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Kobe in the Heart of Summer! Time to Cool Down at the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden!

With the Seto Inland Sea and the “Rokkosan-kei” mountain range nearby, Kobe is known as a place abundant in nature. Coming into August, summer is finally getting into full swing with continuous days of blistering heat. It’s times like these that are perfect for escaping the heat at places like the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden, where you can be carefree and admire absolutely gorgeous flora. Prepare to have your soul soothed by the garden’s plentiful nature.

The Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden can be reached by a 10-minute ride on the Rokko Sanjo Bus from Rokko Cable Sanjo Sta. The temperature today atop Mt. Rokko was a cool 5℃ lower than the city below and every so often, one can feel a cool, crisp breeze blowing through.
(※Detailed access information for the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden can be found at the end of the article.)

This time of year is the best for seeing the Nikko Daylily. (Photo taken early August).

Today, rather than entering from the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden Bus Stop, serving as the east entrance, we made our way into the garden from the west entrance after getting off at the Rokko International Musical Box Museum just a bit before.

At the gate to the garden, their friendly staff member will kindly explain the best plants to view on the day of your visit along with recommended routes to take. They’ll also provide you with an easy to follow map. This map is always updated with the latest garden information and will help you easily find hands down the perfect viewing spots of flowers and trees for that day.
(※Pictured is the garden map (Japanese) from August 3rd, 2020)

【Prime Flowers to View in August】

Each entrance to the botanical garden offers a poster board (Japanese) showing you the current blooming status of the garden at a glance. The higurashi (evening cicada), hidden among the many photos of flora, was both cute and prominent. (※This blooming status was from August 6th.)

Coming from the west entrance, you’ll be greeted by a lovely field of water lilies sitting atop the pond.

The verdant green backdrop serves to accentuate the vivid flowers. We even felt cooled down by the refined elegance of the violet Japanese Bellflower.

This Golden-Rayed Lily furls into a grand and powerful-looking flower and gives off a gentle, yet wonderful, florid aroma. The Golden-Rayed Lily is a flower found on mountainsides and in forests and can be spotted in various places within the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden.

The Tiger Lily, a bit smaller than the Golden-Rayed Lily, is expressively stunning with its reddish-orange hue and speckled petals.

These Yellow Patrinias are in full bloom, reaching for the sky. These bright flowers will be sure to put a beaming smile on your face.

Next-door, you’ll find a gorgeous cluster of Nikko Daylilies which are perfectly in season. As these ethereal flowers bloom early in the morning but wilt come nightfall, many visitors take care to view them as soon as the garden opens.

Head into the back of the garden and you’ll come across a forested area inhabited by a thicket of trees. Don’t miss the myriad of flowers that also grow in the shade of the dignified Japanese Beeches.

Some wayward Golden-Rayed Lilies are beautifully flourishing here as well.

These pink Meadowsweets, which bloom early in the summer from the beginning of May to June, never fail to catch the eyes of passersby. Thanks to the cool climate of the mountain summit at the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden, you can even take delight in them in August.

These False Anemones, recommended by the staff, are truly striking with their light purple tint. Sometimes called the “chandeliers of the forest,” many regard these mystical flowers as intrinsic parts of summer life.

There’s also access to a resting area, complete with benches and wide-open spaces, where you can unwind and gaze at the sunlight filtering through the trees. On weekends and holidays from July 18th (Sat.) ~ August 30th (Sun.) (every day from August 8th (Sat.) ~ August 16th (Sun.)) at the Japanese Stewartia trees in the forested area, there are hammocks and even portable cafes set up for you to delight in.

*See detailed event info. below▼
Hammock cafe-Adult holiday in the shade of trees-“ (Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden Event Page)

Check out these Echinops (Globe Thistle) on the cusp of blooming. Once they reach their blooming period from mid-August to September, they’ll attain a splendid shade of azure.

Proudly shooting up to the sky, this group of Purple Tiger’s Tails (Yama-ruri-toranoo: Pseudolysimachion kiusianum ssp. miyabei var. japonicum) has a rather cool, serene presence.

Resting in the bowers of the trees is the eye-catching Fushiguro-Senno (Silene Miqueliana). While they may seem somewhat exotic, they are actually native to Japan.

