I imagine that many people reading this article have traveled to the Kansai region of Japan. However, speaking of traveling in Kansai, most people think of Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Have you heard of the Kobe area? Even those of you who haven’t been to Kobe certainly know about “Kobe Beef”, right? In Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, there are a lot of wonderful sightseeing spots to discover. If you visit Kobe in 2021, you can “kill two birds with one stone”! At the World Masters Games, to be held in Kansai in 2021, you have a chance to see these events in Hyogo Prefecture: swimming and diving competitions, water polo and artistic swimming performances.
Enjoy the Excitement of Competitive Swimming!
Among all competitive sports, swimming is one of the most popular. In a matter of a few minutes or seconds, athletes have to put on their best performances! Competitive swimming is not only about swimming skills, but also involves a combination of other sports. For example, competitive swimmers must be skilled in gymnastics and dance. When you see how cool they look, you may fall in love at first sight with the athletes. Of course, their slim figures will also catch the eyes of the audience! If you travel to Hyogo Prefecture in the Kansai region, watching the best performances of athletes from around the world will be a bonus to your trip! Of course, anyone can participate as an individual athlete!
When Traveling to Hyogo Prefecture, Don’t Forget Himeji Castle!
Himeji Castle boasts a history of 400 years.In 1993, it was registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. It has been nicknamed Shirasagi-jo, meaning “White Heron Castle”. The reason behind this nickname is its pure, white appearance. With its well-constructed framework and symmetrical beauty, it is said to be the most perfect castle in Japan. Inside the castle, you may have the chance to meet people dressed in armor or as ninjas. They may look a little scary, but you can take a picture with them! You can even rent such costumes for yourself. Strolling around a historical castle in traditional Japanese clothing is the best experience! On the same day, why not visit nearby tourist attractions such as Koko-en Garden and Enkyo-ji Temple on Mount Shosha?
Himeji Castle Tourist Information:
- Admission: Adults ¥1,000 Children (Primary through High School Students): ¥300
- By train: From the North Exit of Sanyo Dentetsu’s Himeji Station, approximately 1 km (walk about 15-20 minutes)
- By bus: From Himeji Station’s North Exit, take Himeji Bus to Himeji-jo Otemae Stop (walk about 5 minutes)
Heal Your Body and Soul with Kobe Beef, Arima Onsen and Kikuseidai’s Night View…
Once you try Kobe beef, you can’t stop eating it. Take the cure at Arima Onsen hot springs, then take in the beautiful night views of Kikuseidai view point. All your cares will blow away! Wouldn’t you like to take such a trip? Among all varieties of Wagyu, Kobe beef is top-ranked. Exquisitely marbled, its tenderness melts in your mouth. Once you try Kobe beef, it’ll become a happy habit. Its delicious taste leaves such a strong impression that it may play a starring role in your trip! You can’t go wrong with Kobe beef.
Arima Onsen is one of the three most venerable hot springs in all of Japan. There are two types of hot springs here: the “Gold Spring” (Kinsen) and “Silver Spring” (Ginsen), both of which contain healing elements. This hot spring contains 7 of the 9 spring elements that are used for medical treatment and recuperation. The Kinsen, smelling of rusty gold, contains iron and salt. It’s effective in treating skin ailments, nerve pain and arthritis. With its carbonated springs, Ginsen improves the body’s circulation and supports its metabolism. Bearing a history of over 1,300 years, a mysterious mood floats around Arima Onsen.
- Arima Onsen Official Website: http://visit.arima-onsen.com/
Top Off Your Trip with a “Million-Dollar” Night View at Kikusedai
After bathing in one of Japan’s top three hot springs, head to Kikuseidai on Mount Maya to enjoy one of Japan’s top three night views! This is said to be a “million-dollar night view”. Why? When Kikuseidai was first developed, approximately 4,960,000 lights could be seen from the top of the mountain. By calculating the electric bills at the time, it came to about $1,000,000. Worthy of its nickname, the twinkling lights of Kobe shine even more brightly under the night sky at the top of Mount Maya. Taking in this spectacular scene with your own eyes will be an exemplary page in the book of your memories of this trip.
Access to Kikuseidai:
- From the north side of the Central Exit of JR Sannomiya Station, take Kobe City Bus #18 to Maya Cable Shita bus stop, then take the Cable and Ropeway from Maya Cable Station to Hoshi-no-Eki Station.
- Round-trip tickets on the Maya Cable and Ropeway: Adults ¥1,540 Children ¥770
Impressions Lead to the Next Encounter
The splash of water when athletes dive into the pool, the moment water polo players make a goal, the beautiful dances of artistic swimming: all of these express the harmony of strength and beauty. By captivating visitors in such ways, these events will impress you from the bottom of your heart. The lingering impressions that you bring back from your trip to Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture will raise expectations of your next encounter.