Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Hiking Nunobiki Falls in Kobe

Photo: Chi (in Oz) on Flickr

Hiking Nunobiki Falls in Kobe

Melicia Hewitt

Kobe is tourist friendly. That fact is evident, as once you've disembarked the train, you are comforted with English signs everywhere. Where signage fails to direct the path of tourists, guidance can be found at the tourist information office, where staff eagerly assists the lost. I had no problem, however, since I found my destination creatively placed on most signs.

nfalls sign

Shin-Kobe Station is just a few steps (10 minutes), from the base of Nunobiki Falls. At the beginning of the trail, you can see Japanese families down below engaged in picnics. Signs are strategically placed along the trail, to help English hikers decide where to go first.

o&mfalls sign

I decided to view Mentaki Falls first, and was not disappointed. The view, literally, took my breath away. I tried my best to capture the moment on film, but I honestly do not feel, the pictures do the experience justice.

Mentaki Falls


The viewing platforms for the waterfalls are lined with seats. Many, including myself, sat in a meditative pose. The relaxation was evident in the glow of our faces. I enjoyed the view for a while, before deciding to depart.

151008_Hiking Nunobiki Falls

I was eager to see the 43m in height waterfall called Ontaki. As I walked towards my intentions, I caught glimpses of Ontaki Falls through the trees. The teasing, built indescribable anticipation. When I finally got to the viewpoint where I could see the falls clearly, I experienced a mini mental orgasm. If you enjoy nature as much as I do, then you know exactly what I mean.

Ontaki Falls


The sun shone a spotlight on beauty falling, beauty splashing, and beauty making soothing sounds. Beautiful water made me smile. Watching the beauty allowed for reflection and soul searching.

After relaxing some, I continued on my journey. I passed a rest stop, with drink machines and things on sale. Convenient, I thought, but I had already stacked up before the hike. Soon I was faced with a divide in trails, one led to the Miharashi Observatory and the other to the Nunobiki Reservoir.

I decided to see the reservoir. On route to the reservoir, I encountered a bridge that seemed to be held up by bamboo.


Two young Japanese girls were completely taken by it, but seemed to fear going on it due to its support system. Two elderly Japanese men, however, walked across with ease. Soon the small crowd that had formed, including the two young girls, were walking across too. After the amount of people dwindled, I ventured across to take some memorable pictures and get a grand view. Afterwards, I pressed on.

On reaching the reservoir, my breath was stolen yet again as I transformed into a picture taking addict.

Kobe's Reservoir (Nunobiki)


No matter how many photos I took, I couldn’t capture the same view my eyes beheld. I found the pictures unable to convey the same emotions flowing through me.

After feeling emotionally satisfied I began my descent. With my energy exhausted, and all batteries dead on my electronics, I sought help. Help was eagerly given and eagerly received. My time at Kobe hiking Nunobiki Falls has been an unforgettable experience.