This Web site offers coupons that can be used at tourist spots in Hyogo Prefecture. For this article, we asked Katerina to use them to experience the Hyogo Golden Route, which goes around the main tourist areas of Kobe, Himeji and Kinosaki. Here, Katerina will introduce the many attractions of Hyogo Prefecture!

Hello, I'm Katerina. I love traveling and I've been around the world to over 40 countries. My favorite among all of them is Japan! I love it so much that I majored in Japanese Culture and History at university. Today, I'm taking the Hyogo Golden Route around some carefully chosen spots I can recommend where you can use coupons. If my experience can show you the charms of Hyogo Prefecture, I'll be very happy!

1. Traveling from Kansai International Airport to Kobe

Since Hyogo Prefecture is next to Osaka, I think many people will come here from Kansai International Airport. While there are other modes of transportation, such as bus or train, I recommend using the Kobe-KIX Bay Shuttle. Faster than a bus or train, it will take you to Kobe in about 30 minutes!

With this high-speed craft, you can take shortest route across the water.

After taking the Kobe-KIX Shuttle, once you arrive at Kobe Access Terminal (Kobe Harbor), you should use a taxi or a rental car to get around. Of course it costs more, but Kobe has many places to see, and traveling is a battle with time! Traveling by car is most convenient.

2. Get to know animals at Kobe Animal Kingdom

The first place I'd like you to visit is the Kobe Animal Kingdom!

Don't forget to show your coupon when you enter the park! If you show the coupon
on the screen of the relevant page, you'll get a discount on admission.

Since a lot of the animals are not kept in pens, you can really see them up close!

Depending on the animal, you can even touch them directly!

If you get too close, it's a little scary, though (lol)!

3. Take Mysterious Photos at the Kobe Trick Art Amazing Consulate!

Have you ever heard of Trick Art? It uses trompe l'oeil techniques like "pictures that appear to be 3-dimensional" and "pictures that look completely different depending on the angle". Such "tricks" allow you to experience amazing and mysterious artworks. (To tell you the truth, before doing research for this trip, I didn't know about it either...lol). Here, you can take some funny photos that may surprise people, so I'll introduce a few of them!

Show your coupon at the entrance, and you'll get a discount on admission.

Don't I look like I'm carrying a giant piece of meat?

I think I can reach a flying turtle!

I've been caught by a vampire!

Is the woman inside the picture pulling on my clothes!?

Besides these, there's a variety of other Trick Art works. If you post them on SNS, you may get a lot of reactions!

4. Take photos that look like a movie scene at the Scale House!

There are a lot of Western buildings lined up in Kobe's Kitano-cho, where the Kobe Trick Art Amazing Consulate is located. While this is in Japan, it seems like I'm traveling in Europe, so I feel like I'm getting a little extra out of this trip (lol)!

After doing my best to climb a steep hill, I arrive at my destination, the Scale House.

The Scale House (Uroko-no-ie in Japanese) is a Western-style building constructed over 100 years ago. The interior has been left as is, with antique furnishings displayed inside.

Show your coupon at the entrance, and you'll receive a discount on admission.

Now I'd like to show you my photos that look like movie scenes!

Take a close look at the "fish-scale" exterior from which the house gets its name.

In the area around the Scale House, there are some other facilities where you can observe European-style architecture, so be sure to allow yourself enough time when you visit here!

Be sure to check how you can save even more on admission to the Vienna Austria House, the Fragrant Holland House and the Denmark House by using the Three-House Joint Passport in addition to the coupons offered on this site!

5. Take a Cable Car and Ropeway to Mount Rokko, an area with many Famous Tourist Spots!

Kobe is a city surrounded by mountains and the sea. The "mountains" refer to Mount Rokko. This is not one mountain but a range extending about 30 km, also known as Rokko-Sanchi or Rokko-Sankei. From high-elevation observation spots like Rokko Garden Terrace and Kikusedai to the famous hot spring town of Arima Onsen at the foot of the mountains, a variety of tourist attractions is scattered over this area.

To get to these places, it's convenient to take a cable car or ropeway! When heading to the Rokko Garden Terrace, you can ride the Rokko Cable Car.

If you show your coupon when buying your ticket, you'll get a discount on the fare.

Now I've arrived at the Rokko Garden Terrace. From here, I can take in all of Kobe and the sea spreading out below!

Besides these places, there is a famous night view spot at Kikusedai. I'd also like to tell you about a coupon for discounted fares on the Maya View Line, a ropeway with convenient access to the peak of Mount Maya, where Kikusedai is located.

That wraps up my first day on the Hyogo Golden Tour, going around Kobe, Himeji and Kinosaki! I can heal my tired body and get ready for tomorrow by staying at Arima Onsen hot springs!