The Kobe area has been experiencing very wintry weather throughout this winter season. The best thing about cold winters is that the air is fresh and clean, making night views much clearer and more appealing compared to other seasons. In Japan, since February is one of the coldest months, it’s highly regarded as an ideal month for nightscape viewing.
Today, we will introduce to you an exclusive and affordable bus tour that offers you a breath-taking ten-million-night view from Mt. Rokko and a vivid and romantic night view from Meriken Park (Kobe Bay area). As Kobe is surrounded by Mt. Rokko and the Seto Inland Sea, the night views from both mountainside and seaside have been loved by Kobe locals as well as domestic and international tourists for decades.
Source and detailed information (Shinki Bus website):
Although the Kobe Port Tower (the main landmark of Kobe) is currently under renovation, special artworks on the outer wall of the tower created by the projection mapping technology will absolutely fascinate you.
1,000 yen (Adult)
500 yen (Child)
Approximately 3 hours
(*The schedule may change depending on weather and traffic conditions.)
【Schedule and Route】
(*The tour guide will accompany the bus)
Departing at Shinki Bus Sannomiya Higashi bus stop
Arriving at Rokko GARDEN TERRACE (*about an hour free time)
Arriving at Meriken Park (*about a 30-minute free time)
Arriving at Shinki Bus Sannomiya Higashi bus stop
Detailed information (Shinki Bus website):
https://www.shinkibus.com/feature/kobe_yakei202110/index.html(Japanese)The friendly driver and tour guide will warmly welcome you!The bus will depart before sunset. Please sit back and relax for a while!Rokko GARDEN TERRACE map
Source and detailed information: https://www.rokkosan.com/gt/operation/?lang=en
After about a 40-minute drive, the bus arrives at Rokko GARDEN TERRACE (on Mt. Rokko). Please feel free to explore the area and find your favorite spots to enjoy Kobe’s night view from the mountaintop. Don’t forget to wear something much warmer than usual because the temperature on the peak is about 5 degrees (Celsius) lower than that of downtown Kobe.Rokko Island (man-made island situated on the Port of Kobe)Glittering night view of the downtown Kobe area
Appreciate an amazingly wide and far view!
Hanshin Expressway Route 5 (in the front of the photo) and Osaka Plain (in the back of the photo)Rokko-Shidare Observatory
The motif of the dome-shaped observatory is branches of Japanese Hinoki cypress. Once you see the structure with mystical lighting effects, you will be surely glued to its overwhelming presence with a nostalgic ambience. Please indulge in the seasonal artwork event “Lightscape in Rokko” which is illuminated with state-of-the-art lighting technology and more than 10 million LED lights.
Rokko-Shidare Observatory ~Winter edition “Winter morning”~
Period: January 15th (Sat) – March 13th (Sun)
Opening hours: 5 pm- 8 pm (last admission: 7:30 pm)
Admission fee: 310 yen (middle school age and older) / 210 yen (4 years old to primary school age)
More information: https://www.rokkosan.com/gt/operation/?lang=enThe path towards the Rokko Garden Terrace is beautifully lit up with warm color lights. The concept of the Terrace is a garden of a mansion in the English countryside.
After a minute walk from the entrance of the Terrace, a 11-meter magnificent medieval-style tower will come into sight. It’s called “Miharashi Observation Tower”. If time allows, take the stairs to the top and revel in a panoramic view from the observatory!It would also be a great choice if you could swing by shops in the property and take a look at your favorite souvenirs or grab some hot drinks to warm you up. Please don’t forget to use the discount coupons that you can receive on the bus.
Rokko Omiyage Kan: https://www.rokkosan.com/top/goods/palaceshop/?lang=en
Cafe and Restaurant
Rokko View Palace: https://www.rokkosan.com/top/eat/palacerestaurant/?lang=en
Rokkosan Genghis Khan Palace: https://www.rokkosan.com/top/eat/genghiskhan/?lang=en
Apart from the coupons, a leaflet of the Terrace and a cute post card are given on the way to Mt. Rokko.
After leaving Mt. Rokko, the bus heads to Meriken Park. Meriken Park is one of the most romantic spots in the Kobe Bay area.A night view from the seaside is totally different from the mountainside. We believe that you will love both views because even Kobe locals cannot pick one of the views. This bus tour makes it possible to offer them at the same time. It is undoubtedly exclusive!A brilliant illumination of the Kobe Harborland MOSAIC is reflected on the surface of the sea.Two major landmarks of the Kobe Bay area, KOBE MARITIME MUSEUM (in the front) and Hotel Okura KOBE (in the back)
The KOBE MARITIME MUSEUM was opened in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Kobe. The unique and large while-colored roof of the museum, which symbolizes sails of a sailing ship and big waves, changes its color from clear white to vivid green at night like the photo above. This museum is the best facility to learn about the history of the city of Kobe and the Port of Kobe that have been developing together over time.Nakatottei Chuo Cruise Terminal (aka Kamomeria)
A variety of cruise ships are anchored in the terminal. In the daytime, you can see Mt. Rokko that you visited on this tour clearly behind Kamomeria.
At the bottom of the Naka Pier Cruise Terminal (on the right side of Kamomeria), Kobe’s most famous and iconic landmark towers over the city below. It is Kobe Port Tower which opened in 1963 and it has been showing its presence as a symbol of Kobe ever since. The Port Tower is currently under extensive renovation and is scheduled to reopen in about 2 years.During the renovation period, the tower is illuminated with various color lights.On top of that, special artwork events, “Kobe Waterfront Art Project” are held only during the period. The concept of the project is “Local Kobe combines creative art”. Kobe-related artworks will be shown on the outer wall of the Port Tower by using the projection mapping techniques.Along with the projection mapping, appealing music produced by Mr. Wataru Sato will make the artworks more beautiful, romantic, and fantastic. Mr. Sato also arranged music for the artistic swimming at the Tokyo Olympics.Kobe Waterfront Art Project (Projection mapping)
Event period: January 2022 – around spring 2023
(The current artwork “One and only” will continue until spring 2022.)
Showtime: 7 pm to 10 pm (every 30 minutes)
Running time: approximately 6 minutes
*Between the shows, 5 additional video artworks relating to Kobe will captivate you as well.
*After the show, the illumination of the tower will continue until 11:30 pm.
Detailed information: https://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/a02564/258726925208.html (Japanese)
【Kobe night view tour bus to the Mt. Rokko and Meriken Park area】
Tour period: Every Saturday until March 26th 2022