【Carnivorous Plants】

The “Secret Exhibition of Carnivorous Plants,” on display from July 18th (Sat.) – September 27th (Sun.) is located in the greenhouse next to the Petit Julien statue. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of a plethora of unique carnivorous plants.

*See detailed event info. below▼
“Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden ‘secret exhibition of carnivorous plants’” (Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden Event Page)

Here, we have the world-famous Venus Flytrap, known for its insect-catching barbs along the rims of its leaves.

Feast your eyes on the Tropical Pitcher Plant. They produce a sweet nectar and emit a unique fragrance to allure insects and then feed on any unlucky ones that fall into its pitcher-shaped digestive sack.

Contrary to their nature, these carnivorous plants can’t help but look adorable.

Your curiosity will surely be unable to resist this area where you can both touch and observe the plants.

There are plenty of carnivorous plants on display within the greenhouse as well.

With lots of easy to understand explanations (Japanese) posted throughout, the entire family will definitely have fun learning about and experiencing the world of carnivorous plants.

Additionally, you’ll have the option to purchase carnivorous plant seedlings at the west entrance. Why not take this perfect chance to raise one of your own after learning about their attractiveness at the “Secret Exhibition of Carnivorous Plants”?

The Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden – capable of even helping you forget about the summer heat. Please do have a relaxing time surrounded by beautiful flowers that give off a gentle aura and verdant forests that grant a serene tranquility.

【Access Info.】
Access from Rokko Cable Shita Sta.

▼Check out the page below for detailed access info. to Rokko Cable Shita Sta.
https://kobe-rokko.jp/en/access/

Take the Rokko Cable Car from Rokko Cable Shita Sta. for a 10-minute ride to Rokko Sanjo Sta.
Purchasing the “Table Rokko Tour Ticket” which lets you use both the Rokko Cable Car and Rokko Sanjo Bus is a bargain!
Table Rokko Tour Ticket: Adults – ¥1,370; Children – ¥690
¥180 savings for adults and ¥90 for children compared to Rokko Cable Round-Trip Ticket (Adults – ¥1,100; Children – ¥550) + (Kobe Sanjo Bus 1 Day Ticket Adults – ¥450; Children – ¥230)!

Furthermore, as the Rokko Cable Car has reached its 88th year, passengers who ride the cable car on a weekend or holiday from Saturday, July 4th to Sunday, September 27th, will be awarded a “Rokko Cable Car 88th Anniversary Original Button Badge” as a commemorative gift!
(※Every day from 7:10 AM while supplies last)

▼Please check out the detailed article below
Rokko Cable Car 88th Anniversary! Original Button Badge Giveaway! Find delight in the Rokko Cable Cars and collect their special limited time items!

The bus stop is to your left once you exit Rokko Sanjo Sta.

Hop on the Rokko Sanjo Bus from bus stop #1, where you can view the city of Kobe on your left-hand side.
We rode the #653 (read as rokkosan (a.k.a Mt. Rokko) in Japanese) bus today. Perhaps due to that interesting coincidence, we felt a little lucky and happy when stepping on.

After about 10 minutes, we made it to the Rokko International Music Box Museum Mae bus stop that is near the west gate of the Garden. (The Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden bus stop is the next one near the east entrance.) Hop off the bus and walk up the slope for 3-4 minutes to reach the west entrance.

This is the east entrance to the botanical garden. The Alpine Botanical Garden bus stop is diagonally across from the entrance.

Next to the east entrance lies the mountain-hut style café “Edelweiss.” The terrace seats, which offer a tranquil view of the surrounding nature, are popular among visitors. From classic café fare to limited seasonal lunch menus, you have a breadth of food and drink options to partake in while kicking back and taking in the scenery.

【Detailed Facility Information】
Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden
Kitarokko-4512-150, Rokkosancho, Nada Ward, Kobe 657-0101
Operating Period: March 20th, 2020 (Fri./holiday) ~ November 23rd, 2020 (Mon./holiday)
Operating Hours: 10:00~17:00 ( Last admission 16:30) *May be extended during events
Closed: March 26th (Thur.), April 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd (Thur.), July 2nd, 9th, 16th (Thur.), August 20th, 27th (Thur.), September 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th (Thur.)
Entrance Fee: Adults (Middle School Age or older) – ¥700; Children (Age 4 ~ elementary school) – ¥350
Homepage: https://www.rokkosan.com/hana/?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rokkosan.hana
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rokkoalpine