Kobe is full of viewpoints encompassing the sea, the city and the mountains. It’s the first place people mention when talking about the Kansai area’s nightscapes. The night view from Mt. Rokko has often been admired as the ‘million dollar view,’ but with the increase in the cost of electricity over the years, it’s been more aptly renamed the ‘ten million dollar view.’ There are a few viewpoints to choose from, but Rokkosan Tenrandai Observatory is top on the list. Conveniently located right next to Rokko Sanjo Station at the top of the Rokko Cable line, it’s extremely popular.
Here you’ll find a panoramic view spreading from Osaka all the way down to Wakayama (over 100 km South), and viewers can see Kobe Airport, Osaka International Airport and Kansai International Airport all in one sweep. Soak up the contrast between the sea and the glimmer of Osaka and Kobe’s lights, the man-made islands in Kobe’s port and the coming and going of airplanes and ships… your gaze will never tire of the beautiful nightscape.
Unwind with the cafe’s view
The daytime sights are also wonderful; being surrounded by nature with the sea and mountains close by really gives one the feel of Kobe city. On the right day you can view a sea of magnificent clouds and a wonderful sunset; nowhere else nearby will satisfy your cravings for nature.
You’ll also find the surprisingly not so well known Tenran Cafe in the Rokkosan Tenrandai Observatory. Enjoy a coffee made with Kobe’s famous water or a craft beer, then relax and settle in. The terrace with its ocean views is also popular. There are great light meals on offer: pizza, or curry made with local Rokko honey. You can eat here anytime they’re open for business.
Enjoy sightseeing and hiking
Mt. Rokko itself is a great sightseeing spot in Kobe. Jump on the Rokko Sanjo Bus from Tenrandai Observatory to reach the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden and Rokkosan Pasture. For those whole like the outdoors, the hiking trails here are highly recommended. Many courses are available; light courses for nature lovers, mountain-top courses for Mt. Maya and Arima Onsen, and long courses from foot to peak. Some hike Mt. Rokko everyday because of its proximity to the city; the area is loved by the local hikers. A hike is a sure way to experience more of the local charm.