If we Kobe locals were to recommend several outdoor locations that we would love to visit in spring, Kobe Municipal Rokkosan Pasture would be in the top-ranking for sure. It’s because we can see incredibly adorable lambs there only in this season. Once you are gazed at by the lambs, like in the photo above, you will, without a doubt, be completely captivated by their cuteness.
The huge Kobe Municipal Rokkosan Pasture, with its diverse facilities, spreads out upon Kobe’s iconic Rokkosan (Mt. Rokko) located in the Nada district of the city of Kobe. A variety of animal barns including sheep, goats, horses, cows, and rabbits are dotted in the vast field. The sheep barn is situated near the south gate next to the visitor’s parking lot. (The scheduled bus arrives and departs in front of the north exit.)
After a minute walk from the north gate, lots of relaxing sheep will welcome you. They are so tamed and laid-back that you can approach them and even stroke their soft fluffy hair easily. The sight of sheep grazing on the grass in the warm spring sunlight will undoubtedly make all visitors feel very calm and at peace.
Right next to the sheep barn, there is a special section called “Hitsuji no hoikuen (that means pre-kindergarten for baby sheep in Japanese)” and tiny and cute lambs will greet you from there.
Compared to adult sheep, they have a great sense of curiosity about whatever they see. Many of them will not feel timid and come close to visitors.
Spring is the lambing season and the first baby was born on February 8th this year. A number of ewes will continue giving birth to lambs for a couple of months. The pasture is expecting about 60 newborn babies by the middle of April. After their birth, lambs usually spend a few days with their mothers in the barn. Then, they move to the Hitsuji no hoikuen section to get accustomed to a new environment with other sheep.
You will lose track of time while looking at their lovely faces and inquisitive behaviors. If your eyes have a chance of meeting their innocent eyes, you will be totally enchanted by them.
During the sheep lambing season, a lot of locals, as well as tourists from various countries, visit the sheep barn to see their babies. According to the attendant, weekdays would be less crowded compared to weekends.
In front of the sheep barn, a herd of sheep often lie down on the field and bask in the sun. The sheep here at the Rokkosan Pasture look very happy and relaxed. After May 23rd, young sheep, along with their mothers, are scheduled to be released to the field to join them.
Also, several weekend fun events regularly take place at the Pasture property. A sheepdog show is one of the best events and unmissable! Enjoy how the sheepdogs direct a herd of sheep into a paddock. The teamwork of the reliable sheepdogs and their trainer is very professional and entertaining. It’s held in the field near the sheep barn on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.
After saying goodbye to the sheep and lambs in the south area, why not venture up to the hill to check out the north area? Take pleasure in the great wide view from the hilltop (green point: alt. 694m) en route!
In the north area, more animals such as horses, cows, ducks will be waiting for you. As most of them are very friendly, you can enjoy feeding them if you would like to (*Please ask their staff members about it.)
In the pasture, there are enjoyable experience booths (wool craft, cheese making, calf feeding, and more) and fine restaurants that exclusively offer their original cheese dishes and barbecue dishes.
The Kobe Municipal Rokkosan Pasture is the best place to spend a whole day with your friends or family members. The admission is only 500 yen for adults and 200 yen for elementary school students (preschoolers: free)!
Feel fresh air, relax in the wonderful ambiance of nature, and meet cute animals! It’s going to be a great day!
In the next article, we would like to show you the inside of the sheep barn where we were allowed special entry. Please don’t miss it.
【Access to the Kobe Municipal Rokkosan Pasture】
The Kobe City Bus Route #16 is one of the most convenient ways to get to the pasture from downtown Kobe. Take the bus from Hankyu Rokko Station (JR Rokkomichi Station, or Hanshin Mikage Station) to reach the “Rokko Cable Shita” bus stop.
*The #16 bus stop at the Hankyu Rokko Station is right in front of exit 3.
You can easily find the bus stop as the ⑯ sign stands out.
Please get off at “Rokko Cable Shita” bus stop. The Rokko Cable Car Station is right before your eyes. The classic building will make you anticipate something adventurous.
Please walk upstairs to the ticket counter. If you purchase a round-trip ticket, you can get a discount (1,100 yen).
*Two one-way tickets (600 yen x 2 =1,200 yen).
A pleasant 10-minute cable car ride to “Rokko Cable Sanjo Station” gets started! The inside of the car has a very open and refreshing atmosphere as the ceiling is fully transparent and there are no windows beside the seats. Relish the scenic and steep route with a wide-open view of Kobe.
After the cable car arrives at the Rokko Cable Sanjo Station, please transfer to the Rokko Maya Sky Shuttle Bus to the Rokkosan Pasture. You can find the signboard at the exit of the station. The Sky Shuttle bus departs from bus stop #2 and the duration is about 12 minutes.
For more details, please go to the link below.
Name: Kobe Municipal Rokkosan Pasture (https://www.rokkosan.net/)
Address: 1-1 Nakaichiriyama, Rokkosan-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe-shi
Opening hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (*The last admission is at 16:30)
(*Open until 17:30 on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays from April to October, and the Obon period in August)
Closed on: Tuesdays (open daily from April to October)
*If a national holiday falls on Tuesday, open on Tuesday and closed on Wednesday.