Hyogo Prefecture is a prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan, adjacent to Osaka. There are many things to see in this area, such as beautiful castles and other historical sights, natural scenery, and delicious food. On this page, we will guide you to the most attractive places to visit in Hyogo Prefecture.
Table of Contents
Outline of Hyogo
Previously, I have lived in Hyogo prefecture. I like this prefecture. I think there are three aspects in Hyogo Prefecture.
Firstly, this is a key hub of traffic that links various parts of west Japan and the Kansai region. So, in Hyogo prefecture, Himeji Castle was built in the 17th century. The Tokugawa shogunate decided to block enemies from West Japan at Himeji Castle.
Secondly, this is the base of trade representing the Kansai region. In the nineteenth century, the port of Kobe was built in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture. This harbor is an important base connecting the foreign countries and the Kansai region.
Third, there are many old Japanese in the north of Hyogo Prefecture. Especially in Toyooka City facing the Sea of Japan, there is an old spa town called Kinosaki Onsen. You can meet such old Japan in Hyogo Prefecture.
Hyogo prefecture is a great destination for those who want to experience the history, culture and natural beauty of Japan. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, relaxing in hot springs, or enjoying delicious food, Hyogo Prefecture has something for you.
The Shinkansen is convenient for access to Hyogo Prefecture. The Shinkansen Kobe Station is connected to major cities in Japan, making it easy to access.
If you want to travel around Hyogo, a rail pass that allows unlimited rides on the Shinkansen and local trains is a great deal. >>See here for details.
Himeji Castle （Himeji City)
The most famous tourist attraction in Hyogo Prefecture is Himeji Castle.
Himeji Castle is said to be the most beautiful castle in Japan. And this castle is also said to be one of the most complete castles in Japan.
Himeji Castle is said to have been built in 1346, but the present castle was built in the first half of the 17th century. At this time, the technology to build Japanese castles was at the highest level. This is because the times when the samurai fought in the 16 th century continued, and the technology for building the castle was polished accordingly. Various ingenuity to repel enemy attacks also accumulated. Japan had a peaceful era under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th century. At that time, their skills and ingenuity were made use of in Himeji Castle. Therefore, Himeji Castle is said to be the completed form of Japanese castle.
Regarding Himeji Castle, I have already introduced it in articles about Japanese castles.
Kobe City is a port town facing the Seto Inland Sea in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture. This city with a population of 1.5 million people is the prefectural capital of Hyogo prefecture and is the representative area of the Kansai region together with Kyoto, Osaka and Nara.
Main tourist attractions
Since the late nineteenth century, Kobe city has developed through trade with foreign countries. So, many foreign nationals live in this port town. In the hill of Kobe, retro houses where Western merchants lived in the first half of the 20th century are left behind and are a sightseeing spot. The city is home to many historic landmarks, including the Kobe Port Tower and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which is the longest suspension bridge in the world. Kobe is also famous for its delicious Kobe beef, which is known for its rich marbling and tenderness.
Kobe city is elongated in the east and west, and mountains are connected to the east and west on the north side of the coastal area. The main mountains are Mt. Maya (702 m altitude) and Mt. Rokko (931 m altitude), both of which are tourist attractions. In either mountain you can go up to the summit with a cable car. From the summit of these mountains, you can see not only Kobe but also the coastal areas of the Kansai region including Osaka Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture. In the evening, you can enjoy an amazing night view like the picture above.
You can also board a pleasure boat from Kobe port. There is a big Chinatown near the harbor.
At 5:46 on January 17, 1995, the whole area of Kobe City was hit by a heavy earthquake. Highways and buildings collapsed and a fire broke out one after another. This earthquake killed 6,434 people. Since this year, in December every year in Kobe City, the light festival “Kobe Luminarie” has been held to brighten Kobe in various ways.
I lived in Kobe for about 2 years until February 1994. I loved this city. When it was decided to move to Tokyo for relocation, friends in Kobe said to me, “Tokyo, there are many earthquakes, so be careful!” But an earthquake happened in Kobe.
Kobe is a really beautiful and lovely city. If you stop by Kobe, I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Arima Onsen (Kobe City)
Arima Onsen is a large spa town representative of the Kansai region. It is in the northern part of Kobe City.
There are mountains in the coastal area of Kobe. Arima Onsen is on the north side of these mountains. You can easily go to Arima Onsen during Kobe sightseeing.
Regarding Arima Onsen, I have already introduced in an article on Japanese hot springs. If you are interested, please refer to that article. Click on the link below and it will be displayed on a separate page.
Kinosaki Onsen (Toyooka City)
In Hyogo prefecture, there is another wonderful hot spring I would like to recommend to you. It is Kinosaki Onsen facing the Sea of Japan in northern Hyogo Prefecture.
In Kinosaki Onsen, Onsen Ryokan (Japanese style hotels) are lining along the river as seen in the above picture. In winter, you can eat delicious crabs at your ryokan.
Since Kinosaki Onsen is also a hot spring representing Japan, I have already introduced this hot spring in an article about Japanese hot springs.
Takeda Castle Ruins (Asago City)
If you have the opportunity to visit during the fall and winter seasons, you should definitely see Takeda Castle, which floats in the sea of clouds.
Takeda Castle, also known as “Torafusujo”, is located on the top of the mountain at an altitude of 350m. The castle in the sky floating in the sea of clouds, which can be seen from a slightly distant viewing spot, is fantastic and attracts many people.
The sea of clouds can be seen at Takeda Castle early in the morning from late September to early April.
Thank you for reading to the end.
>>If you want to know the tour menu of Hyogo prefecture click here!
Now, let’s plan to make your vacation in Japan the best experience ever!