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Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens and Ropeway

Japan’s largest herb garden with seasonal flowers and mountain views

By Whitney Hubbell

Tucked in the mountains behind the city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture is Nunobiki Herb Garden, the largest herb garden in Japan. From riding the ropeway up to the garden to strolling its idyllic paths, the garden’s location on Mount Maya offers not only beautiful seasonal flower displays but also a spectacular view of Kobe and Osaka Bay.

Gardens and Seasonal Flowers

Nunobiki Garden

Photo by: Whitney Hubbell The Lavender Garden is in bloom from May to July.

The garden complex comprises 12 different gardens showcasing about 75,000 species from about 200 kinds of herbs and flowers. After the ropeway ride, visitors first encounter the welcome garden, which is surrounded by a castle gate and a very Germanic-looking rest house designed to emulate Wartburg Castle, a medieval castle in central Germany. This garden has year-round seasonal flower displays.

Nearby is the Rose Symphony Garden, with 60 types of roses during the spring and autumn rose seasons. The Lavender Garden is in bloom from May to July and the Four Seasons Garden is specially designed for each season. There is also the Oriental Garden, which is home to plants native to Japan and Asia, the Lily Garden which blooms in summer and the Kaze no Oka Flower Garden at the southern end of the garden, in which colorful seasonal flowers are spread across a hill.

The remaining gardens are the Fragrant Garden, the Herb Museum, with around 100 herb varieties, the Kitchen Garden “Potager” with vegetables and herbs, the Glasshouse with tropical plants and fruits and the Waterfall Patio with a tiered flower bed.

Though the garden’s main attraction is its seasonal flower displays, it also offers red foliage in autumn, a Christmas illumination and events and displays for New Year’s and Valentine’s Day.


Nunobiki GardenPhoto by: PIXTA/オフィスK

Wartburg Castle, the rest house at the top of the garden, includes a gift shop, cafe, fragrance museum and a small concert hall. The main restaurant “The Herb Dining” is also located inside the castle. A bit further down the mountain is an indoor Herbal House A short walk from there is the Glass House, where the cafe lounge and terrace restaurant “The Veranda” is located.

The Glass House also includes an indoor tropical garden, a spice museum and an herbal foot bath. At the lower end of the garden by the middle ropeway station are a recreation area with hammocks and a gift shop.

Things To Know


Opening hours vary throughout the year and ticket prices vary based on the time of entry. Daytime hours are 9:30 A.M. – 5 P.M. and evening hours are 5 P.M. – 9 P.M., though in the evening only the top observatory part of the garden is open. 

For adults taking the ropeway round-trip, a daytime ticket is ¥1800 and an evening ticket is ¥1, 100. For children, a daytime ticket is ¥900 and an evening ticket is ¥700. A one-way ticket, ¥1, 130 for adults and ¥570 for children is only offered during the daytime. Children younger than school age can enter for free. 

Throughout the year, the ropeway opens at 9:30 AM and the gardens open at 10:00 AM. 

The gardens close at 8:30 PM in the summer and on weekdays and holidays in spring and autumn. In the winter and on weekdays in spring and autumn, except for special events like the evening illumination during the Christmas season, the garden closes at 5 P.M. 

The up line for the ropeway closes 15 minutes before the garden closes and the down line closes 15 minutes after the garden closes. 

Current opening information is available on the garden’s website.

How To Get There


By train

The garden’s ropeway entrance is located at Shin-Kobe station. From JR Sannomiya station, take a 2-minute ride on the Seishin Yamate Line to Shin-Kobe, or take a 20-minute walk to Shin-Kobe.

The ropeway ride up to the garden’s main entrance takes about 10 minutes. Hiking trails on Mount Maya can also access the garden.

Where To Stay

Ryotei Ryokan Hotel Isago Kobe
  • 4-3-7 Kumochicho, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0056 Japan
  • ¥14,520 - ¥48,400
  • 4.41/5 (696 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Hotel Livemax Kobe Sannomiya
  • 2-1-16 Nunobikicho, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0097 Japan
  • ¥4,675 - ¥61,200
  • 3.4/5 (260 reviews)
  • 0.6 km
Unizo Inn Kobe Sannomiya
  • 2-1-9 Nunobikicho, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0097 Japan
  • ¥5,985 - ¥7,410
  • 4.21/5 (528 reviews)
  • 0.6 km
Sumitomo Fudosan Villa Fontaine Kobe-Sannomiya
  • 4-1-4 Asahidori, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0095 Japan
  • ¥8,902 - ¥21,736
  • 4.06/5 (1,223 reviews)
  • 1.0 km
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kobe-Sannomiya
  • 5-2-3 Asahidori, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0095 Japan
  • ¥6,480 - ¥24,570
  • 4.3/5 (501 reviews)
  • 1.0 km

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