Kobe is located about 30 km west of Osaka. A train ride from Osaka to Kobe takes about 20-30 minutes.
As the capital of Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe has many top tourist attractions such as Mount Rokko, the most famous Japanese beef “Kobe beef”, the famous Kitano Ijinkan District, Arima Onsen, Nunobiki Herb Garden, and many more. Last winter, We visited Nunobiki Herb Garden, Japan’s largest herb garden.
Hiking to Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden
The Nunobiki Herb Garden on Mount Rokko is a herb garden surrounded over 75,000 herbs and various flowers blooming throughout the year. It has 12 gardens, a glasshouse, the fragrance museum, herbal foot bath, restaurant, and gift shops that visitors shouldn’t miss.
There are two ways to get to Nunobiki Herb Garden, take the ropeway or walking up the hill through the hiking trail, we got to experience both ways. We challenged ourselves to get there through the hiking trail. We met a couple of hikers and we exchanged “Konnichiwa” on our way. The trail was quite steep and even though it was winter, we were sweating bullets but it worth the view.
We were actually unprepared for the hiking, so we didn’t dress specifically for it. However, if you want to try the hiking trail, we recommend you to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. We guarantee the view while hiking won’t disappoint you. There are many spectacular view you can only see if you’re going through the hiking trail. We could see the architectural heritage “Nunobiki Gohonmatsu Dam” and great nature.
Aromatic herb gardens and a beautiful rest house
After more than an hour of hiking, we arrived at the Kaze no Oka Mid Station. Here you can take a break, you can find a vending machine, maps in various languages, photo booth, ticket vending machine, toilet, and plugs to charge your mobile phone. From this station to the View Rest House, you will need to walk up through the main garden path.
While walking up to the View Rest House through the main garden path, we could see the spectacular scenery of the herb garden and the port city of Kobe from far away, and we also could smell the pleasant aroma of nature, various flowers, and herbs.
The rest house itself is a beautiful European-style building at the top station. There are two gift shops, on the foot of the mountain and on the top of the mountain where you can buy herb chocolates, herb teas, herb cookies and many more. You can find a café, where you can enjoy meals with herbs from the garden.
And to reach the bottom station, we decided to take the ropeway to get down the hill. We bought a one-way ticket for 950 yen at the View Rest House. Each cable car can accommodate up to 4 people and equipped with a blanket. From the cable car, we could see the picturesque view of the vast garden.