Genbudō Park – The Basalt Park with NS Pole Reversed


During your time at Kinosaki Onsen, how about a side trip to Genbudō Park (玄武洞公園) that has some amazing landscapes created by volcanic activity 1.6 million years ago? Although the park is called Genbudō, which means Genbu Cave, it actually has five basalt caves, each named after one of the four Chinese mythological divine beasts.

Read more

Toyooka – The City of Extraordinary Landscapes and Sceneries


Toyooka (豊岡) is a city in northern Hyōgo Prefecture. Starting from the famous hot spring resort Kinosaki Onsen with views that had been recognised by the Michelin Guide, to the amazing landscapes created by volcanic activities in Genbudō Park and Kannabe Kōgen, this city is packed with beautiful sceneries and natural wonders! Having the Sea of Japan located on one side, it has been said that Takeno Coastline is considered to be one of the best beaches in Japan. With clean and highly transparent water, the beach is perfect for swimming and for those wanting to engage in all kinds of water sports!

Read more

Tatsuno City – The Perfect Place to Enjoy the Four Seasons


Tatsuno City (たつの市), also known as Harima Province’s “Little Kyoto” (播磨の小京都), is a lovely city with a historical and tranquil atmosphere. Situated along the coast, quite a few of the attractions in the city come with a panorama view of the Seto Inland Sea, including a forest of plum blossoms. The city is also where you can learn about how soy sauce and the thin noodles known as sōmen were made hundreds of years ago!

Read more

Kannabe Kōgen – The Crater and Other Astonishing Landscapes


If you are visiting Kansai and are looking for a resort area, consider Kannabe Kōgen in Hyōgo Prefecture’s Toyooka City! It is a plateau located in the outer ring of Mt. Kanabe (神鍋山) and is known as one of the leading ski resorts in Kansai. When the breath of spring releases the Kannabe Kōgen from the long cold winter, it is a perfect place for outdoor recreation activities.

Read more

Kinosaki Onsen and the Stunning Michelin Certified Scenery


Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) at northern Hyōgo Prefecture has become more and more popular among tourists both locally and overseas. And it won’t be hard to understand the reason at all once you have seen the Michelin two-star rated scenery from Mt. Daishi (大師山) and the other historical and cultural charms of the hot spring resort that has prospered for more than 1,300 years!

Read more

Akō City – The Salt, The Castle, And The Sunset


Akō (赤穂) is a rural city that isn’t too far away from the most elegant castle in Japan – Himeji Castle. Whilst it is certainly not a top must-see destination in Japan, it does have its own charm. One of the top 100 Castles in Japan is located not too far away from the major train station in the city. In spring, it is the place that you want to be at for its beautiful cherry blossom in the coastal area with moderate crowds.

Read more

Akō Castle Ruins – One of Japan’s Top 100 Castles


Many people come to Japan for its magnificent old castles. However, when it comes to castle ruins, we find that many tourists end up skipping them. When we think of castle ruins, we picture tumbledown walls and rocky boulders. Unless notable or famous historical events have taken place there, there aren’t many incentives for international tourists to visit those places.

However, Akō Castle Ruins is different! Designated as a National Historic Site, this castle, which was dismantled in the Meiji Period (1868-1912) by government orders, does have its own unique personality. Due to Akō City’s effort in restoring the castle to its former glory, it has been selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Castles in 2006!

Read more

Takeda Castle – The Hidden Castle Ruins in the Sky


Japan really is a great island country for its fantastic sceneries. One of them is the Takeda Castle Ruins (竹田城) located up in Mt. Kojōzan (古城山) in Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県). Castle ruins may not sound too exciting or appealing to some people, but the location and its rich history got it ranked as one of the Top 100 Castles in Japan! It has also been listed as one of the designated National Important Cultural Properties!

Read more

Kobe – Your Ultimate Guide to The Scenic Port City


Kobe (神戸), a fashionable port city only a 30 minutes train ride from Osaka, has many hidden gems that many international visitors aren’t aware of. As a international trading port since 1868, many choose to pass it by when they visit Kansai because the city seems to be filled with western elements that aren’t unique to Japan. But what they don’t know is, there are quite a few traditional Japanese attractions in Kobe that are worth visiting. And, even with those western inspirations, the people of Kobe have added to them their own creative spin to create an experience not available anywhere else in the world!

Read more