Less than a one hour walk from Kobe city, you can see a panoramic view of the port city from the Venus Bridge lookout point. With free parking available, visitors can easily visit by car.
If crowded places are not your thing but would like to go somewhere special, I suggest you visit Venus Bridge.
Have you seen Kobe City’s coat of arms sign on the side of the mountain facing Kobe City? The coat of arms can generally be seen anywhere between Sannomiya and Kobe where there is view of the mountain side.
The coat of arms are illuminated every evening until the morning of the following day. This is sign is located close to Venus bridge.
It is popular place at night for couples because of its beautiful panoramic view of Kobe City. With free parking and 24 hour access, you can go just about anytime you want. However, lighting on the walking trail is scarce, so I would not recommend its use at night. Walking at night also has its added risk as you may bump into a Inoshishi (wild boar)! So if you have to go at night, I suggest you go by car 🙂
The lookout point is around 160m above sea-level (not particularly high) and is walkable from Kobe city. It is approximately a 50 minute walk from Motomachi station.
There is also a nice bakery shop and a restaurant at the lookout. If you happen to visit during the day, try and make your way to the near by Sorakuen Japanese garden.
How to get there?
By JR : From JR Motomachi station （JR元町）(the same station you go to when heading to Kobe’s Chinatown), it is approximately a 50 minutes walk. I suggest you use the station’s East exit.
By Hanshin railway : From Hanshin Motomachi station（阪神元町） (the same station you go to when heading to Kobe’s Chinatown), it is approximately a 50 minute walk. I suggest you use the station’s South exit.
By Subway : From Kenchomae station （県庁前駅）on the Kobe subway line, it is approximately a 40 minutes walk. Around Kenchomae station, you will come across a police station, old buildings and the prefectural office.
Suwayama youen enter （諏訪山遊園）
Being on the side of a mountain, there are a lot of steep hills and stairs to climb. The day I went there, I was wearing a pair of leather dress loafers as I had not originally planned to go. Even so, I easily managed the climb. However, if its raining or had rained prior to your visit, I suggest you wear appropriate footwear.
On the way to top there is a rather old playground that used to be a zoo.
After the first 10 minutes of your climb, you will arrive at Kinseidai. It is large, free open space where you can play ball-games like badminton, catch-ball etc. It is also a nice lookout point where you can see the port city, but if you have time, I suggest you go to the very top.
The path is lined with directional sign, so do not worry, you will not get lost. When you come across a turquoise colored bridge, it means you are nearly there!
Ganbare! （Keep on going! You will get to the top!）
Tadaa! Welcome to Venus Bridge! I thought the view from Kinseidai was good enough, but this view is on a completely different level. From here, you can take-in an expansive view of the port city and the surrounding East and West parts of Kobe.
There are scenic telescopes you can use for free. There is a place to have lunch so you can bring a Bento box and enjoy lunch under the sun. I recommend the visit. While going by car is comfortable, I think the climb to the top is worth the effort 🙂
203 Kobeko Jikata, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0007
Free parking is available