2017.11.29
Art Hyogo Kobe City

Mount Rokko’s Million Dollar View / Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)

A Perfect Date Night Sunset

To get to Mt. Rokko from Akashi or Himeji, take Hanshin Expressway route 7 and get off at the Karato West Exit. From there it’s only 20 minutes via the Ura Rokko Driveway toll road. Coming from Osaka should take about an hour. 

Mt. Rokko offers a variety of activities and sightseeing opportunities ranging from farm visits to winter sport resorts. For this article, I checked out the night views from Mt. Rokko.

Thirty minutes before sunset the sky still shows hints of blue as the city lights flicker on one after the other to create this fabulous scene.

Thirty minutes before sunset the sky still shows hints of blue as the city lights flicker on one after the other to create this fabulous scene.

Located 880 meters above sea level, Rokko Garden Terrace offers a panoramic view of the city of Kobe, the Akashi Strait, the plains of Osaka, and even the Kii Peninsula.

Rokko Garden Terrace’s 3 Observation Spots

While waiting for the sun to set, here’s some info on the three observation spots of the Rokko Garden Terrace and the Rokko Shidare Observatory.

This is the view from Miharashi Terrace, which is between Granite Cafe and a souvenir shop. From here, you can see Amagasaki-Nishinomiya-Ashiya Harbor, the red ferris wheel in Umeda, Osaka, and Osaka Castle. Combined with the art installations of the modern art exhibition Rokko Meets Art 2017 currently being held here, the view is spectacular.

The next part takes us a bit higher.

Right next to the terrace is Miharashi Tower. Reminiscent of a European medieval castle, it has a spiral staircase that twists around and around all the way to the top. Once you reach the top, you have a full, unobstructed panoramic view all to yourself. Giving off a warm orange glow, the cranes on Rokko Island look a bit like a herd of giraffes from this far away!

While the wind is considerably stronger than you might imagine, the summit of Mt. Rokko is 5-6 degrees cooler than down in central Kobe. To enjoy your time to the fullest, be sure to wrap yourself up well in warm clothing! Moreover, as Mt. Rokko sees snowfall in winter and there are occasions when the road freezes over, please check the road conditions before setting out in case you need to change to winter tires or attach snow chains.

The Artsy Observation Platform

Next up is a sight unique to Mt. Rokko.

Shaped like a giant tree, with the roof and walls like branches and leaves, the Rokko Shidare Observatory opened in 2010. Visitors can enter the trunk!

In the evening, the tree is illuminated for the Lightscape in Rokko event, the theme of which for 2017 is the Pillow Book. Featuring 4 different stages according to the 4 seasons, each one is expressed fantastically through state-of-the-art LED lighting technology.

Here’s another great view of the nightscape featuring the art of Rokko Meets Art combination.

Finally, there’s one more observation spot just 10 minutes drive down the mountain.

The Tenrandai observation platform was named after Emperor Showa (Hirohito) visited in 1981. In the autumn, pampas grass covers the slope and gives the scenery a certain elegance.

To the right, you can see all the way to Kobe Harbor Land. Kobe Port Tower is visible in the red circle in the photo above.

The road home is pitch black, so please take care when driving down.

Rokko Garden Terrace – Rokko Shidare Observatory
Address: 1877-9 Gosukeyama Rokkosancho, Nada, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Closest Train Stations: Hankyu Rokko Station, JR Rokkomichi Station and Hanshin Mikage Station. 1) From one of the train stations, take Kobe City Bus to Rokko Cable Shita Station, continue on the cable car to Rokko Sanjo Station, 3) and finally take the Rokko Sanjo Bus to Rokko Garden Terrace.
Access to Rokko Garden Terrace Station.
Tel: 078-894-2281
Admission: Rokko Garden Terrace: Free.
Rokko Shidare: Adults (from junior high school) 300 yen. Children (from 4 years) 200 yen.
Closed: 2018/03/06 – 03/07
Parking Area Operating Hours: 2017/09/01 – 2018/01/08 Weekdays – 09:30 – 21:00. Holidays – 09:30 – 21:00.
Parking Fee: Car 500 yen. Motorcycle 300 yen. Bus 2000 yen.
URL: http://www.rokkosan.com/gt/

Observatory
Address: 1-32 Ichigatani Rokkosancho, Nada, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.
Closest Train Stations: Hankyu Rokko Station, JR Rokkomichi Station and Hanshin Mikage Station. 1) From one of the train stations, take Kobe City Bus to Rokko Cable Shita Station, continue on the cable car to Rokko Sanjo Station.
Access to Rokko Sanjo Station.
Tel: 078-861-5288
Admission: Free-of-charge.
Closed: No regular holidays.
Open: 07:10 – 21:00
Parking: Free-of-charge.
URL: http://www.rokkosan.com/tenrandai/

Rokko Meets Art 2017
Open: 2017/09/09 – 2017/11/23 (open all days)
URL: http://www.rokkosan.com/art2017/

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Madoka Hori

 

Notice

 

■The Sanin, Setouchi & Shikoku Road Map
Our sightseeing information roadmap of the Sanin, Setouchi, and Shikoku regions is now complete. The map provides easily accessible sightseeing info like never before, and with this, your road-trip is sure to be even more enjoyable. The map contains info on rent-a-car services, tourist information centers, roadside service areas, and is completely free-of-charge, so please have a look!

>Setouchi – Shikoku roadmap front

>Setouchi – Shikoku roadmap back

■Times Car Rental Tourist Information Campaign
The car rental company Times Mobility Networks Co., Ltd. is now offering a voice translation app and tourist information services for foreign travelers via tablets at several Times Car Rental stores throughout the Setouchi region. Renting a car at one of these stores means you can get more sightseeing info about specific areas, and therefore enjoy your trip even more!

【Stores】
Osaka: Kansai Airport
Hyogo: Sannomiya Station, Shinkobe Station, Himeji Station
Okayama: Okayama Airport, Okayama Station, Kurashiki Station
Hiroshima: Hiroshima Airport, Hiroshima Station South Exit (BIGFRONT Hiroshima), Hiroshima Otemachi
Yamaguchi: Iwakunikintaikyo Airport, Iwakuni Station, Ube Airport
Tokushima: Tokushima Airport, Tokushima Chuo
Kagawa: Takamatsu Station, Takamatsu Airport
Ehime: Matsuyama Station, Matsuyama Airport, Matsuyama Sanbancho
Fukuoka: Fukuoka Airport International Terminal

【Period】
Nov. 20, 2017 – Feb. 19, 2018
※ Hiroshima stores only: Oct. 20, 2017 – Jan. 19, 2018.

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Written by

Madoka Hori

Madoka Hori

Madoka Hori / Photo-writer I was born and currently still live in Hyogo Prefecture. I work in translation, foreign entrepreneur support, English interpretation, and I'm a photo-writer. I work at a foreign investment start-up company specializing in network marketing, and am in charge of progress management and customer support. Since 2011, I have been translating the Front line of the IT Business weekly column in Fuji Sankei Business i. I capture whatever moves and impresses me, such as daily scenery and the expressions of people I meet when traveling. I will present slices of life and locations, lifestyles, a sense of the seasons, and food from my own perspective. Picture Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328

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