Guide to Mt. Rokko Full of Flowers and Leaves

The sight of mountain cherry blossoms can be enjoyed until mid-April on the 931-meter high Mt. Rokko at which time the eye-pleasing magnificence of the season's new foliage makes its appearance. In the latter half of April, the mountain range of Mt. Rokko overflows with the flowers and greenery signaling the arrival of the best season for mountain hikes and picnics.
Here we introduce the popular spots of Mt. Rokko recommended for couples and families. A breath-taking panoramic view of nature can be enjoyed on your way to Arima from downtown Kobe by taking the Rokko Cable Car (10 minutes), Rokko Sanjo Bus (10 minutes) and Rokko-Arima Ropeway (12 minutes) in succession.
All of the staff at Ryuusenkaku are eagerly waiting to serve the many visitors from around the world coming to the Kobe-Arima Onsen.

Mount Rokko

Mount Rokko

Located north of the line of cities of Takarazuka, Nishinomiya, Ashiya, and Kobe, the mountain range of Mt. Rokko stands like a partition extending 30km to the east and west at an altitude of 931m above sea level. In 1895, Kobe resident Arthur H. Groom, an English trader, happened upon the area on a hunting excursion and found the Mt. Rokko area to be an ideal place for a mountain cottage. He built a summerhouse on the edge of a pond popularly called Groom Pond, and development for health resorts quickly ensued.
In 1956, the Mt. Rokko mountain range was incorporated into the Seto Inland Sea National Park. The vicinity around the top of Mt. Rokko is almost 10 degrees cooler than the urban district of Kobe. With Rokko Garden Terrace, Alpine Botanical Garden, Country House, Arboretum, Mt.Rokko Ranch, Field Athletic Center, and man-made ski slope, the area of Mt. Rokko has something for everyone of the family to enjoy.

The Highest Peak of Mt. Rokko

Formed around 1 million years ago and composed mostly of granite, the Mt. Rokko mountain system had been stripped of foliage up to about 100 years ago due to reckless deforestation; however, a project to plant trees was begun in 1903 resulting in the vegetation rich mountain we see today. In the Mt. Futatabi Park a stone monument was built stating "Location of Rokko Reforestation Origination."
Actually, there are two summits on Mt. Rokko. Prior to WWII, the area near the uppermost peak of Mt. Rokko was military grounds with restricted entry. To the south, there is a slightly elevated hill that was the virtual uppermost peak and even now there is a stone marker indicating that place as the summit. At last in 2001, a marking pillar stating "Mt. Rokko Summit" was constructed at the actual summit on the occasion of a revival of the Japanese traditional summit elevation stone.

Mt. Rokko Mt. Rokko Mt. Rokko Mt. Rokko

Mt. Rokko Ranch Mt. Rokko Tenrandai (observation platform) Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden Hall of Halls Rokko (Music Box Museum) Rokko Garden Terrace Kobe Arboretum (Kobe Shinrin Shokubutsuen) Rokko Country House Rokko Field Athletics Rokko-Arima Ropeway
Index of Sightseeing spots in Mt. Rokko

Mt. Rokko Ranch

The designated theme at the spacious plateau ranch on top of Mt. Rokko is "A place where humans and animals interact in nature." The barns and red brick silos with Northern European-styled mansard roofs and the pastures for dairy cattle and sheep provide a Swiss Alps mood. Grazing sheep and rabbit hutches allow the visitors the chance to get close to the animals. On the vast grounds, there are such facilities particularly suited for families such as a rest house where you can drink freshly squeezed milk, a cheese factory, the Kobe Cheese Museum, animal husbandry products and "Dream Pasture Factory" where you can experience crafts using wool. Furthermore, at the stand in front of the restaurant you can try simple butter making with the milk squeezed at the ranch.

Mt. Rokko Ranch Mt. Rokko Ranch Mt. Rokko Ranch Mt. Rokko Ranch

Kobe Cheese Museum

Kobe Cheese Museum

The Cheese Museum is a place where you can learn various things regarding cheese. On the underground 1st floor, you can see cheese being processed at the Cheese Factory and receive a detailed introduction to the history and culture of wool. On the 2nd floor at the 'Restaurant Kobe Cheese', you can taste authentic cheese dishes using freshly made cheese beginning with cheese fondue. Furthermore, you can also try such things as making ice cream.

