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Hyogo Prefecture

Hyogo Prefecture in Kansai DistrictHyogo PrefectureHyogo Prefecture is located at the northwest part of Kansai District (Kinki District).

The southern coast faces Osaka Bay and Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai), and the northern coast faces the Sea of Japan.
To the south, there is Awaji Island.

The climate of Seto Inland Sea side is mild and has relatively low rainfall.
The one of the Sea of Japan side is cold in winter, and it snows often.

Main cities are along the south coast.
Kobe is the prefectural city. It is close to Osaka city, and is formed the west part of the metropolitan area in Kansai District.
Akashi city lies at 135 degrees of east longitude, and it is the Japan Standard Time meridian.

At 5:46 a.m. on January 17th, 1995, the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck mainly the south part of Hyogo Prefecture in Kansai District.
6,434 people was dead, and most of them were in Hyogo Prefecture.
Earthquakes have often occured in Japan, but such devastating earthquake was since 1944.
Kobe and several cities sustained enormous damage, then the restoration took some years.

Kobe Kobe city is the prefecural capital and has a population of 1.5 million. It is located about 30 km west of Osaka city.
There are Rokko Mountains just north of the city, and the city spreads from east to west along the foot and mountainside of Rokko Mountains.
In 1868, Kobe port was opened as an international port, and foreign settlements were set up around there.
Since that, Kobe has developed as the city with an exotic port.

The central area of Kobe is San'nomiya and Motomachi, and there are many department stores, restaurants, shops.
Kobe port is just south of these areas.

Railroad network in Kobe
Various transportation in Kobe

To visit Hyogo Prefecture, it is convenient to use railroad.
Shinkansen stops at Shin-Kobe, Nishi-Akashi, Himeji, and Aioi.
From Osaka, JR, Hankyu, and Hanshin lines lead to Kobe.
To the north part of the prefecture, the limited expresses of JR run from Osaka and Kyoto.

Hyogo Prefecture has two airports.
Kobe Airport has the flights from Haneda (Tokyo), Shin-Chitose (Sapporo), Naha and a few cities.
Tajima Airport is located near Toyooka city at the north part of the prefecture, and has a flight from Itami (Osaka).

Hyogo International Tourism Guide : Hyogo Tourism Association official website
Feel Kobe : Kobe Convention and Visitors Association official website
Kobe Airport official website




The climate in Kobe
Average value 1981-2010 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Highest Temperature (deg C) 9.0 9.6 12.8 18.7 23.2 26.6 30.0 31.8 28.5 22.7 17.3 11.9
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 2.7 3.0 6.0 11.3 16.2 20.4 24.4 25.8 22.5 16.1 10.6 5.4
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 38 57 99 102 150 182 152 91 145 98 63 41

The climate in Toyooka
Average value 1981-2010 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Highest Temperature (deg C) 7.1 7.9 12.2 19.2 23.8 27.0 30.7 32.5 27.4 21.8 16.1 10.6
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 0.1 -0.1 2.1 6.7 12.1 17.3 21.8 22.7 18.6 12.0 6.7 2.2
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 240 196 148 100 129 156 181 127 226 161 167 198

Tourist spots in Hyogo Prefecture

Kobe city map

Kobe city

Kyu-kyoryuchi (Former Foreign Settlement) /1/
Nankinmachi chinatown /2/
Meriken Park /3/
Harborland /4/
Sorakuen garden /5/
Kitano area /6/
Mount Rokko /7/
Arima hot spring resort /8/
Nada sake breweries /9/
Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge /10/


Hyogo Prefecture map

Other spots in Hyogo Prefecture

Himeji Castle /21/
Engyoji temple /22/
Kinosaki hot spring resort /23/
Nojima Fault Presevation Museum /24/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Hyogo Prefecture

Kobe LuminarieKobe Luminarie (Early December)

It is the event held in central Kobe city at this time of year.
Illuminated gates and arches create a spectacular corridor of light along some streets.
After the Great Hanshin Earthquake in January 1995, the first Kobe Luminarie was held to mourn the victims in December of that year, and gave Kobe residents "hope" and "light," during the reconstruction of their severely damaged city.
Since that, the event has been held in December for about two weeks every year.

Ako Gishi FestivalAko Gishi Festival (December 14th)

It is the festival held in Ako city.
On December 14th in 1703, 47 samurais in Ako Clan avenged their master.
Because the master was ordered to commit suiside by the trouble in Edo Castle in 1701, but the opposite party Kouzukenosuke Kira was not punished.
They were angry at the unfair determination.
The samurais made a surprise attack to Kira residence in Edo (Tokyo) after careful preparations, then they killed Kira.
After that, all of the samurais also commited suiside. Their tombs are in Sengakuji temple in Tokyo.
This historic story has been very famous for Japanese people, and has been the theme of drama and Kabuki under the name of "Chuushingura".
In this festival, the parades of 47 samurais heading to Kira residence and so on are performed.

Local foods and products in Hyogo Prefecture

Kobe beef, Tajima beefKobe beef, Tajima beef

Kobe beef is the first-class beef in Japan, and is also well known abroad.
The beef is very soft and has thin fat layers evenly.
Only the meat of the highest quality in Tajima cattle is named as "Kobe beef".
And the other beef of Tajima cattle is "Tajima beef", of course, it is also very tasty.
The high-class beefs such as Matsusaka and Oumi are produced from the cattles born in Tajima and fed in each region.
And tasty Maesawa and Hida beefs are produced from the cattles with the bloodline of Tajima cattle. Tajima region is the north part of Hyogo Prefecture.

Octopus in AkashiOctopus in Akashi

Octopus is one of the popular foods in Japan, and we can find it at the fish shops all over Japan.
Espacially, octopus in Akashi city is famous and tasty.
Akashi Channel has the strong current, so the octopuses there have well-muscled body.
And they are gourmets, because they eat crabs and shrimps in the sea.
Octopus is the symbol of Akashi.

Black beansBlack beans in Sasayama city

Black beens boiled with sweet taste are essential for New Year dishes in Japan.
Sasayama city located at the east part of Hyogo prefecture creates good-quality black beans.
Black bean is a variety of soybean, and contains a black pigment.
Recently "edamame" which are the bean harvested while young are popular, and are harvested in September or October. The color of the bean is green.
The black beans for New Year dishes are harvested in December.


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