In Winter, a generous amount of snow covers the mountainous areas of Hyogo prefecture. Few people know that 70% of Japan’s land is covered by mountain ranges. The result is that Japan is host to the leading numbers of ski hills. This article will guide you to popular ski hills, winter light-up events, and gourmet foods you need to try when spending Winter in Hyogo.

1.The Kobe Luminarie

In 1995 the southern part of Hyogo prefecture was hit by the great Hanshin earthquake. Kobe city was destroyed and more than 6000 precious lives were lost.
The light festival “Kobe Luminarie” was started to commemorate the precious lives lost at that time as well as to give hope for the recovery and future of Kobe city.

It has been more than 20 years since the great Hanshin earthquake. Still, every winter the “Kobe Luminarie" is hosted to show visitors the delicate yet spectacular world of light installations.
And every year a prayer ceremony in commemoration of lost loved ones is conducted. When coupled with the spectacularly beautiful lights, everyone who attends has their heart touched.
On a cold winter night, this can only be experienced with those you love.

Address6-1 Kanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo
Event PeriodDecember 8th to 17th, 2017

2.Botan nabe (Wild boar hotpot) in Tamba Sasayama

Botan nabe is a traditional winter cuisine which uses the meat of wild boar.
Japan has a long history of eating wild boar, but it’s widely agreed that the culture of catching and eating wild boar started in Sasayama city (Tamba, Sasayama) in Hyogo.
In Japanese “Botan" means peony flowers and “Nabe" means hotpot.
The sliced boar meat is beautifully presented on a big plate arranged to look just like a jumbo peony flower.
Local seasonal vegetables are always served along with the rich wild boar meat. The ingredients are stewed in a large pot of miso based broth.
Your taste buds will be delighted by the harmony of the locally grown ingredients and the flavourful meat.

This is a Winter dish that warms your body and soul. Sasayama city boasts an abundance of natural surroundings for wild boar so they are never farmed. And Winter happens to be hunting season in Sasayama, so any meat you eat will be freshly caught.
I promise you the taste is exceptional!

Address97 Kitashinmachi, Sasayama City, Hyogo

3.Snow crab in Kinosaki Onsen town

Tajima region in Hyogo is located on the Northern part of Hyogo. Because of it’s many fishing ports, it’s the perfect place to enjoy seasonal fresh sea food. I recommend the Winter delicacy of snow crab. There are many kinds of crab, but snow crab is popular among foodies. Snow crab season only runs between November 6th and March 20th. So it is only available for a limited time.
Boiled, steamed, or grilled, you will be amazed by it’s flavour.

If you are planning to eat snow crab, go stay at the Inns in Kinosaki Onsen (hotspring) town.

Kinosaki Onsen is close to the ocean, so the Inns serve fresh snow crab cuisine.

Address357-1 Yushima, Kinosaki-onsen, Toyooka city, Hyogo

4.Kannabe plateau

Kannabe plateau in Toyooka city in Hyogo offers a wide variety of winter sport facilities. Beginner and intermediate ski runs are accessible at it’s 3 ski resorts: “Up Kannabe", “Manba ski hills” and “Oku-Kannabe ski hill”.
If skiing and snowboarding are too difficult you can enjoy sledding or making a snowman!

Address59-78 Hidakachokurisuno, Toyooka City, Hyogo
AddressKannabe plateau Hidaka-cho, toyooka, Hyogo
Address710 Hidakachoyamata, Toyooka City, Hyogo

5.Kamakura restaurant & bar

Kamakura is a snow hut. The interior of the huts are surprisingly quiet and warm. They feel like being inside a little fort.

Every winter the Tajima Kogen Botanical Gardens builds the Kamakuras (snow huts) and runs the Kamakura restaurant and bar. The Kamakura floor is insulated and you can enjoy a set meal of local ingredients such as Tajima beef.
From 6:00 PM various cocktails are available and are mixed by a bartender.
What a romantic night that would be!
(reservations needed)

Address709 Wachi, Muraoka-ku, Kamicho, Mikata-gun, Hyogo
HeldFrom mid December to mid March
Business Hours12:00-21:00
Closed onWednesday and Thursday (except for year end and holidays)

6. Rokko Snow Park

If you want to stay inside the city and still experience Winter activities then “Rokko snow park” will suit you. The gentle slope is perfect for beginner skiers and snowboarders. Inside the park is a “Snowland” , a place for designated sledding and playing in the snow. If you’re visiting with children they’ll have a blast!
You can rent ski and snowboard equipment and plastic sleds. Just show up, and experience skiing , snowboarding, or sledding.
After a long day of playing outside in the cold snow you will definitely be hungry. Don’t worry there are restaurants in the park where you can enjoy a hot meal!

Address4512-98 Kita-Rokko, Rokkosan town, Nada ward, Kobe city