Okay, so you’re done seeing the magnificent cherry blossoms during the spring season in Japan. (Or maybe you have missed your chance to see it.) You are now wondering what to do and where to go to enjoy your short spring trip in the country.
If you are in the Kansai area, there are lots of places to see different kinds of fully bloomed flowers. But for the adventure seeker, you always want to maximize your time and have a bit of excitement about your daily activities. Kobe City, one of Japan’s hidden gems, can give you just that. Here’s what you can do to have a wonderful and exciting day trip to Kobe!
The trail going up Mt. Maya begins near Shin-Kobe Station. You don’t need to be in full gear when you trek up this mountain because the steps are quite friendly, but it is recommended that you still wear proper clothes and shoes.
After about 30 minutes of uphill hiking, you will get to see this breathtaking waterfalls, considered to be one of the best in Japan. Nunobiki Falls is actually a series of waterfalls so before you reach the main waterfall, you will see smaller ones which will make you feel that you are one with nature.
A few more minutes’ walk from the falls will lead you to Miharashi Observatory, which offers a panoramic view of Kobe City.
As you continue to ascend, you will reach the Nunobiki Gohonmatsu Dam, which is one of the architectural heritage of the country. It is the first concrete gravity dam in Japan and one of the sources of high-quality Kobe water.
Lovely and peaceful, right?
Feeling hungry and tired from your trekking? Well, you can rest at this camping site in the middle of the mountain, where little rivers can be seen. The water from these rivers come from the waterfalls you saw earlier. You can enjoy a meal here while gathering your strength to move forward.
What?! A ropeway? Well, yes! There is a ropeway going up to Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens. The ropeway actually starts at Shin-Kobe Station where the trail also started. But hey, adventure is what makes the trip more fun, right? Plus, there’s no need to pay anything when you go trekking. And, you won’t be able to appreciate the first three spots if you take the ropeway, anyway.
Now, the Nunobiki Herb Gardens is the largest herb garden in Japan. It showcases different species of beautiful flowers and herbs, and it’s especially wonderful in spring.
As you go around the area and reach the glass house and the rest house, you will get to smell the scents of lavender, mint, chamomile, and many others. It’s quite relaxing as the scents combine with the perfect breeze of the spring season. They have a foot bath where you can soak your tired feet after that marvelous trekking experience. They also have a gift shop that sells different oils, soaps, and aromatherapy products. There is a restaurant, too.
But wait, there’s more! The place is strategically located at the top of the mountain, giving you a panoramic view of the city.
When traveling, it is always nice to know which places offer a great experience even for just a day. With that said, don’t forget to add Kobe to your Japan itinerary!