Time flies! It’s already the second half of November. Here in Kobe, the cityscape and atmosphere of the entire area are changing dramatically from autumn leaf colors to white winter colors. In this cold season, a variety of heartwarming lighting events, “KOBE ROMANTIC FAIR 2020” are held at multiple venues dotted throughout the city. The amazingly beautiful and warm lighting will undoubtedly envelop your mind. The Mt. Rokko area, which is one of Japan’s most renowned and fascinating night view spots, exclusively offers artistic lighting events including their ten-million-night view. It would be a great idea to explore the area and experience absolutely unforgettable views and artworks that you would like to come and see over and over again.
Today, we will show you the most convenient and affordable tour bus service to reach Mt. Rokko and take delight in the lighting events and night views. This service is called Kobe Yakei. Yakei means night view in Japanese. The best part of this tour is that you can relax on a big tour bus and get straight to the mountaintop without having to take any complicated transportation services and transfer multiple times en route. On top of that, the price is a real steal. 1,000 yen per person (adult) / 500 yen (child) *Reservation required. Furthermore, the Go To Travel campaign is applied. Nothing would suit you better! Why not use this service to visit Mt. Rokko and feel the fresh air with Kobe’s super clear winter night view?
【Tour Period & Bus schedule】
1: November 28th, 2020 to February 2021
The bus departs from Shinki bus Sannomiya higashi bus stop at 4:30 pm and returns to the bus stop at around 7:30 pm.
2: March 2021
The bus departs from Shinki bus Sannomiya higashi bus stop at 5:30 pm and returns to the bus stop at around 8:30 pm.
Please stop by the Ticket counter inside Shinki Bus Sannomiya Bus Terminal (A on the map below / Google map) and then proceed to the higashi bus stop (B on the map below) that is just 2 minutes away from the counter.
As the social distancing is well maintained inside the bus, please sit back and unwind yourself for a while. The bus arrives at one of the best night view spots on Mt. Rokko, “Rokko Garden Terrace” in about 40 minutes. (*The bus may be delayed depending on the traffic condition.)
*Detailed information: https://www.shinkibus.com/feature/kobe_yakei202010/index.html (Japanese)
At Rokko Garden Terrace, you have about an hour free time. Stroll around the area and seek out your own way to experience Rokko’s special night! If you have any questions about the facilities or recommendations, feel free to ask the tour attendant.
【Recommended route and spots】
1: Night view (Miharashi Observation Deck)
2: Illuminated artwork “Lightscape in Rokko” (Rokko-Shidare Observatory)
3: Night view (Miharashi Observation Tower)
4: Shopping (Local souvenir shops / *The Go To Travel regional coupon is accepted.)
1: Miharashi Observation Deck
Miharashi Observation Deck is well-known as an observatory where a super-wide and beautiful jewel-like night view from the Kobe to the Osaka area is in full display before your eyes. It’s located behind the restaurant-and-shop building right next to the parking lot.
Downtown Kobe (in the front of the photo) and Osaka Plain (in the back of the photo)
Higashi Kobe Ohashi Bridge (cable-stayed bridge) on the Hanshin Expressway Route 5 (Bayshore Route) lies across Higashi Kobe Port.
Rokko Island (One of two biggest and locally famous man-made islands along with Port Island.)
2: Rokko-Shidare Observatory
From Miharashi Observation Deck, walk towards Rokko Garden Terrace, a mystical and huge dome-shaped observatory called Rokko Shidare shows its magnificent presence with fantastic lighting effects on your right-hand side. This artwork is created with cutting-edge lighting technology and over 10 million LED lights. The illumination presents different colors with lighting patterns depending on the season.
Winter edition begins from December 5th, 2020 (Sat., Sun., National holiday only) to March 14th, 2021, December 24th and 25th, 2020.
1: 5 pm-9 pm (December 5th, 2020 to January 11th, 2021 (Sat., Sun., National holiday only))
*January 1st, 2021 (Fri. / national holiday excluded)
2: 5 pm-8 pm (January 16th- March 14th (Sat., Sun., National holiday only))
10 am-9 pm (Last admission: 20:30)
*It may change depending on the weather condition.
310 yen (adult) / 210 yen (4 years old to primary school student)
3: Miharashi Observation Tower
After you walk past Rokkosan Genghis Khan Palace (barbeque restaurant that serves lamb meat, Wagyu beef, and seafood) and go into a small path on your left, this impressive medieval Europe style tower will come within sight.
If time allows, approach the top of the tower. An incredibly wonderful 360-degree panoramic view is waiting to be discovered.
Downtown Kobe ※The photos below are introduced clockwise.
Beautiful townscape with warm and relaxing lights
The XIV Rokko Sanctuary Villa
Rokko-Shidare Observatory is giving off an enchanting light.
On the property, there are several souvenir shops where a wide variety of Kobe’s local items are lined up. It would be great if you could find your favorite souvenirs for your friends or family members.
*The Go To Travel regional coupon is accepted. (Check out the detail of the campaign sign attached in front of each shop.)