Nature Spots in Hyogo Area

  • Awaji Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Prefecture Awaji City, Kushimoto City, Minamiawaji City
    An island located on the eastern side of the Seto Inland Sea. The island is famous for the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, and for the Naruto whirlpools, said to be the biggest whirlpools in the world. There's also a hot spring district with numerous bathhouses and inns where visitors can stay or enjoy a day trip at the baths. The island is known as Miketsu-kuni (a food treasure trove) known for having supplied numerous tasty foodstuffs and dishes to the Imperial court since ancient times. The island's Awaji beef, the progenitor breed of famous Matsusaka beef, strikes an exquisite balance between rich fat and meat. Japanese spiny lobster, an exquisite delicacy, is in season on the island from summer through fall.
  • Mt. Rokko
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Koubeshi Nada-ku Rokkousanchou Ichigatani
    A mountain famous for its night view and which has also been selected as one of Japan's night view heritages. The “10 million dollar nightscape” visitors can enjoy from the observatory at the top of the mountain in the evening is a must-see. The observatory is also artfully lit up at night, further enhancing the magical atmosphere. There are many facilities in the vicinity of the mountain for everyone from children to adults to enjoy, including a botanical garden, athletic park, and golf course; the Rokko Shidare Observatory in Rokko Garden Terrace in particular has become a new famous spot in the area.
  • Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-no-taki)
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Fukiaichou
    The collective name for four waterfalls (Ontaki, Mentaki, Meotodaki, and Tsutsumigadaki) along the Nunobiki mountain stream on Mt. Rokko, the falls are considered on the three most sacred waterfalls in Japan. The Ontaki, 43 meters tall, is particularly impressive, dropping down and switching its direction in five stages from a rock cropping. Each stage has a cauldron-like basin which legend says leads to the Palace of the Dragon King under the sea. The falls have also been selected as one of the 100 most beautiful waterfalls in Japan.
  • Port Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Minatojima / Konoshima Nakamachi/Konoshimanamachi
    This man-made island was built in 1981 and features large residences, commercial facilities, hotels, a convention center, a sports center, educational facilities, and many other urban amenities. You’ll also find the large interior goods store “IKEA Kobe,” a planetarium, the Kobe Science Museum, the Kobe Animal Kingdom, where visitors can interact with flowers, birds, and other wildlife, and a host of other facilities. It’s popular as a shopping and leisure spot on days off. Kobe Airport is on the west side of the island, and it functions as one of the entrances to Kansai. The unmanned “Port Liner” operates from Sannomiya.
  • Mt. Maya
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Prefecture Kobe City Nada Ward Malaysia
    A 702 meter tall mountain located in the center of the Rokko mountains in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. The Mt. Maya Kikuseidai observatory near the top of the mountain offers a panoramic view stretching from Kobe to the Kii Peninsula, and the view from here at night is called the “10 million dollar nightscape.” A cable car and ropeway can be taken from the observatory to the top of the mountain, and access from the city is convenient. The Maya View Terrace 702 facility at Maya Ropeway Hoshinoeki Station has a café and outdoor terrace where you can enjoy Japanese-style grill-your-own barbecue.
  • Tonomine Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Kanzakigunkamikawachou Kawakami
    "A highland area with hiking courses located along the Bantan Renraku Road in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. The highland was used as a filming location for the movie ""Norwegian Wood"" and the historical television dramas ""Taira no Kiyomori"" and ""Gunshi Kanbei."" In spring, the highland is covered in greenery and flowers come into bloom. In summer, cool, refreshing breezes blow, while in winter the landscape is covered in white, powdery snow. In particular, however, the highland is a renowned fall foliage destination, and in autumn some 90 hectares of white tasseled Japanese pampas grass growing on the highland create a stunning spectacle. Each year in March, controlled burns are conducted on the highland; in September, moon-viewing parties are held and in October a Japanese pampas grass festival is celebrated on the plateau."
  • Genbudo Cave (Genbudo Park)
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Toyokashi Akaishi
    "A National Natural Monument-designated cave located in Genbudo Park along Prefectural Route 548 in Akaishi, Toyooka City. The cave is notable for the narrow, regular ridges from which it is formed, created when magma flowing from a volcano which erupted 1.6 million years ago cooled. Formed of innumerable lines of basalt, the cave's name is derived from the Japanese word for basalt-""genbugan."" The nearby Genbudo Museum provides information about the cave and also contains mineral and fossil exhibits."
