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Nunobiki Waterfalls

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

Japan has some top waterfalls to visit, but one common problem is that they are often too far away from tourist-friendly transport. However, the towering waterfalls near Kobe City are among the area’s most beautiful sights and are also located near one of the biggest stations.


Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan.
Got a couple of free hours before your shinkansen (bullet train)? Visitors can walk to the Nunobiki Waterfalls (if they don’t mind a brisk hike) from the Shin-Kobe station and soon be in the mountains.The attraction of the hike is threefold: The panoramic view over Kobe City, the waterfalls and being surrounded by nature while still close to the city.

Photo by: Laitr Keiows Odaki, the tallest of the Nunobiki waterfalls.

Because urban sprawl has edged its way closer and closer to the natural areas, after walking toward the falls on well-paved roads, the actual route to the waterfalls is a steep incline. There are four waterfalls to choose from: Ondaki, Mendaki, Tsusumigadaki and Izumoki, depending on how far you want to hike. The lowest-level one is relatively easy to get to; whereas the hardest one lurks at the top of a steep flight of steps.

Most people usually go to the second waterfall which can be accessed in an hour or so on foot, even at a slow pace. As for the view, most people prefer Ondaki simply because it is the most massive of the bunch.

Photo by: Matthew Coslett The falls are within walking distance of Shin-Kobe station.

But, the second waterfall (Tsusumigadaki) is also worth a trip (especially for photographers), because the way the water rushes out of the rocks makes it one of the most aesthetically pleasing.

On the walk, don’t worry about not being able to find the falls, as hikers will feel the cooling mist and dipping temperatures long before it’s visible. If hiking in the summer months, be advised it can get a bit hot and humid. In that case, another way to see the falls is to take a ride up the ropeway, as it goes along the Rokko mountain chain.

Instead of having to choose between nature and the city, travelers can enjoy both. The best thing is that with nearby locales like the European-inspired Kitano area and Flower Road, a trip to the Nunobiki waterfalls is a naturally beautiful yet very convenient spot.


Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan.


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


How To Get There


Japan, Hyōgo-ken, Kōbe-shi, Chūō-ku, 阪神高速32号新神戸トンネル

By train

Shin-Kobe Station can be accessed by the Hokushinkyuko and Seishin-Yamate lines and the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen.

By car


You can get near the hiking path by driving to a local park at this location: 〒651-0058, Nunobikiyama Fukiaichō, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-0058


By foot

The waterfalls are best accessed from Shin Kobe station. You can walk unnamed paths directly to the waterfall via Google Maps.


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)
  • 0.3 km
ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe
  • 1 Kitanocho, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 650-0002 Japan
  • ¥15,000 - ¥120,000
  • 4.05/5 (6,015 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Hotel Livemax Kobe Sannomiya
  • 2-1-16 Nunobikicho, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0097 Japan
  • ¥5,400 - ¥9,350
  • 3.4/5 (260 reviews)
  • 0.9 km
Unizo Inn Kobe Sannomiya
  • 2-1-9 Nunobikicho, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0097 Japan
  • ¥5,510 - ¥27,455
  • 4.24/5 (531 reviews)
  • 1.0 km
Sumitomo Fudosan Villa Fontaine Kobe-Sannomiya
  • 4-1-4 Asahidori, Kobe-shi Chuo-ku, Hyogo, 651-0095 Japan
  • ¥8,902 - ¥19,418
  • 4.09/5 (1,224 reviews)
  • 1.3 km