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Hyogo Travel Guide A unique blend of nature and modernity

Yumura Onsen is a hot spring located in Mikata prefecture,Hyogo Japan

Hyogo prefecture shares its boundaries with Japan sea in the north and the Seto Inland sea in the south. It’s uniquely characterized by the existence of areas of amazing natural beauty alongside ultra-modern cities. The economic centre of the prefecture is Kobe, which is also one of the leading trading ports in Japan. Hyogo offers you plenty of places to visit and many sporting activities to enjoy in your leisure time. The prefecture is the perfect place to experience both a good pace of life and tremendous gallery of natural wonders. And if you are a golfer then you are most welcome here as Hyogo often referred to as ‘golf-course heaven’.

Things to do

Himeji Castle in beautiful Cherry Blossom season.

Once you land in this beautiful prefecture, you will find you don't have enough time to explore the utter richness of the area. Hyogo is home to a number of historic castles. Himeji castle, located 15 min walking distance from Himeji station, is one of the most elegant castles in all of Japan. Stroll Kokoen garden, Sumatra Park, Engyoji Temple, beautiful places that have gained a fame amongst visitors from around the world. Hyogo, is not all about parks, temples and castles, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy mountains for trekking.

Nights are beautiful in Hyogo, especially in Kobe. The iconic skyline is gogeous at night, lights flooding in the Kobe port tower and the Meriken park against a dark background, gives you a magical view. Hyogo is a perfect place for enjoying beach activities as well. The Akashikaki bridge, the Kobe Suma Marine Aquarium and  Kobe's Oji Zoo are some fantastic, family-friendly must see spots.

If shopping is what you love to do the most, Kobe features a few enormous malls and stores where you can enjoy limitless shopping.

Flavors of Hyogo

Kobe beef is the king cuisine not only of Hyogo prefecture but across Japan. The mouth watering Akashiyaki, (small round dumpling from the city of Akashi in Hyōgo Prefecture) is another famous flavor of hyogo. Snow crabs, Izushi Soba Noodles, Steamed Pork Buns (Butaman), the Octopus rice (Takomeshi), Kobe Sobameshi and Himeji stew are a few of the delicious foods found in the prefecture.

Events and Seasonal Happenings

Hyogo has a rich tradition of social and cultural activities. The month of January, in Hyogo, begins with the famous Shunsetsusai festival (Chinese New year). The Aiyoi Oyster festival, the Doll’s festival of Kanaya are the other intriguing festivals in the early part of the year. April welcomes spring-- with cherry blossoms all around. Himeji Castle cherry blossoms viewing and Tamba Sasayaam Cherry Blossom festival are gorgeous events in the month of April. Other events to watch for throughout the year are the famous Kobe festival and the Himeji castle festival.  You are sure to be wowed by the amazing fireworks over Kobe port. 

What to Bring Back

Bring back a "spirited" gift to rember your trip - pick up a bottle of Akashi Whiskey. “Akashi Whiskey” is  made using the techniques of brewing Akashi sake, and then using American Oak Sherry barrels or Bourbon barrels to mature the whiskey. Bring home a bottle or two and create some Hyogo inspired cocktails. 

Coffee lovers can bring back an historic blend from Kobe Nishimura Coffee shop. Their mix of 6 different kind of coffee beans, creates a fantastic aroma and smooth taste. Coffee is booming and this would be a unique gift to give friends and family back home. 

Photo: by chibetto_suna_gitsune 

Wrap up

Be it spring or winter, sun or snow, Hyogo offer a plethora of memorable sights, sounds, and tastes for visitors. Spend a gorgeous day at the golf course, enjoy and exciting festival or event. Dine on delicous, world famous Kobe beef and try some award winning whiskey. All these elements make Hyogo prefecture worth a visit. 

Getting there

From: Tokyo
3hrs from Tokyo Station to Shin Kobe Station by Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen.

From: Osaka
30 min from Kansai Airport to Kobe Airport by Kobe Bay Shuttle.

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