A classical European-style hotel rises on Mt Rokko, known for its “10-million-dollar worth night view” over Kobe city. This is Rokkosan Hotel surrounded by the mountain forest. You can spend leisurely time in the modern-style interior and the mystical little chapel. But the best asset is the panoramic view to the city at night – it looks like an entire galaxy in front of your eyes. Let me introduce you this forest hotel’s charms in details.
Charming retro style! The library on the second floor of the old building
It takes 20 minutes by car to reach Rokkosan Hotel from Kobe’s center (there is a free shuttle bus for guests). The 80-year-old hotel stands alone on the top of the mountain. The old building reminds you of a typical Alps village in Switzerland. One of its most impressive rooms is the so-called library on the second floor, where you can feel the classical atmosphere from the time of the hotel’s opening. Here you can forget about the noises of the city and enjoy a leisurely time.
The “10-million-dollar night view” seen from the upper floors of the hotel’s main building
This is the newly constructed main building. It’s hidden between the forest trees, but at the top floor you can enjoy a French meal made of locally grown vegetables. The “10-million-dollar” night view to Kobe city from the windows is breathtaking.
There’s a terrace just across the hotel where you can eat Mt Rokko’s specialty “Genghis Khan” (Japanese mutton and vegetable dish) and enjoy the view. This hotel gives the unique opportunity to eat top-class food and see a magnificent night view. I also recommend visiting the small church inside the hotel’s garden. Take the stone-paved path that you see on the photo and go to the cute “Garden Chapel”. It’s a great place to see when you’re visiting Mt Rokko.
A white cross is shining in the dim lit room. This is the mystical forest church
This is the Garden Chapel. The atmosphere is solemn and mystical. A big white illuminated cross on the wall catches your attention. From the green stained glasses you can see the deep forest. Even if you’re not a Christian, you’d feel like saying a prayer here. There is a mass held every Sunday morning that you can visit as part of your travelling experience.
The church is open for visitors 24 hours per day, but don’t forget to close the door after you leave. Otherwise wild deer might enter inside. Do they come to pray too?… Well, it’s a forest church after all!
The night view of Kobe seen from Mt Rokko looks like the galaxy Milky Way
And this is the so-called “10-million-dollar worth night view” from Mt Rokko. You can see Kobe city and Osaka Bay in the distance, together with Osaka and Sakai cities. This looks like a dazzling river of light. The ring-shape light river looks as if the Milky Way has come down to Earth. You can even see the light trails of the airplanes landing and taking off from Kansai International Airport, the artificial island built in Osaka Bay. You can’t get enough of this splendid panorama!
Other good observatories near Rokkosan Hotel
Just 10 minutes away by car you’ll find other good observatories on Mt Rokko, such as “Tenrandai” and “Rokko-shidare”. The latter one is a large observatory surrounded by cypress trees which is illuminated seasonally. The illuminations add up to the “10-million-dollar” night view to create a light fantasy!
5 minutes away on foot from Rokko-shidare is “Rokko Garden Terrace”, a typical British-style garden with a great view to Kobe. Here they sell stylish original sweets to satisfy your shopping curiosity.
Kobe is known for its Western-style sweets. The famous German confectioner Karl Joseph Juchheim lived in Rokkosan Hotel during the air raids over the city. He was devastated after he lost his confectionary factory during the war, but found some consolation in the beautiful environment of this hotel.
Other sightseeing spots on the top of Mt Rokko are “Rokko Music Box Museum” and “Rokko Botanical Garden”. Every autumn an event called “Rokko Meets Art Walk” is held. Rokkosan Hotel is a convenient place to stay if you want to explore the beauty of Mt Rokko.
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