  • Mt. Shosha
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Himejishi Shosha
    "A 371-meter mountain located in Shosha, Himeji City. The location of the Engyoji Temple, a temple over 1,000 years old and one of the stations along one of Japan's three greatest Tendai Buddhist pilgrimage routes, the mountain is also known as the ""Mt. Hiei of the West."" The Shosha Art & Craft Museum is located at the foot of the mountain. a Ropeway can take visitors to the top of the mountain in about four minutes."
  • Aono Dam (Lake Senjoji)
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Sandashi Sue
    A dam built along the Kuro and Aono Rivers in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture. The waters which accumulate here are used to supply the Hokusetsu / Hokushin area centering on Sanda City. The lake created by the dam is also known as Senjoji Lake, taking its name from Mt. Senjoji towering in the distance above it. The dam area is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and there are a variety of facilities nearby which serve as relaxation spaces for local residents, such as Aono Dam Side Park, and visitors can enjoy black bass fishing, barbecuing, boating, canoeing, and other activities in the area. The Aono Dam Museum displays Sue ware excavated from archeological digs in the area.
  • Ritsuun Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Asagoshi Wadayamachoutakeda
    A picturesque area located partway up Mt. Asago in Takeda Wadayama-cho, Asago City. Dotted with ponds, waterfalls, huge boulders, and stunning rock formations, the gorge is also Japan's most renowned place for viewing cherry blossoms in San'in region, and in the spring cherry trees 300 years old come into bloom. The gorge is also located across the Maruyama River from Takeda Castle and is famous for its view of the castle floating on a sea of clouds which forms when conditions are right.
  • Ako Misaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Akoushi Misaki
    This cape, situated at the tip of a small peninsula jutting out into the Harima Sea in Setonaikai (Seto Inland Sea) National Park a 15-minute bus ride from JR Banshu-Ako Station, is considered one of the 100 most picturesque areas in Japan. There is a bench located in front of Iwatsuhime Shrine in the Ako Misaki Onsen hot spring district which offers a gorgeous, sweeping view of the Seto Inland Sea. Frequently featured on television and in various other media, the cape is a spectacular sightseeing area which can be enjoyed year-round, including cherry blossom viewing in spring and swimming and camping in summer. From taking in a beautiful ocean view from an outdoor bath at a long-standing hot spring inn to the many distinctive shops found here, Ako Misaki (Cape) is perfect for creating lovely vacation memories.
  • Kurotaki Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Mikishi Yokawachouinada
    A waterfall located along the Mino River in Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture. The waterfall consists of two stages, a greater waterfall spanning 30 meters in width and dropping four meters in height from a large slab of rock, and a much smaller lesser waterfall. The beautiful falls, flowing amidst verdant hills, is the most picturesque sight in the Yokawa-cho area. The falls are also the site of a folktale about a clever tanuki (raccoon dog) and fox outwitting each other; in addition, the location is said to bring happiness to couples who visit. The falls have been selected for inclusion in a list of the 100 most beautiful water-related landscapes in the east Harima / Kakogawa area.
  • Mt. Myoken
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Kawanishishi Kurokawa Okuyama
    A small, 660-meter mountain straddling the border between Hyogo Prefecture, Osaka Prefecture, and Kyoto Prefecture. The Nose Myokendo Temple is located at the top of the mountain, which boasts a long history as an object of mountain worship. The Nose Railway Myoken Line can take visitors from the base of the mountain to the temple. There are also hiking courses which lead to the top plus a cable car and lift, making it easy for visitors to enjoy the mountain's seasonal scenery. The mountain is dotted with leisure facilities, including a barbecue terrace, footbath, playground, and small forest railroad. This charming outdoor destination is fun for everyone, from children to senior citizens.
  • Eshima Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Iwaya
    "A small island floating northeast of Awaji Island in Iwaya, Awaji City. The island is believed to be one of multiple locations identified as ""Onokorojima,"" a legendary island appearing in the ancient chronicles of the ""Kojiki"" and the ""Nihon shoki."" The island was originally connected to the larger Awaji Island but this connection was eroded away by the sea, resulting in its current shape. It is said that it was on this island the gods Izanagi and Izanami were bound together and birthed their children. The bare rock of the island bears a smooth, striped pattern; a shrine stands at its peak, memorializing Matsuomaru, a man who saved people who were to be sacrificed, instead being sacrificed himself."
