known as the ""Banshu Kiyomizu-dera."""

    This temple is impressive for being up high on a hillside. We did not drink from the stream. It is a beautiful temple, but it is best to go with a guide so you understand what you are seeing and...

  • Sumoto Castle Ruins
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    4.0
    109 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Sumotoshi Orodani 1272-1
    The castle, located on top of Mt. Mikuma (130 meters above sea level) to the south of downtown, was the base of the Awaji Province from the Sengoku period (a period of frequent warfare from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 16th century) to the Edo period (1853-1868). The castle walls, which strongly show the style of the Sengoku period, are well preserved. It is designated as a national historic site and a cultural property of the city. The present keep was built in 1928 as an observatory, and is the oldest imitation keep in Japan (currently closed to visitors). The surrounding area is maintained as a park, offering a panoramic view of the Kitan Straits, and is also known as a cherry blossom viewing spot.

    I visited this heritage area after work. The view here is fantastic overlooking sea. This is located in the off shore island of Awaji and there are no tall buildings blocking its view. The site is...

  • Historic Site Ikuno Silver Mine / Ikuno Mineral Mine Museum
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    4.0
    95 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Asagoshi Ikunochoukono 33-5
    This historic site is in Ono, Ikuno-cho, Asago City. Silver was discovered at the location in 807, and it played an important role in funding the shogunate during the Edo period (1603-1868). The Ikuno Silver Mine closed in 1973 and was re-purposed as a tourist facility. Today you can learn about the history of mining at the Mine Reference Library and the Cultural Museum of Ikuno Mine, and there are about 1,000 meters of mine tunnels you can tour, as well as other courses outside the tunnels.

    古来からの歴史ある銀山で、受付後先に資料館で学習してから坑道に入りました。江戸時代など昔の掘削の様子も再現されていますが、閉山直前の機械を使った掘削の様子も再現されていて見応えがありました。近代の産業遺産としても見学おすすめです。

  • Izushi Castle Ruins
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    4.0
    82 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Toyokashi Izushichouchimachi
    These castle ruins are in Uchimachi, Izushi-cho, Toyooka City. The castle was built by Koide Yoshihide in 1604 and was later transferred to the Sengoku clan. Today you can see features like the corner tower that was reconstructed in 1968 on the site of the inner citadel. It's also a popular cherry blossom viewing spot, and they hold a cherry blossom festival in the spring.

    The remaining northwest corner of the castle remains. There is a fantastic view as you climb to the plateau. Bypass the shrine on the lower plateau and go up to the topmost shrine. The view is...

  • Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park
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    4.5
    96 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...

  • Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery Museum
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    4.0
    100 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Koubeshi Higashinada-ku Uozakinishimachi 1-9-1
    "You can reach this museum by getting off at the JR Rokko Liner's Minami-Uozaki Station, taking the elevator to the first floor, and walking two minutes northwest. The museum displays an array of small sake related items, as well as the ""Nada-based Sake Brewery's Equipment,"" a nationally designated Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property. The original building collapsed in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and the current structure incorporates some of its beams and pillars. Interacting with the equipment will give you a feel for the traditional Kimoto method for brewing sake, as well as the work and life of the brewers. They have tastings that include raw, unprocessed sake as well. Their original Sakagura Soft Serve Ice Cream is a hit."

    We just spent a wonderful morning at the brewery. An informative video, small exhibition and tasting. Rather than walking to another brewery, we decided to take the tour of factory where they make...

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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