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Hyogo Prefecture is located in the Kansai region of Japan. Kobe, its capital, is a part of the Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe metropolitan area, the second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. Kobe has a unique atmosphere compared with other cities in Japan, with many Western-style structures and a strong international influence.

Himeji Castle, located in Himeji City, is one of Japan's most famous castles, and has survived for over 400 years. Many non-Japanese reside in Hyogo Prefecture, the highest numbers of which are Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and American. Hyogo Prefecture is well known for its beautiful scenery, beaches, mountains, onsen, and of course, the world-famous Kobe Beef.

Summertime weather throughout Hyogo is hot and humid. As for winter conditions in Hyogo, the north of Hyogo tends to receive abundant snow, whilst the south receives only the occasional flurry. Hyogo borders on Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture.Hyogo Prefecture is located in the Kansai region of Japan. Kobe, its capital, is a part of the Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe metropolitan area, the second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. Kobe has a unique atmosphere compared with other cities in Japan, with many Western-style structures and a strong international influence.

Himeji Castle, located in Himeji City, is one of Japan's most famous castles, and has survived for over 400 years. Many non-Japanese reside in Hyogo Prefecture, the highest numbers of which are Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and American. Hyogo Prefecture is well known for its beautiful scenery, beaches, mountains, onsen, and of course, the world-famous Kobe Beef.

Summertime weather throughout Hyogo is hot and humid. As for winter conditions in Hyogo, the north of Hyogo tends to receive abundant snow, whilst the south receives only the occasional flurry. Hyogo borders on Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture.

Getting to Hyogo:

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Kansai International Airport (KIX), also known as the gateway to Japan, is about one hour from Kobe by limousine bus. Osaka International Airport (Itami) is only forty minutes by bus from Kobe so it is also easy to get to from many other areas in Japan. The Shinkansen (bullet train) also stops in Shin-Kobe, Nishi-Akashi, Himeji, and Aioi. Hyogo is easy to access by land and air.

Tourist Attractions:

Himeji Castle:

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Known locally as the “White Heron Castle”, Himeji is one of the very few castles that remain intact as the original structure since it’s construction. It was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and is popular to both locals and tourists looking to get an amazing sight of the white castle. Originally built in 1333, you can walk throughout the grounds and enter the main keep. Visually spectacular during the Cherry Blossom season, this is a must visit for anyone that visits Hyogo.

Takeda Castle:

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Takeda Castle is one of the most famous castles in Japan and sits high on the top of a mountain. Although all that is left are ruins, the area has a majestic view, especially in the early morning when you can witness a sea of clouds cover the ruins. Popular with photographers and locals, it is known as the “Castle in the Sky” and the “Machu Picchu of Japan”.

Mt. Rokko:

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Located in the south east side of Hyogo, Mt. Rokko is part of a huge mountain range that spans about 30 kilometers from west to east. There are many great hiking trails here, so if you love to get out and become one with nature, Mt. Rokko is the place to go to. One particular peak to make a goal is Mt. Maya, where you can enjoy an amazing view of the city. This is also known as the “Ten Million Dollar” night view and is one of the three great night views of Japan, sharing the title with Nagasaki and Hakodate.

Recommended times to visit:

Spring:

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On the 2nd of April, the Himeji Castle Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival is held on San-no-Maru (Third Bailey) Square at the foot of Himeji Castle. The festival includes recitals on traditional Japanese musical instruments such as koto or wadaiko drums, providing an elegant accompaniment to blossom viewing.

From April 1st to 7th, Himeji Castle also hosts the Himeji Nighttime Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival.

At this event, the Nishi-no-Maru Garden is available to visitors at night and can enjoy beautiful views of the cherry blossoms. Music also plays during the event and it is a perfect opportunity to bring a camera and capture memories of your visit.