Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kobe
Population
5,550,742

Hyogo

A model slice of Japan

Touted as a "Japan in miniature," Hyogo is one of Japan’s most diverse prefectures.

Hyogo is bordered by seas to the north and south with mountains in the middle. Varying climates offer outdoor activities all year round, from seaside sunbathing to skiing and onsen. This wide slice of Japan sits next to Kyoto, just north of Osaka, so be sure to add it to your Kansai itinerary

Hyogo’s Awaji Island is the mythical birthplace of Japan while the towering, all-white Himeji Castle is the prefecture’s historical icon. Fast forward to the 21st century with the major port city of Kobe—a multicultural vision and home of famed Kobe beef.

Kobe

Kobe Port Hyogo

Kobe Port

Kobe is the cosmopolitan capital city of Hyogo. It’s perfect as a base for exploring the prefecture proper or as a quick stopover on a tour of the Kansai region. There are plenty of modern shops, restaurants, and bars that cater to international travelers.

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find In Hyogo

It’s also where you can splurge on Kobe’s world-famous wagyu beef. It’s a melt-in-the-mouth marvel of legendary status. Cows are supposedly fed beer and massaged daily—we are totally jealous of them.

Hyogo is big on cultural entertainment. From the intangible arts of the Awaji Puppet Theater to the all-female theater troupe of the Takarazuka Revue based in Takarazuka City to the quasi-religious Koshien National High School baseball finals. There’s plenty to keep you distracted.

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen is a tattoo friendly onsen in Hyogo, Japan

All the onsen in Kinosaki are tattoo-friendly so no worries for inked travelers.

Near the Sea of Japan, you’ll find historical hot springs in the Tajima region. Kinosaki Onsen in particular is a traditional, canal-lined hot spring town and one of the best options for foreign travelers. Here, you can wear a yukata (cotton robe) and stroll around in wooden sandals dipping into the different public baths. An added plus is that all the onsen here are tattoo-friendly!

Yumura hot spring has been around for more than 1000 years and features a central fountain that gushes water at a slightly scalding 98ºC.

Along the Seto Inland coast between Kobe and Okayama, you’ll also find Himeji Castle. Nicknamed the white heron for its grand white walls, the castle is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s especially photogenic during the cherry blossom season and may just be the best castle in all of Japan. 

Plan your trip to Hyogo with the links below!

Trivia

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find In Hyogo

Osaka certainly doesn’t have the monopoly when it comes to quality cuisine in the Kansai area. Welcome to Hyogo Prefecture — where Kobe beef isn't the only thing on the menu.

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Places to visit

Kinosaki-onsen

Kinosaki Onsen

If you’re in search of a genuinely authentic onsen experience, Kinosaki should be your next getaway.

Naruto and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.

Nijigen no Mori (Awaji Island Anime Park)

An outdoor anime adventure with Naruto, Shin-chan, and Godzilla!


Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan during cherry blossom season

Himeji Castle

Hyogo Prefecture is home to one of Japan’s most beautiful castles, Himeji Castle. It is such a fantastic example of ancient Japanese architecture, that it often tops lists as one of the...

Takenohama Beach

Hidden in Hyogo: A secluded beach just down the way from a famous onsen.


Nada no Kenka Fighting Festival

Nada no Kenka Fighting Festival

Scantily clad men in an epic battle.

Takasago Lantern Festival

Japan in color: A night of 10,000 stars.


Asahi Soft Drinks Factory Tour

Despite the unfortunate lack of “Oompa Loompas” there is a certain magic to seeing how your favorite soft drinks are made.

Sone Jazz Bar

The big daddy of Kobe’s jazz scene: An iconic jazz bar in the heart of Kobe, with live performances every night.


Takedao Train Tracks Trail

A little hard to find, but worth going out of your way for the tranquil and unique hiking experience in Hyogo.

Mt. Maya

Mount Maya

Experience the 10-million-dollar panoramic view of Kobe.


Nishimura Coffee, Kobe

A dash of history with your coffee, sir? Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at the first coffee shop in Japan to serve black coffee.

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Hyogo

Osaka certainly doesn’t have the monopoly when it comes to quality cuisine in the Kansai area. Welcome to Hyogo Prefecture — where Kobe beef isn't the only thing on the menu.


Hanshin Koshien Stadium

Catch some local baseball fervor at the oldest baseball stadium in Japan.

Arima Onsen tattoo friendly onsen in Hyogo Japan

Arima Onsen

A historic onsen mecca with hot springs with ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ waters that will transform your stay into vaca-therapy.


Kobe Mosaic

Handmade goods, local sweets and snacks as well as numerous souvenir shops can be found dotted around the venue’s four floors.

Kitano Ijinkan

What was it like to be a foreigner in old-world Japan? Check out Japan's most well preserved 'foreign settlement quarter,' in Kobe.


Kobe Fruit & Flower Park

So much more than peaches and pansies.

Nunobiki Waterfalls

A hike filled with massive falls and a view of Kobe City — not too far from the station.


Tezuka Osamu Museum

Discover the life and works of the Walt Disney of Japan.

Kobe

Sophisticated follower of fashion.

Other Destinations in Kansai

Amanohashidate or Bridge to Heaven in Kyoto Prefecture

Kyoto

Break the tourist mould and head outside of the city to uncover the rest of what Kyoto has to offer.

Meoto Iwa Rocks in Mie, Japan.

Mie

The first signs of human habitation on Mie can be traced back 10,000 years and that’s only one of this ancient prefecture’s historical claims to fame.

Deer at Nara Park in Japan

Nara

Beyond mystical deer, Nara Prefecture is where you’ll find the tombs of Japan’s early rulers and the headquarters of the sacred Shugendo mountain religion.

Osaka, Japan skyline at Osaka Castle Park, Osaka Prefecture

Osaka

Japan's second smallest prefecture is the economic and commercial hub of the Kansai region, driven by it's kaleidoscopic capital city Osaka.

Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture

Shiga

Shiga prefecture is so full of scenic views you’ll feel as though you’ve tripped and fallen into a postcard.

Nachi, Japan at the pagoda of Seigantoji and Nachi no Taki waterfall, Wakayama Prefecture

Wakayama

Wakayama prefecture is the spectacular, spiritual heart of Japan.

This Month’s Top Spots

Nagoya City Aichi Park

Aichi

Aichi prefecture is the dynamic capital of Japanese industrialization.

Tokyo Skyline Japan Tokyo Tower

Tokyo

From glittering skyscrapers to rickety ramen shacks, Tokyo is a dazzling mix of the ultra modern and traditional.

Tap into Tokyo’s Manga and Anime Scene

Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2015: Crowds pass below colorful signs in Akihabara. The well known electronics district specializes in the sales of video games, anime, manga, and computer goods.

Akihabara

Ah, Akihabara. Where to even begin? Electric town. Cool Japan. Anime Center. Themed cafes. The list is...

Manhole cover in Ghibli museum, Tokyo-Japan.

Ghibli Museum

A whimsical wonderland that is heartbreakingly charming.