Thursday, January 26, 2012

A winter day at Kobe Kacho-en

Today I’m going to guide you around Kobe Kachoen, Kobe Flower and Bird Park, located at the Port Island.   

Port Island is an artificial island in the off shore of Kobe.   The Port Liner, an automated guided transit, connects Port Island and Kobe Airport with downtown Kobe. 

from the window of Port Liner

When the sea comes in sight, I always get excited.

The second to the last stop, 京コンピュータ前, is where you get off.  Passengers are protected by the dual door system (door of the train and that of the platform) from falling to the track.

Once you walk down from the station, you’re right there, Kobe Kacho-en.  The entrance doesn’t look like a conservatory but a Japanese shop of something, so I almost passed by it.

The whole complex of Kobe Kacho-en is like a huge green house consisitng of aviaries both indoors and open-air where you can feed or play with birds, a spacious water lilies pond, a cafeteria with numerous flowers of hanging baskets, and so on.  I do love flowers, but this is a rare chance for me to take photos of various kinds of birds, so let’s go in avairy first.

モモアカノスリ ( Harris's Hawk )
オオバタン  (Salmon-crested cockatoo)

There are many exotic birds including parrots, hornbills, toucans, and many more.

There are several varieties of toucans with their colored long beaks.  The staff will give you small cups of food to feed to the birds. You can let the toucans perch on your arm by using this food. 

They have amazing collection of species of owls, too, however I didn't feel like taking picture of them as most of them were just displayed mostly chained that day.

a grey crowned crane, scarlet ibises, and American white ibises

In the open-air Courtyard capped with net, there are a rectangular pond and its little island surrounded by corridor with eaves. It is filled with birds’ chatter and children's shouts and laughs and is a pretty area to walk through if you can brave the winter chills.   There are ducks, swans, cranes, peacocks, and so on.

This is not heron but マナヅル (white-naped crane).

black swan native to Australia

キンケイ (錦鶏, or Golden Pheasant)

アカツクシガモ (赤筑紫鴨、or Ruddy Shelduck)

ショウジョウトキ (猩猩朱鷺, or Scarlet Ibis )

Chilled to the bone, I took a refuge to the Water Lilies' Pond.  I don't seem to have waited enough till the lens got clear from being fogged.

The facilities are basically Japanese style.  You pass through the “noren” printed with owls to enter the public rest room.  The room is designed old-Japanese-looking, too, but never mind, the inside is not old Japanese style but equipeed with high-tech "Washlet", warm-water cleaning toilet seat with array of functions including automatic flush, which is maybe known as "Super Toilet" in English. 

How about having lunch or tea surrounded by the flowers?  Be sure to wash your hands elaborately with soap and gurgle after playing with birds. 

(to be continued, maybe....)


  1. Tam jest jak w raju !!! Cudownie :-). Tyle pięknych kolorowych ptaków. U tukanów zawsze podziwiałam ich duży i kolorowy dziób. Ja bym tam chodziła i chodziła i podziwiała wszystko. Dziękuję, że mogłam nacieszyć oczy takimi wspaniałymi widokami. Pozdrawiam ciepło. *** There is like a paradise! Wonderful :-). So many beautiful colorful birds. In toucans always admired their large, colorful beak. I would have walked there and walked around and admired everything. Thank you, that I could admire such great views. Yours.

  2. 昨年帰省した際、それらしい建物を見かけましたが、こんなにも楽しめる場所だっのですね。珍しい南国?の鳥は愛らしく、花々も見事に咲いていますね。ここにきて寒さの続く毎日。見ていて鳥たちが羨ましくなりました。私は怒ると身体を左右に振り、頭の毛が立つオオバタンが好きです。

  3. So many lovely birds!
    I can easily spend the whole day there.

  4. Hi,Stardust.


  5. These birds really show the infinite range of possibilities in creation. I was a little surprised there was a chain on the leg of a hawk but I suppose this might be necessary in such a setting. I’m hoping these are very long so they can still fly. All are unique beautiful creatures and some a bit comical. I also really like the photo of the pond. It has a nice softness to it and would look lovely enlarged and hanging on a wall of a home. Between nature’s composition and yours through the lens I see works of art. Hope you have a great week, stardust!

