When you get off the bus, a wind colder than that in the city blows through the trees. This is part of the Mt. Rokko group of mountains, situated in the southeastern part of Hyogo prefecture that has been designated part of the Setonaikai National Park.
In 1940, to celebrate 2600 years since the enthronement of Emperor Jinmu, Kobe city planned to build an arboretum.
In addition to making use of the natural mountain range, 1200 different species of trees and shrubs were planted according to their place of origin.
The “Autumn Leaves Walk~ An Autumn Leaf Tour in the Forests of the World” event is in session right now! It’s a great spot to enjoy the autumn foliage of 38 different types of forests gathered both domestically and internationally.
Located at the center of the park, the area surrounding Haseike pond is a superb place to enjoy the different shades of yellow, orange and red at their best.
When the rays of the afternoon sun peek between the clouds, it’s almost as if the place changes in an instant; the pond’s surface glistens, and the colors of the surroundings appear 3 shades warmer.
On the small island in the middle of the pond you can see a torii gate. As there is a sign saying “no entrance”, you can only glance at it from the bridge and put your hands together in prayer.
After you walk past the deep green conifer forest that stings your nose with its strong scent, you will come to the Aoba (Green leaves) Tunnel. Planned by university students, a light-up event called ” Dream Leaves” is currently in session. Works from the park’s visitors color the tunnel’s walls.
If you visit the park’s café, we recommend trying the siphon cake and hot milk. The milk comes from Yuge farm, a 10-minute drive away, and is refreshing and sweet even when warmed. The combination of the two is perfect.
After 4.30 PM, the rows of Japanese maples and red dawn wood on the hydrangea slope are lit up. The trees radiate under the light, and a fairy-tale like world opens up in front of your eyes.
Today’s walk finishes after waving to the busy Santa Claus!
The kind of botanical garden that you’ll want to visit again and again to experience the autumn colors…
Kobe Municipal Arboretum:
Entrance fee: Adults JPY300, Children JPY150
Open hours: 9.00-17.00 (last entry at 16.30), 9.00-18.30 during the autumn leaf light up season (last entrance at 18.00)
Holidays: Every Wednesday (the park is closed on the day following each national holiday) and the New Year’s holidays (from December 29th to January 3rd).
*No holidays during the Autumn Leaf Walk time period.
By car: About 25-minute drives from Kobe city (parking fees for passenger vehicles are JPY500/day)
By shuttle bus: Around 10 minutes by shuttle bus from Kobe Electric Railway’s Kitasuzurandai train station.
By (scheduled) bus: Around 40 minutes from Sannomiya station on the Kobe city bus line number 25 (only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between April and November).
Autumn Leaves Walk~ An Autumn Leaf Tour in the Forests of the World:
Open period: October 25th (Sat) ~ November 30th (Sun) 2014.
The park will be open every day during this period.
Autumn leaf light up “Feast for Light Coloring the Forest”:
Open period: November 8th (Sat) ~ December 7th (Sun), the park’s opening hours will be lengthened during this period.
Address: Nagao 1-2, Kamitanigami ,Yamada-cho, Kita Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Madoka Hori
Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328
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