Hyogo Prefecture offers a fascinating blend of big-city modernity and old-world charm in Japan. Stretching between the Sea of Japan and the Seto Inland Sea, it has excellent hot spring resorts, such as the urban Arima Onsen and quaint Kinosaki, a riverside retreat where locals still stroll the streets in traditional kimonos and clogs, as well as the port city of Kobe, where top-notch restaurants serve up the world-famous Kobe beef in the shadows of Mount Rokko.

    No trip to Hyogo is complete without taking in the historic sites – Himeji Castle is one of the country’s most spectacular feudal castles. The cloud-shrouded ruins of 15th-century Takeda Castle offer an excellent spot to catch the sunrise – but you should also allocate some time to explore Hyogo's recreational opportunities, including skiing, kayaking, and hiking.

    neighborhoods in Hyogo (prefecture)

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