  6. When I watch flowers or birds I am comforted. For especially in such chilly winter we can't see pretty flowers outside.
    Ruddy shelduck's eyes are cute and their pale brown feathers looks like warm.
    Have a nice weekend!

  7. Wow wow wow! So much beauty! Love the birds - especially that scarlet ibis.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing. Kachoen looks like it is a wonderful place to spend a cold winter days. So much color, I wonder what it sounded like with all the birds...

  9. What a wonderful outing you had and the birds, especially the golden pheasants and shelduck are quite spectacular each in it's own way. Thank yo so much for the tour.

  10. What a cool and educational place. I like the last photo. I can stay there for a long time while I drink coffee. :)

  11. Thank you for posting these pictures... what a lovely park! The birds are beautiful, and so colourful, especially the Golden Pheasant. And I wish you had shown us a picture of the hi-tech toilet!!!

  12. Thanks a lot for this lovely post! I have not been to the Kacho-en yet. I'd love to visit it when I come back to Kobe. It's the first time for me to see the Golden Pheasant. What the combination of colors! God must be a GREAT designer! It is very cold. Take care!

  13. these blooms and birds are gorgeous! i'm with you, though. i'd not like to see the raptors chained, but i guess it is necessary...

  14. Thank you for the colours and beauty you show us here! I'm impressed, and with variety of birds in this place! The Water Lilies' Pond looks as if painted by Monet!

  15. What a super place to take a camera! The birds and flowers are so beautifully coloured!

  16. My deerest friend Yoko,
    Thank you very much for your wonderful trips!!!!
    In each picture, shouted aaaaaa, like a child .....
    Is a real paradise!
    So many beautiful birds, so many colors, such beauty!!!!
    Japan is a wonderful country and I am glad to know from you the superb pictures!
    Thank you very much!
    many kisses

  17. Thanks for sharing all this beauty
    gr. Marijke

  18. Hello Yoko:
    Yes, we should love to join you for afternoon tea in this wonderful place, surrounded by these exotic birds and beautiful flowers.

    Your photographs are absolutely stunning. What a rainbow of colours you have captured in the birds and the flowering plants, and how you managed to take the glorious close-up image at the start of the post we can but marvel at.

    We have thoroughly enjoyed our tour.

  19. It is a beautiful tour! I like common pheasants as the males have amazing colours but this Golden Pheasant is stunning. I have seen one in the wild once, it's quite a sight!

  20. What an interesting place to visit! Thank you for the tour :) So many beautiful birds and flowers. I especially liked the tucans, they are lovely birds.

    Great photos, Yoko, thanks for sharing :)

  21. Thank you, Yoko, for this exotic tour! Such colorful flowers and BIRDS! The scarlet ibises are my favorite. That photo of the Lily Pond looks like it could have been painted by Monet.

  22. A friend of mine invited me to do a bus trip around Port Island a couple years ago, and I visited the Park where we enjoyed to see and feed the birds and the beautiful hanging flowers taking our lunch. Your capture by photos are clear and your explanation is quite interesting.

  23. What a beautiful place!
    Gorgeous photos of all the beautiful birds and flowers.
    Thanks for the tour.
    Have a great weekend.

  24. Your photos are beautiful, Yoko...I especially liked the Ruddy Shelducks, the Scarlet Ibis and the glorious Lily Pond! Kobe would be a wonderful place to visit!

  25. Thank you for this interesting tour.This reminds me of a bird park in Singapore I visited several years ago. As I didn't have to arm myself against the cold there, I could take a leisurely walk and enjoyed a "Bird Show"

    A grey crowned crane is so graceful and the vivid color combination of the golden pheasant is an eye-catcher!

  26. Hello, stardust.

      Your splendid works enhance charm spectator still more.
      The warmth such as the fireplace will be offered to the audience in harsh this winter.

      Everyone is wonderful smile!!

      Thank you for kindly visiting my blog. 
    ruma ❃

  27. Thanks for braving the cold Yoko to bring us these beautiful images of the colourful birds and the pond - oh so heavenly...Isn't the toucan a character -always looking as if he will topple forward with the weight of that huge bill.

