Kobe Fruit & Flower Park
So much more than peaches and pansies.
Kobe has more than just mouth-watering beef.
In fact, it’s got Kobe Fruit & Flower Park, which is much more than a park, as it combines European aesthetics with the Japanese love of wide open spaces, good food and shopping.
The vast complex offers outdoor barbecues, strawberry picking, flower gardens, and even a hotel and onsen.
Much of Kobe’s modern and contemporary architecture is inspired by the European merchants who continued to patronize the city as far back as the pre-Meiji era. Kobe was one of the few ports in Japan where limited numbers of foreigners were still permitted during the Feudal Times of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Photo by: Rfyuya
Ready for Japanese barbecue?
The design of place, which is located in Kobe’s city center, is very Bavarian in its make-up. However, the food it offers is distinctly Japanese.
The centerpiece to the food area, which includes bakeries, ice-cream shops and bento box vendors is the barbecue restaurant.
For a nominal fee you can bring your own food and make use of the barbecue grills (subject to prior arrangement) but you’ll be missing out if you don’t try the fantastic locally produced meat and vegetables on offer from the restaurant itself.
But, of course, the highlight of a trip to a fruits garden has to be picking your own fruits.
The fruit garden is open daily from 10 a.m. and runs from July until October. Among the wide variety of fruits on offer are peaches, including the famous Japanese white variety, plus grapes, apples and berries. Prices range from ¥600 to ¥1,200 yen per kilogram depending on the fruit.
And finally, no visit is complete without spending a night at the Hotel Fruit Flower. The hotel is a combined onsen and spa resort with luxurious rooms located right in the heart of the park.
One night in the hotel, including admission to the on-site amusement park and barbecue grill dinner is ¥12,600 per person. Considering just a hotel stay can be that much, it’s pretty decently priced. Day plans including just lunch and/or onsen bath access are also available.
While the park has its own seasonal specials, those who visit in the winter months can enjoy a spectacular lights illumination of the park. So, don’t let the name fool you. If you want it to be, this “park” is an all-inclusive getaway.