Spring Walks in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Feb 28, 2022

Spring Walks in Kobe

Spring is in the air, the time of year when many people emerge from the warm indoors and put their walking boots on. Kobe is a great place for a stroll or a hike with everything from mountain waterfalls to lush parks to quaint historic towns. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, and you don’t have to be an enthusiastic rambler to venture out and indulge in a spot of city walking.

Mount Rokko Trails

Stretching across 56 kilometers between Kobe and Osaka, the Mount Rokko mountain range is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the region. Unsurprisingly, it provides a multitude of walking trails that range from 1-2 kilometers to 25-30 kilometer treks that you’ll need a day or two to complete. If you want something not too exerting, the trail around Nunobiki Falls is perfect and lasts no more than an hour. It’s a mildly uphill walk from Shin-Kobe station, taking you past three waterfalls and up to the beautiful herb garden where you can sit and have a bite to eat. From here, you can take the cable car back to the starting point or continue along marked trails to the likes of Okamoto or Futatabi.


Kitano Ijinkan

Kitano Ijinkan is a historic district at the bottom of the Rokko Mountains – about 15 minutes from Sannomiya station – and the most well-preserved Ijinkan (foreign residences of the Meiji and Taisho periods in the late 19th/early 20th century) in Japan. Although some of the mansions are still occupied, many are open to tourists with around 500-1,000 yen entry fees. You’ll also find cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and a museum. It’s a great location for a gentle stroll where you can learn Japanese history and take in lovely scenery. You can enjoy the walk along the streets on its own or, as it’s only about a kilometer from Nunobiki Falls, add it to the end of a more adventurous hike.

Website: https://www.ijinkan.net/ (Japanese)

Suma Alps

Another option if you fancy a walk that doubles as a workout is none other than the Suma Alps. The Suma Alps are a series of small peaks in the Kobe suburbs. They provide a walking trail that’s not too challenging as long as you’re OK with regularly ascending and descending the rocky terrain. It reaches a peak height of close to 300 meters, but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Osaka Bay and the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge. The walk starts at Sumaura-Koen station and runs about 7-8 kilometers to Itayado while taking in residential areas and a small forest along the way.

Egeyama Park

One of Kobe’s many beautiful parks, Egeyama Park, sits in the mountains in southwest Kobe. It spans 12 square kilometers and includes a winding path close to the edge that looks out onto downtown Kobe. The park is a popular venue for Hanami, the annual viewing of the cherry blossom trees in March. You will find over 1,000 cherry trees here. To reach the park, travel to Kamisawa subway station. It’s about a 15-minute walk from there.

Website: https://www.kanpai-japan.com/kobe/egeyama-park

Hyogo Shinkawa Canal Promenade

Finally, a visit to the Hyogo Canal can be enjoyed at an amble, perhaps as a romantic evening walk. The Hyogo Canal is the largest canal in Japan built in the late 19th century as part of a trade route to the Port of Kobe. The Promenade stretches less than 500 meters so can be completed in a matter of minutes if you’re in a hurry. However, it’s lined with benches and many illustrated panels detailing the canal’s history, so it makes for a leisurely and enjoyable hour or two if you want to take your time.

Address: 3-1 Kiretocho, Hyogo Ward, Kobe 652-0847

IWAI, Masaharu (iwaim), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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