  • Keino Matsubara Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Minamiawajishi Matsuhokeino
    "A picturesque area located in Matsuhokeino, Minamiawaji City. A 2.5-kilometer long stretch of some 50 thousand Awaji black pines trees growing amidst white sands, in the evening visitors can enjoy the scenery created by the interweaving of the sun setting on the Seto Inland Sea and the grove's majestic pines. Also the subject of a poem written by Kakinomoto no Hitomaro appearing in the ""Man'yoshu,"" Japan's most ancient poetry anthology (complied in the 7th to the late 8th century), since ancient times the location has been known for its beauty. In more recent times, the grove has been selected for inclusions in lists of Japan's Top 100 Nagisa (beach), 88 Best Swimming Beaches in Japan, and Japan's 100 best sunset destinations."
  • Tendaki Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Yabushi Oyachouikada
    A waterfall located in the Tendaki Valley in Ikada, Oya -cho, Yabu City. Plunging 98 meters, the beauty of this renowned waterfall can be enjoyed along with fresh verdure in spring and fall foliage in autumn. The waterfall has also been selected for inclusion in a list of Japan's 100 Best Waterfalls. A hiking course maintained in the valley leads to the waterfall and visitors can take in natural beauty selected for inclusion in a list of 100 Forests in Japan suited for Forest Bathing.
  • Rokko Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture, Dongguan District
    An artificial island located east of Port island. The Rokko Island Line runs through the center of the island and is used by 35,000 riders a day. The island is rich in greenery and has a hydrophilic park and green belts. At the same time, the island has isolated walking paths and vehicle roads which make getting around a breeze, and a full array of educational facilities, making it a place where everyone from children to senior citizens can enjoy a comfortable life. In addition, there are many tourist-oriented facilities such as a shopping mall, art museums, hotels, and a hot spring inn. The River Mall promenade is lit up every night and special colors are used on days like Ribbon Day. Events are also held on the island every month.
  • Shinmaiko Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Tatsunoshi Mitsuchoukurosaki
    A shallow coastal beach area considered one of the most beautiful in the Kinki region, an area with numerous such locations. The beach is located in Setonaikai National Park a 25-minute drive from the Chuji interchange on the Himeji By-pass or a 30-minute drive from the Tatsuno and Tatsuno-nishi interchanges. Visitors can swim here during the summer and enjoy clamming from early April to late June. When in season, visitors can dig up Japanese littleneck clams, razor clams, and other varieties, and during the Golden Week holidays, nearby parking areas are crammed with people looking to go clamming. An ocean festival and beach volley ball tournaments are held on the beach in summer.
  • Harafudo Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Shisoushi Hagachouhara Inside the Haga Fudo Waterfall Park
    This waterfall, located inside Hagafudotaki Park in Shiso City, Hyogo Prefecture, is one of the most scenic locations in Hyonosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park. Consisting of two streams, the greater waterfall boasts an 88-meter drop, the longest in the prefecture. The lesser waterfall flows alongside the greater and plunges into the same pool, and locals believe the falls bring good luck and success in finding love. Visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the falls' flow from the Okukaede Bridge, a suspension bridge built specifically for viewing the natural wonder. The falls have been selected for inclusion in a list of Japan's 100 Best Waterfalls and were else depicted in a Quasi-National Park stamp series released in Japan in 1969.
  • Aiya Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyougo Pref. Sumotoshi Aiya
    A waterfall located three kilometers from the Sumoto interchange on the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway traveling along National Route 28 and Prefectural Routes 473 and 534 towards Maehira. Situated 600 meters downstream from the Aiyagawa Dam in Sumoto City, the 14.5-meter drop falls are the biggest on Awaji Island. The falls were once seen as a sacred place which was visited by many, and traces of this history still remain, such as a stone monument and statue of Acala enshrined at the base of the falls. An ancient evergreen and broadleaf tree forest sprawls around the falls area; a famous destination for enjoying cherry blossom and fall foliage viewing, the falls also serve as the 61st station on the Awaji Flower Pilgrimage. In summer, visitors just might catch sight of fireflies.

Hyogo Areas

around-area-map

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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