There are 21 castles and castle sites in Hyogo designated as cultural properties by the national government. This number is larger than any other prefecture in Japan.
The most famous one is Himeji Castle. Boasting a history of 400 years, it was selected as one of Japan’s first World Cultural Heritage sites in 1993 along with Horyu-ji Temple in Nara. The castle is also rated the maximum “three stars” in the Michelin Green Guide.
Another excellent site is the Ruins of Takeda Castle, known as the castle in the sky and “Machu Picchu in Japan.” The stone base of the main keep built on top of the 353.7-meter high Mt. Torafusu commands a fantastic view of the sea of clouds. In addition to these, there are many historic sites throughout Hyogo, such as the sites of Ako Castle and Okishio Castle, so there is plenty for castle lovers to tour around and see.
Takeda Castle Ruins
The City of Kobe has prospered as Japan’s gateway to the world since the opening of the Port of Kobe 150 years ago. It boasts a population of 1.53 million, the sixth-largest among all municipalities in Japan.
The streetscapes in the Kitano area, featuring Western-style residences built mostly for early foreign settlers during the Meiji era (1868–1912), as well as the night views from Mt. Rokko, are must-sees.
Sasayama in the center of the Tamba district is a castle town where the old streetscapes from the Edo period (1603–1868) remain. The Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings designated by the national government, as well as other old houses, has been well preserved and attract many international tourists.
Izushi in the Tajima district, located to the north of the prefecture, is also an old castle town. There are dozens of old-style soba noodle restaurants in downtown Izushi.
the night views from Mt. Rokko
Izushi Castle Ruins