Awaji Island, located just south of Kobe in Hyogo prefecture is worth putting on your itinerary if you visit Kansai. It’s connected to Honshu—Japan’s main island—by the nearly 4km long Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.
Surrounding Kobe city is the abundant mountain terrains of Rokko-san (Mount Rokko). There are many hiking trails available at Mount Rokko and some range from three to seven hours depending on difficulty level and speed (stamina).
The region of Tajima, which refers to northern Hyogo prefecture, offers a completely different face to that of southern Hyogo, which comprises of big city names such as Kobe where many skyscrapers and vivid colors of neon lights characterize the province. On the contrary, this part of Hyogo is full of nature, history and boasts of premium quality hot springs.
Nowadays, Kitano-cho or Kitano streets or usually called as Kitano Ijinkan-gai (北野異人館街) is an area where several western heritages were left. Unlike many places in Japan, strolling around this area brings us to a different old-western atmosphere. There were 300 houses of foreigner houses before which was deteriorated by war and just 30 left with less than 20 houses open for public.
However, ask tourists to draw a castle that looks quintessentially Japanese and nine times out of ten you’ll probably end up with something that looks like Himeji Castle. It may not be Japan’s most storied or strategically valuable castle, but it is almost certainly one of its most pleasing to the eye.
Kukai is a quiet establishment tucked away in an alley near Ikuta Shrine in Kobe. Although you have an array of choices on the menu, most patrons come for one thing and one thing only; the Kobe beef okonomiyaki.
With shops all around selling a variety of chocolates, cookies, cakes, and bread, Kobe is the city of sweets. Few sweets in Kobe can be described as mediocre. In fact, most range between eye-opening-good to mind-blowing-excellent. The amount of care and attention that goes into what are seemingly “gimmick” products can be astonishing.
With a shaded sitting area, a children’s park, a beautiful view of Awaji Bridge, and most importantly the opportunity to enjoy a barbeque meal at the corner of the beach, Asagiri Beach is a highly attractive summer destination.