It takes only 5 minutes to get away from Kobe city. If you are looking for a place to relax near Kobe city, I suggest you visit Sorakuen.
What is the Sorakuen?
Sorakuen is a Japanese garden in Kobe city. Work to build the garden started in 1885 and was completed in 1911. It was the official residence of Taijiro Kodera who was a father of the former mayor of Kobe city.
Entry fee is 300Yen. The information pamphlet is available in several languages.
When you enter the grounds, apart from the beautiful Japanese garden, you will see some *Ijinkan, a cafe and spot used for wedding ceremony.
*Ijinkan are Western style residences built mostly for early foreign settlers in Japan during the end of the Shogunate and the Meiji era.
Where is the Sorakuen?
It is on the mountain side of Kobe city and is approximately 1.5km from either JR Kobe or JR Sannomiya stations.
How to get there?
By JR : From JR Motomachi station （JR元町）(the same station when you go to when heading to Kobe’s Chinatown), it takes around 15min by foot. I suggest you use the station’s East exit.
By Hanshin railway : From Hanshin Motomachi station（阪神元町） (the same station when you go to when heading to Kobe’s Chinatown), it takes around 15min by foot. I suggest you use the station’s South exit.
By Subway : From Kenchomae station （県庁前駅）on the Kobe subway line, it only a 5 minutes walk. Around Kenchomae station, you will come across a police station, old buildings and the prefectural office.
How much is the entry fee?
Admission Fee: Adult = 300yen / Child = 150yen. Pamphlets are available in several languages.
Left Photo) The Kodera Stable. As it is a very old building, entry is not permitted.
Right Photo) The Hassam House. Due to their cultural significance, both buildings are Heritage Listed Properties.
The remnant of the fallen chimney is left there as a reminder for visitors of the massive earthquake that occurred in Kobe in 1995.
Please note: Due to the current Corona Virus Pandemic, visitors are not permitted to enter the structurally sound buildings.
You can see the beautiful Japanese garden and Koi fish!
There is a Suikinkutsu too!
Suikinkutsu(水琴窟, water koto cave)
Suikinkutsu is a traditional Japanese garden ornament. You can play and enjoy the sounds. This was one way the Japanese created and enjoyed sounds in the olden days. How cool!
Let’s do it 🙂 Plese follow the instructions below:
① Scoop the water with the Tsukubai (in the middle) by the ladle.
② Pour the water around the Kodera family crest (circle one)
③ Place your ear close to the bamboo pipe to hear and enjoy the sounds.
As there is a place to have lunch, visitors can bring a Bento box and enjoy lunch under the sun 🙂
5 Chome-3-1 Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0004
9am – 5pm closed every Thursday