Monday, July 4, 2011

Herbal breeze from Kobe

Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens is located on the slopes of the mountain right behind Shin-Kobe station. The city of Kobe stretches long east and west lying narrow between the coast of the Seto Inland Sea and the Rokko mountains.  Therefore the city is full of slopes: some are moderate, some are so steep.  The north side of the staion is full of lush green as an entrance to hiking and treckking courses to the mountains. 

Glasshouses of the Gardens, Port Island, and bay area seen from the gondola

Visitors go up there either by ropeway or on foot via Nunobiki Falls.  I had only limited time, so I got on a lovely red gondola called Yume-fusen (dream balloon), which took me to the top of the Gardens in only ten minutes instead of an hour walk.  

Here you are at the top of the Gardens.  The bronze statue of a girl titled “Arigato (Thank you)” was presented by a Salvadoran sculptor as a token of gratitude for the support by Kobe for its 2001 earthquake.   

Some flowering herbs: clockwise from left top, dill (イノンド),  purple loosestripe (エゾミソハギ),
clary sage (オニサルビア), and wall germander (ニガクサ)

Nunobiki Herb Gardens consists of 14 gardens and woody paths in 40-acre including open air herb museum, lavender garden, four-season garden, lily garden, kitchen garden, oriental garden. and so on.  There are over 75,000 herbs in 200 varieties.

This is a view my camera caught  through plants.  A man-made island, Port Island, is connected with the mainland by the red Port Island Bridge.

the largest square: fuchsia (フクシア)
 beside the largest square: spathiphyllum (スパティフィラム) and bougainvillea

There are a cafe,  spice factory, exhibition of life with herbs, greenhouses, etc., in the four glasshouses.  

This statue of mother and child is titled "愛 (Love)" which was presented by Italian city, Terni.

Along the shady paths, hydrangeas were at their best due to cooler temperature on the higher grounds.  Probably these are the most beautiful blue hydrangeas I've seen recently.  I'm amazed with their "pristine blue".

some of other numerous flowers in bloom and berries

Beyond Port Island, faintly visible, is Kobe Airport.

Kaze-no-oka (hill of wind) stop of the ropeway is near.  Do you understand that the slopes are rather steep?  I enjoyed not only the fragrance of herbs, lovely flowers, and greens but also a bit hazy view of Kobe under the overcast and cool air on my skin. 

I left Kobe when I was 25-year-old.  I have lived in Nara more than those years while visiting Kobe occasionally.  After the Great Hanshin Earthquake, some familiar scenes have gone, still I do love this city including its transformation, its core quality, and its rich history. 

I love both Nara and Kobe.  If I had to choose one....maybe in my later years, oh it's a tough choice.

神戸布引ハーブ園 (here in Japanese)

-To learn more about our world, pleas click on the picture of My World on the sidebar.-


  1. I regret not having time to visit this beautiful garden when i was in Kobe, so thank you for bringing it to us, it's absolutely delightful.

    I forgot to ask you about the enormous Fish-like statue by the port in Kobe (can't remember the exact place, i just have photos of it: what is it exaclty?) it's a very interesting monument, i like this very much.

  2. It is a delightful contrast to the busy city of Kobe. It's good to see the two "worlds" at once - natural and man made.

  3. beautiful flowers and herbs. i am glad you get to enjoy both of your worlds on occasion.

  4. To DeeBee L.

    The huge Fish-like objet must be 21- meter-high carp objet
    titled “Fish Dance” at Merikan Park, Kobe. I’ve never seen it in person.

  5. As you say, most of hydrangeas I can see in Japan are blue.Blue matches both rainy season and summer season well.
    I'm happy to see your beautiful flowers.

  6. My world is a place of many slopes, stardust, but among the hills I have not seen such unique rounded roofs. They happily remind me of umbrellas! What poetry there is in so many Japanese phrases and words. I love the “dream balloon” name of the gondola. And I never imaged there were that many herbs. It seems fitting to have a garden exclusively for such plants. There are, indeed, many beautiful places that tug at our heartstrings. It would be difficult to choose. :)

  7. Thanks so much for these lovely photos of the Herb Gardens. The gardens are one of my favorite places in Kobe. It is very convenient to go there from Shin-Kobe Station. I love to see the sea and city views from the gardens! I suppose the high white building I can see is a hotel. Is it still "Oriental Hotel"? A tough choice...Hmmmmm. I understand how you feel.

  8. That does look like a very beautiful place, and your photos capture it well. I love to explore gardens like that, but we don't have anything like it in my city. The closest would be about 100km away.

  9. The gardens are spectacular and the mountain does look very, very steep. I bet the herb gardens give off wonderful aromas when you pass by them. And the hydrangea is indeed a beautiful blue.

  10. Such a beautiful world you have!! I love the trips you take us on each week through your breathtaking captures! I do love the flowers and the colors! A marvelous post for the day! Hope you have a wonderful week!


  11. Wow!Amazing photos! The flower on your first picture is one of my fouvorites!I have it in my garden and it is flowering soon:o)

    Love, Helene:o)

  12. So beautiful photos of the flowers! I liked them very much :)

  13. I'd love to ride the "Red Balloon" to see the flowers! (But - I imagine there are wonderful steps, too...) Some of these Perennials grow in my mountain gardens - but they aren't blooming yet. Your photos make me excited to greet them! Both Nara and Kobe are beautiful cities - it would be a hard choice.

