Nunobiki Falls and Park – Kobe, Japan – 14 May 2017 – an incredible touch of nature, stunning waterfall, herb garden at the peak and rope way back to the city


The city of Kobe is easy to reach if you are in Osaka, it could even be a day trip. Normally if you are in Kobe, you need to try Kobe beef but when you need to burn some calories, you should consider a nice, lushous walk through Nunobiki Park and capture the sight of Nunobiki Falls. The natural environment is gorgeous, stunning and serene. I went with my then partner, now wife, and had an excellent day just talking in the sights and not worrying about the time.

The base or entrance to Nunobiki Park in Kobe

In the morning, we left from Shin Osaka Station and took a local train to Sannomiya Station to drop off our things at the hotel. We had the Japan Rail Pass, so there was no extra fee since we took JR lines. But if you want to go straight from the train station and into the walking trail, you should take the shinkansen to Shin Kobe Station.

To access the hiking trail to the waterfall, leave Shin Kobe Station through the exit on the first floor to the south (the ticket gates are located on the second floor). Here, you will find a tunnel that leads below the station building northwards to the forested mountain and hiking trail. Be sure to bring the right outfit for this walk, since you might get a bit dirty but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. There is a potential to get wet.

The walking path for those trekking up to see Nunobiki Falls. The whole journey is a beautifully curated.

You have two options, either hike up the mountain or take the rope way. The hike is about 15 to 20 minute climb through the forest and it will take you to the 43 meter tall Nunobiki Falls, whose name comes from its draped cloth-like appearance.

After seeing the Nunobiki Falls, you can travel another 20 minutes up the mountain to the middle station of Shin Kobe Ropeway and the southern entrance to Nunobiki Herb Garden. This garden happens to be one of Japan’s largest herb gardens with hundreds of herb species and seasonal flowers. On the day we visited, we were able to see so many colorful flowers in full bloom and were able to take a photo at their visitor photo booth (it’s all set up, including a place to leave your camera to take a delayed photo).

One of my favorite photos is this one of Nunobiki Falls

In the morning, we took the city circle bus, which can took us from our hotel near the port of Kobe to Shin Kobe Station. We started our hike around 10:30 am. Having done a lot of walking the city in the past couple of days, I was keen to explore Japan’s natural environment. I’ve been on a few walks and hikes and my view is that this particular hike was very pleasant. Plus, the main attraction, the Nunobiki Falls, is only about 20 minutes away from the entrance. If you ask me, it’s a worthwhile trek with your better half.

You can get a closer look of Nunobiki Falls if you don’t mind the extra trek

One of the many great things they have done in the Nunobiki Park is give its visitors plenty of angles to see the falls. You can come up close to its side or you can see it from a nice distance, while also being able to capture some beautiful photos without being impeded by any manmade structures. (People getting in the photos is another thing, but I could tell that a lot of thought had gone into the whole setup around the falls.)

As you get close to the peak of these hills at Nunobiki Park, take a second to capture the city’s landscape behind you

As we walked further north towards the Nunobiki Herb Garden, we came across some incredible sights, including this bridge which has roots and/or branches covering it.

Some of the features in this park are just stunning to see here at Nunobiki Park

All the while, the whole trek was just so serene and tranquil. It was lush green and just pleasant.

Another view of the trek around Nunobiki Park

The sound of water streaming down the mountain side was something to behold. (You could close your eyes somewhere safe and spend some time meditating.)

Look down as you must, even the stream is aesthetically pleasing at Nunobiki Park

Like every good tourist, we made sure to get a selfie of us with the waterfall. You can also have others take photos of you. There were enough tourists around, but not too many because I don’t think Kobe is on many people’s bucket list.

Taking a selfie at Nunobiki Falls

There were lots of signs and maps around to help people work out where they were. For us, we didn’t even need to consult Google Maps (not that it was working anyway) and got around just fine. I have to credit my amazing sense of direction, lol.

Some interesting information about Kobe’s water supply system and also a map of Nunobiki dam and surrounds

When you reach the Nunobiki Herb Garden, you can decide to head into the garden for 200 yen or take the ropeway back. I recommend taking the rope way. You will have a good experience. You get a good view from above as you move from the mountain peaks to base. A ticket was 900 yen per person.

A view of Nunobiki dam and the backdrop of lush, green trees

You can easily do the journey in about 3 or 4 hours and have plenty of time to do heaps of other things in the city. We managed to find time for some drinks at a cafe and have teppanyaki lunch. Nunobiki Falls and its park are located to the north of the city and can be accessed straight from Shin Kobe Station:

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