Kobe Port Tower and Kobe Maritime Museum

Hyogo Prefecture, part of the Kansai region, is located west of Kyoto and Osaka prefectures and east of Tottori and Okayama prefectures. The prefectural capital is Kobe City.
Hyogo is close to Kyoto Prefecture, the former capital of Japan, and Osaka Prefecture, the former center of commerce. And among them, Kobe City, located by the sea, has long been a trading center with China and Korea.
Later, in 1868, the Port of Kobe was opened and developed into one of the centers of international trade ports in Japan.
After the opening of the Port of Kobe, people, goods, and information flowed into Kobe from abroad, forming a unique culture that incorporated foreign cultures.

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Tourist Spots in Hyogo Prefecture

Kobe, Himeji, Kinosaki Onsen (Hot spring), and Awaji Island are representative tourist destinations in Hyogo Prefecture.

1. Kobe

Kobe Port Tower and Kobe Maritime Museum
Kobe Port Tower and Kobe Maritime Museum

Kobe, the center of Hyogo Prefecture, is the most popular tourist spots in Hyogo Prefecture.
Kobe has many tourist attractions, including the downtown area of Sannomiya, the landmark Kobe Port Tower, exotic areas such as Chinatown and areas where foreign residents used to live, the night views from Mount Rokko and Mount Maya.

2. Himeji

Himeji City is located in the western part of Hyogo Prefecture and is famous for Himeji Castle, which is registered as a World Heritage site.
Himeji Castle, designated as a National Treasure, is also known as “Shirasagi (Japanese name of egret) Castle” because it looks like an egret spreading its wings and dancing.

3. Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen is a hot spring resort with a history of over 1,300 years located on the Sea of Japan coast of Hyogo Prefecture.
A stroll through the elegant hot spring town while visiting the seven public bathhouses is a popular way to spend a day.
Another advantage of Kinosaki Onsen is its proximity to the sea, which makes it a great place to enjoy fresh seafood dishes.

4. Awaji Island

Awaji Island is a long, narrow island in the Seto Inland Sea with a circumference of 216 kilometers (134 miles).
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, one of the world’s largest suspension bridges with 1,991 meters between main towers, connects Kobe City and Awaji City in the north of the island, and the Naruto Kaikyo Bridge connects the south side of the island to Tokushima Prefecture in the Shikoku region.
From the Kobe side of the island, visitors can use public transportation such as the Awaji Jenova Line, a high-speed boat, and buses to visit Awaji Island.

Awaji Island is also called the “Island of Beginnings” because it is said to be the first island in the Japanese archipelago to be born in Japanese mythology. There are shrines dedicated to mythological gods, a castle built in 1526, and other historical buildings.
In the Naruto Straits on the border between Awaji Island and Tokushima Prefecture, visitors can see the powerful whirlpools, which are considered one of the world’s three major tidal currents. The whirlpools can be seen from the Naruto Kaikyo Bridge promenade and observation deck, and tours are also available to see the whirlpools up close by boat.

Awaji Island is also a popular destination for Japanese cyclists, who call the 150-kilometer bicycle tour around the island “Awaichi”.
How about enjoying hot springs and cuisine while touring the beautiful coastline?


Click the photo below to see more details about the spot.