Trial LessonsThere are a variety of classes such as cooking classes for butter, ice cream, sausage; hand-molded pottery and ceramic art; wool/yarn making; and pony care/ horse riding.
AccessFrom the Sanjo Station at Rokko Cable Car, take the Rokko Sanjo Bus, and get off at "Mt. Rokko Ranch."
TEL078-891-0280
Business HoursFrom 9:00 to 16:30 (until 19:00 during summer season)
Closed onWednesday (closed the day following a national holiday, opened every day during the summer season, and closed for winter season)
Admission Fee500 yen for adults,
200 yen for elementary and junior high school students.

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Mt. Rokko Tenrandai (observation platform)

Mt. Rokko Tenrandai
Mt. Rokko Tenrandai
Mt. Rokko Tenrandai

Mt. Rokko Tenrandai

The project for the Heritage of Japanese Night Views selected this scenic view that is said to be a 10 million dollar view. This lookout commonly visited by travelers to Kobe is in the immediate vicinity of the Rokko Cable Sanjo Station and is one of several places on Mt. Rokko for gaining an expansive night view of the sea of city lights spreading out from Osaka, Kobe, and Awaji Island. In 1981, the Emperor Showa came to this spot and commemorated it as Tenrandai. Since the parking lot and lookout are open free of charge 24 hours a day, this spot can be easily reached and is a popular destination, day and night, because of its shops and coffee shop. On a clear day in the distance, you can see the Kansai airport and the business district of Osaka to the east and the Akashi Strait Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, and Awaji Island to the west. Moreover, you can clearly see the scene from the Kobe city district to the several manmade Islands, such as Rokko Island, Port Island, and the Kobe Airport Island.

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Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden

Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden

Making use of what is called a favorable climate with a yearly average temperature of 9Ž (equivalent to the southern part of Hokkaido), this botanical garden is located near the Mt. Rokko summit at an altitude of 865 m and was established in 1933. The garden is centered on world alpine and cold weather region plants and cultivates hygrophytes, native plants of Mt. Rokko, and approximately 1,500 types of wild plants. With the interior of the 50,000‡u garden divided into sections as a rock garden, hygrophytes, and woodland, visitors can observe the various plants in a suitable habitat that comes as closely as possible to natural conditions. Furthermore, there is a gift shop, coffee shop, and an AV theater with multiple slides introducing the flowers that bloom within the garden during the four seasons.

Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden

AccessFrom the Sanjo Station at Rokko Cable Car, take the Rokko Sanjo Bus, and get off at "Alpine Botanical Garden."
TEL078-891-1247
Business HoursFrom 10:00 to 16:30 March 1st to November 30th
Closed onThursday (Opened on national holidays and every day from April to August)
Admission Fee310 yen for children from 4 years to elementary school students,
620 yen for junior high school students and above.

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Hall of Halls Rokko (Music Box Museum)

In the vicinity of the Alpine Botanical Garden, there is a museum for music boxes established in 1994 called Hall of Halls Rokko. The unconventional building in the style of a German or Swiss mansion is a musical box museum that stores a multitude of automatic performing instruments starting with musical boxes that were in their zenith 100 years before and shows how these instruments were used in daily life in each period and each country. There is a regular concert seven times a day and visitors can participate in the performance with a hand-cranked barrel organ. Since there is museum cafe and museum shop, you can stay in the mood after the concert with dinner and coffee and enjoy browsing over the original music boxes and antiques sold in the gift shop.

Hall of Halls Rokko Hall of Halls Rokko Hall of Halls Rokko Hall of Halls Rokko

AccessFrom the Sanjo Station at Rokko Cable Car, take the Rokko Sanjo Bus, and get off at "Hall of Halls Rokko."
TEL078-891-1284
Business HoursFrom 10:00 to 17:00 Summer time: until 18:00 Admission: until an hour earlier
Closed on Thursday (Opened in the summer season and national holidays) and Dec 31st-Jan 1st
Admission Fee1,030 yen

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Rokko Garden Terrace

Conceived in a concept reminiscent of a country town in Europe, the Rokko Garden Terrace opened after remodeling in 2004 and is must-see spot with its fashionable knickknack shops and restaurant built together on top of Mt. Rokko. From the Lookout Tower at a height of 888m you can have an unfettered view of Osaka Bay. On a clear day, visitors can see a dynamic view of from the Akashi Strait Bridge to the Kansai International Airport lay before them as well as the Osaka Plain. Within this 360-degree panoramic view, you can breath the shopping and gourmet cuisine and enjoy a relaxing time.

Rokko Garden Terrace Rokko Garden Terrace Rokko Garden Terrace Rokko Garden Terrace

AccessWalk about 8 minutes from the Rokko Sancho Station on the Arima-Rokko Ropeway.
TEL078-894-2281
Business HoursFrom 9:00 to 21:00 (Hours vary according to shop, season, and weather)
Closed onOpened 7 days a week except during the winter season.

