my home is here, on the slopes of rokko mountain!!! :)) on the mountains there is a lot of wonderful nature, trees, waterfalls, views down to the city, that u can discover by numerous hiking trails up and down the mountain range, which is actually a natural park. u will see boars, racoons, insects the size of ur fist, pretty butterflies and birds :)) once u get up there, either by a challenging climb or by the cable car, u will find cafe, souvenir shops, a couple of hotels etc...yeah, its far away being a wilderness, however, wonderful nature experience right in the city!!!
to get there, take the JR or Hankyu line to rokkomichi resp rokko station(less than 10min from sannomiya), then take a bus up the hill to the cable car station, from where u can either take the tram up (15-20min) or hike up (two hours or so with a slow pace). the hike is very steep, so be prepared with proper equipment and some water!!!
The Akashi Kaikyo is the longest suspension bridge in the world. It was under the construction when I was there. It would be very interested to see the structure of this bridge. Besides the bridge, there is a Maiko Tower where you can see the bridge from the top.
Open hour: 10:00 - 17:00 (In some seasons, it is not closed until 18:00 or 19:00)
The NARUTO WHIRLPOOLS are located a little far from Kobe, but there's no location on VT for where they are. These whirlpools, located in INLAND SEA between SHIKOKU & AWAJI ISLANDS, are one of the world's largest. The best time to go is in the spring and the fall, when the whirlpools can reach up to 30 meters in diameter! Wow!
GETTING THERE: TAKE the TOKUSHIMA SHIKI BUS from the east exit of JR SANNOMIYA STATION in Kobe. It costs 2750yen R/T and takes 90 mins to reach NARUTO KOEN (3rd stop). From there, walk 10 mins to NARUTO KOEN and catch a ferry to take you to see the whirlpools. There are a few ferry companies you can take and costs about 2000yen/adult.
Sorakuen Garden is in the city center of Kobe. Besides the garden, you can see some old houses. The chrysanthemum in the autumn flower exhibition was the biggest I've ever seen.
Open hour: 9:00-17:00 (Thursday closed)
Named after the Roman Goddess of love and beauty, Venus Bridge (near a hill used by French astronomers to observe the planet Venus in the early Meiji era) is located at Suwayama Park, north of JR Motomachi Station. It`s a hike to get up there but definitely worth it for the view of Kobe & Kobe Port.
More importantly, this is the place to go if you are with your special significant other. Hundreds of padlocks have been attached to the railings of the bridge bearing messages of love & affection & foreverness. How romantic!! With your special message written on the padlock, lock it onto the railing & know that you & your loved one will never be separated. Together forever!!
There is one Marine Museum near the beach. Once I visited there , it was in holidays. It's very close to the Suma JR train station, walk by the beach , it takes 20-25 mins to there. But you can aslo take a bus.
If you like fashion, you may want to come here. I say "may" because I came here to see a 60s-70s Japan exhibit & was disappointed. It was small (2 rooms) & expensive (800yen/adult). The museum looks large from the outside but as I`ve found out, most of the free-standing museums in Japan are large but the exhibit space small.
But fashion & textiles are interesting for alot of people. Check their website for current & upcoming exhibits. Just don`t be surprised if you have to pay alot for it. Also, there are no English translations available.
Address: 9, 2-chome, Koyocho-naka, Higashinada-hu, Kobe 658. Take the Rokko Liner to Island Center Station from JR Sumiyoshi or Hanshin Uozaki stations. The museum is right outside the station.