HyogoWith a nationally famous baseball team, two coasts on two different seas, and a high-class type of beef named after its capital, Hyogo is a prefecture of many talents. When travelling the Kansai area, Hyogo should definitely be a must-see on your itinerary.
Originally part of 5 other provinces, Hyogo is now one of Kansai’s major prefectures with a large steel production industry, and a bustling port known as Kobe. After the 1995 Earthquake that struck the Kansai area, centered in Hyogo, Kobe was restructured and modernized into the powerhouse that it is today. About a thousand years ago, the Emperor lived in Hyogo for about 5 months too!
There is also a huge sports culture surrounding baseball on the high school and professional levels. The nationally famous Koshien stadium is in Kobe, where the Japanese High School Baseball Championship (Known as, of course, Koshien) is held. It also holds the national American College American Football championships as well. Ever heard of Hanshin Tigers? Their hometown is Hyogo, and their home stadium? Koshien, of course. If you’re a fan of Baseball, or Football, or even Rugby, Kobe is a point of interest.
Want to get your grub on? Hyogo is definitely the place, especially if you are in to foods that you wouldn’t find outside of Japan. Oden, Sobameshi, Akashiyaki, and Butaman are all foods from Hyogo that are also popular all around Japan. Oden and Butaman are especially delicious on those cold winter nights, when you want to warm up with a filling meal. And of course, we can’t forget about the king of beefs: Kobe Beef.
And of course, the sights. Himeji Castle, Japan’s most frequently visited castle, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is in Himeji, Hyogo. If you’re into onsen, Kinosaki Onsen is a Onsen town lined with places to stay and public bath houses, and is one of Japan’s most famous onsen destinations. The Takeda castle ruins are also known as “The Castle in the Sky”, and is especially beautiful when there are clouds surrounding it.
Mt. Maya Kikusei-Dai
The Mt. Maya lookout was selected as one of Japan's big three night views, and the spectacle is outstanding.
Kinosaki Onsen is a 1300 year-old hot spring town located in the Kansai area, famous for its fine water quality.
Arima Onsen Hot Spring Town
Arima Onsen is a hot spring town in the North of Kobe, located right by the Arimaonsen Station.
Kobe City Museum
The Kobe City Museum is located South of the Kyukyoryuchidaimaru-mae subway station.
Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum
Created in the aftermath of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, this earthquake and disaster prevention museum is based in Kobe. The museum offers programs for visitors to learn from the experience and lessons of that event and even includes a special, separ
Rokko Garden Terrace
This area at the top of Mt. Rokko includes cafes, restaurants and accessory shops, as well as an observatory. The Rokko Garden Terrace offers visitors a panorama from the Kansai International Airport to Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.
Hotel Monterey Kobe
Hotel Monterey Kobe is a short 5-minute walk from Sannomiya Subway Station. The charming hotel offers a cosy courtyard garden, an Italian restaurant and Italian-style rooms with free internet.
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kobe Sannomiya
Just 450 metres from JR Sannomiya Train Station, Roynet Hotel offers a massage service, buffet breakfast and a Japanese-style pub.
Right next to JR Himeji Train Station, Nikko Himeji features a fitness centre with indoor pool, massage services and a 15th-floor bar. Rooms have free wired internet, a minibar and a flat-screen satellite TV.
Toyoko Inn Himeji-eki Shinkansen Minami-guchi
Offering a coin launderette and free-use internet stations, Toyoko Inn Himeji Minami-guchi is just 70 metres from JR Himeji Train Station. Rooms include an attached bathroom and free Wi-Fi.
Ariston Hotel Kobe
Opened in January 2015, Ariston Hotel Kobe is conveniently located just a 5-minute walk from Minatojima Port Liner Station. It features free property-wide WiFi and a hearty breakfast buffet.
Umi no Hotel Shimahana
Umi no Hotel Shimahana offers spacious rooms with harbor views and a balcony. It features hot spring baths with sea views, a spa and an outdoor pool. Bicycle rentals are available.
Toyoko Inn Kobe Sannomiya No.1
Featuring chargeable massages, a launderette and rooms with free Wi-Fi, Toyoko Inn Kobe is a less than 10-minute walk from Sannomiya Station. It offers free-use lobby computers and a printer.