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Kobe Arboretum (Kobe Shinrin Shokubutsuen)

This is Japan's largest botanical garden (142.6 ha) with approximately 1200 varieties of trees planted from region of the world including Japan. Visitors can enjoy walking through the forest in each of the four seasons and observe wild birds. The natural surroundings of Mt. Rokko provide a natural habitat for the forest gifts at a vast botanical garden with its flowers and green foliage of early spring, azaleas, rhododendron flowers, hydrangea of rainy season, late autumn leaves and stately trees of winter that give us pleasure. There are a variety of events held throughout the year matching the season. Around June, rainy season hydrangea cover the grounds and in November the autumn leaves are particularly recommended for their beauty.

Kobe Arboretum Kobe Arboretum Kobe Arboretum Kobe Arboretum

AccessEGet off the Kobe Railway at Kita-suzurandai Station and take the pickup bus that comes once an hour.
EFrom Sannomiya take the #25 city bus to "Shinrin Shokubutsuen" (running April to November on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.)
TEL078-591-0253
Business HoursFrom 9:00 to 17:00 (Admission is closed from 16:30.)
Closed onWednesday (Open on national holidays) and December 29th to January 3rd
Admission Fee300 yen for adults,
150 yen for elementary and junior high students.

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Rokko Country House

Rokko Country House

Within the spacious garden (200,000 square meters), there is an abundance of nature and many places to enjoy with family. Surrounded in greenery, visitors to the garden can enjoy barbecues, putter golf, pedal boating, fishing, go-carts, and skiing that uses the natural surrounding to form facilities that are extremely popular. Of course, families enjoy this park, but also couples will appreciate breathing in the large natural environment from the grassy lawn. You can enjoy a good time for a day, breathing in one breath the scent of new green foliage.

Rokko Country House Rokko Country House Rokko Country House Rokko Country House

AccessFrom the Sanjo Station at Rokko Cable Car, take the Rokko Sanjo Bus, and get off at "Country House."
TEL078-891-0366
Business HoursFrom 10:00 to 17:00 open from April 1st to November 23rd (Admission is closed from 16:30.)
Closed onThursday (Open on national holidays and all during summer season)
Admission Fee620 yen for junior high school students and older,
310 yen for children from 4 years old to elementary school.

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Rokko Field Athletics

This is a demanding athletic course with 40 hurdles through the Mt. Rokko forest and is for those with confidence in their stamina!
Utilizing the topography of Mt. Rokko, there are 40 sites of thrills and excitement waiting for you, so why don't you get started and feel the breath of vast nature with your whole body by crossing a rope bridge and going over a river. There are numerous obstacles appearing one after another making this one of the leading facilities in the Kansai area. Come on and return to that youthful spirit and chase after a goal together with your children.

Rokko Field Athletics Rokko Field Athletics Rokko Field Athletics

AccessFrom the Sanjo Station at Rokko Cable Car, take the Rokko Sanjo Bus, and get off at "Country House."
TEL078-891-0366
Business HoursFrom 10:00 to 17:00 open from April 1st to November 23rd (Admission is closed from 15:30.)
Closed onThursday (Open on national holidays and all during summer season)
Admission Fee930 yen for junior high student and above,
510 yen for children from 4 years old to elementary school.

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Rokko-Arima Ropeway

Rokko-Arima Ropeway

From Sannomiya Station, take the Hankyu Kobe Line to Rokko Station (7 min). Take the Rokko Cable car at "Rokko Cable-shita" Station up to "Rokko Sanjo" station (10 min) and have an extremely dynamic view of whole Osaka Bay.
From the Sanjo Station get on the Sanjo Bus and get off at "Rokko Sancho Station" on Rokko-Arima Ropeway at the summit (10 min), which brings you down to Arima Onsen (12 min).
You can enjoy being close to the grand natural surroundings of Mt.Rokko with its various changing expressions of the four seasons on display down to the gorge of the Arima Onsen.

Rokko-Arima Ropeway Rokko-Arima Ropeway Rokko-Arima Ropeway

TEL078-891-0031
Business Hours9:30-17:10; Summer(7/20-8/31)-20:50, Winter(12/1-3/19)-17:10
Closed onNo yearly holidaysFHowever there is a regular inspection time (approx. 2 weeks in winter and suspension for bad weather)
Admission Feeone-way: 1010 yen for adults, 510 yen for elementary students
round trip: 1,820 yen for adults and 910 yen for elementary students

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