  14. Great pictures!!!

    Thank you for sharing

  15. Exactly I feel "herbal breeze" coming from Kobe.
    "Kobe" has such a nice sound. You are lucky to have two cities both of which have distinguished magnetic characters.

  16. I've not been to Japan, and I would love to go one day. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories with us.

  17. Hi, Stardust!

    Visit yours blog is always a delight.
    A wonderful week.

  18. Beautiful!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  19. I enjoyed looking at your wonderful photos. I can imagine this is a very relaxing and great place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  20. To sapphire

    I had though the white building with pointed top in the last photo was Shin-Kobe Oriental Hotel but confirmed just now that it changed to Ana Crowne Plaza Hotel recently.

  21. Lovely garden. Esp loved the mother and child. Enjoyed the virtual visit. :)

  22. Wonderful and varied set with precious and exquisite framing approaches. I wish you a happy summer.

  23. Beautiful herbs with pretty flowers!
    When I visited the garden more than ten years ago, I climbed up to there, riding lift. The "dream balloon" is relatively new one? My husband's mother came from kobe and we are both favour of kobe very much.

  24. To haricot

    I went there for the first time and don’t know what it was like in the past. According to its homepage, new model of ropeway made its debut in April this year. All-barrier-free was realized.

  25. Beautiful pics, Wow! What an extremely scenic world... The flowers and the herbs, can smell the whiff of fresh air there!!!
    Thanks for sharing these, have a wonderful week ahead:)

  26. I sometime heard about that garden but I've never been there. Now many kind of flowers are blooming,aren't they?
    Your camera skill is getting well,so flowers are very beautiful!

  27. Wow!Stardust I see how you like this place so much,spectacular views and
    scenery.....and so much to see. I love the idea of riding a "dream balloon"! The mother and child sculpture is sensitive,and beautifully framed by the plant wall.Thanks for the tour and for sharing your interesting photos.

    Enjoy your day!

  28. live in such a beautiful place and always share it in such a beautiful way!!!

    gorgeous blooms....i so enjoy my visits here!!!!

  29. The Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens is such a beautiful place to visit. I loved the herb filled wooden carts by the bronze statue of the little girl and the "愛 (Love)" statue of mother and child was so graceful and flowing. You have two beautiful cities to enjoy!

  30. Beautiful photos of a lovely place--I just keep being impressed with all the wonderful gardens you have in Japan. I think you could be happy living in either place. Kobe is definitely lovely--the shots of the city from up on the hillside are very nice. I enjoyed this post--very nice. Mickie :)

  31. To Sarah

    Yes, numerous flowers were blooming there: some just started blooming, some were in full glory, and some were on the decline.

  32. Dear stardust, thank you for introducing this beatiful city of Kobe.
    One more very vice place!

  33. I would love to spend many hours in this garden high on the hill. I know many of the flowers and grow some of them myself. The blue hydrangeas are fantastic. I can't grow them, my soil is too alkaline.

    The houses behind the 'thank you' figure don't look Japanese to my uneducated eye, the look European.

  34. To Friko

    Your impression is right. The building you mentioned about was built modeled after Wartburg Castle of Germany. The whole space is designed so that it would remind people of European streets or houses. Kobe is a cosmopolitan port city believed as an entrance to China and Korea in the 8th century, designated as one of five open ports in 1858, thriving as the second largest port now. There are many Western and Chinese mansions of first foreign settlers especially at the foot of mountains of Kobe.

  35. What enchanting gardens. That sculpture is just gorgeous!

  36. What to admire first?
    All are beautiful, moving, your photos are fantastic!
    In Japan you have wonderful parties and recovered too!
    I wish you all well!
    Have a wonderful summer!
    Best regards

  37. The deep blue of the hydrangea enhances scenery still more.
    A nice view.

    Have a good weekend.

  38. I've always admired Japan though I haven't been there yet. You have presented Kobe beautifully in pictures. Awesome!

  39. Just amazed to see this post again, so much to see here! The beauty is just heavenly, touches your heart, you were lucky to stay at such a place for 25 years...
    But Nara too is beautiful as I have seen it also through many Blogs...
    Have a fabulous Sunday:)

  40. That's a trip I would like to take. Such beautiful gardens and a great view of the city. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Thank you everyone for your comment. I'm glad you liked Nunobiki Herb Gardens. When you come to Kobe, please have a visit. I bet You’ll never be disappointed. Stay cool and be well.

  42. Thanks for your comment to Kombu-cha. :) LG Tina

  43. What a gorgeous garden! I love herbs!
    I am not a city person, I need the width and the smells of nature. In your blog look the cities (Kobe) so aesthetically and in fact I see a beauty that I recognized as a visitor to a city before.

    ♥ Greetings


  44. Yokoさん 
    布引ハーブ園は駅からも近く本当に素敵な所ですね。同じ場所に行っても私は一体 何を見て来たんだろう?と思うほど、迎えてくれた花々の美しさに Yokoさんのように気づいてあげられなかったようです (゚ー゚;A 立派な温室内には珍しい花々が一杯ありましたね。望遠レンズで撮られたと思われる、木々に咲く花越しに遠く港が見えるお写真。感動です!! 実は俯く少女の像、娘から私に似ていると言われました!? そうかなぁ~?彼女のように健気?ではないと思いますし(笑)


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