  28. Fantastic photos. Your bird shots are amazing.

  29. What a wonderful tour Yoko.行きたい。

    Enjoy your weekend, Evelyn

  30. Oh don't worry about the URL.
    It's not a problem at all. ;)
    We are looking forward to reading your second part of Kobe adventure. :)


  31. I'm sitting here with my mouth agape...what an amazing place! I think I'd spend a lot of time there if I lived in Kobe.

    Thank you for these beautiful photographs - the colors are so vibrant and they are all very sharp and a pleasure to look at.

    One that stood out for me was that red ibis. We have lots of ibises but no red ones! Amazing. Love that train, too, and the water lily pond.

    All in all this post was a very special photographic treat!

  32. Wow, these are simply wondeful shots of birds. The Toucans, cranes and that pheasant are quite wonderful. Thak you for this tour.

  33. I would so much love to visit this garden. As I grow older it seems I prefer to watch birds and flowers than going where there are crowds. My daughter and I stopped in Tokyo for two days but it was on a trip from Bangkok and we were a bit tired. We did not see any beautiful park like this. Your post was lovely – it felt as though we were accompanying you – thank you.

  34. You did a wonderful job of capturing the birds--so colorful and bright. I love the toucans-such strange looking birds, but very captivating. What a lovely place to spend the day. Have a great Sunday. Mickie ;)

  35. Thank you for visiting and leaving comments on my Etegami blog! I'm so pleased to have discovered you. Your photographs are beautiful. :D

  36. Hello Yoko!

    The explosion of green and bright colors seems unreal with all the snow we have around here. When I saw your warm and beautiful pictures I said to myself: is spring already coming?!
    The birds are indeed impressive (I have never seen a Golden Pheasant before) but when I see strings and chains... I always get sad. They should be free...

    Warmest wishes and a good week ahead!

  37. Beautifully photographed as ever. Modern transport, birds, flowers and even a super-toilet - what a wonderfully varied post!

  38. Roxna – I, too, like to see birds fly freely and I know how you feel. That Harris Hawk flew over people’s heads at the Bird Show and was free. The strings or chains are special ones which don’t tangle. The staffs are kind and affectionate. I think and pray that the birds would be as comfortable as best in that circumstances.

  39. Thank you for show us.
    So many beautiful and exotic birds.
    Wich you a nice week

  40. What a wonderful surprise after the modern train journey through uninteresting buildings - to arrive at a gallery full of nature's beauty.

    My favourite picture was the water lily pond, I have never seen such a lovely one.

    The toucans I particularly like. When I was very small there was an advert for Guinness which always had a toucan or several toucans. I was puzzled by the pictures I saw of these birds with their huge beaks, so I asked my parents what they were called. I learned about toucans early, but I cannot now avoid thinking about them in connection with beer! :)

    You always surprise me with your descriptions of interesting things, and the lovely photos.

    I have never tried a super toilet, although I have considered buying one for our house. They are tremendously expensive in England, though, I wonder what they cost in Japan. Perhaps they're expensive there, too.

  41. Thanks, Friends, for taking time to come here and leaving a comment. I enjoyed reading very much. Sorry for not responding individually here.

    Jenny - “Washlet” (Toto’s brand name) is sold in various different names by various makers. According to the “” of Japan, the most inexpensive one is 13,000 yen. 15,000yen – 30,000yen is the most popular price range. The most expensive one is over 100,000yen. Another expense is needed to attach it to your toilet, but some people can do it on their own. Because of strong yen, the price would be higher in other countries.

    It has come into wide use these years. All my families, relatives, and friends as far as I know have it at home.
    In urban areas,the restrooms of department stores, museums, restaurants, and so on, are also equipped with it but not those of stations or parks.

  42. So many birds! ^_____^ And fukurou! ^^ Aren't owls always drawn cute?

  43. Wonderful shots of the birds and flowers. My brother used to live in Japan, but now lives in China!

  44. You are a determined photographer! And I think the bit of fog on your water lily photo makes it all the more lovely. I am actually working on "layering" photos to give them a painted look. My last two posts have been about that. I am always glad to arrive on your blog and learn about such great places and see such nice photos. Stay warm!

  45. Hi Yoko
    Very nice pictures! These birds are beautiful!
    I just was in Tenerife (Spain) in a zoo and bird park and they have exactly (!) the same selection of birds :) obviosly the most special and precious ones!
    Many greetings
    Yvonne & Raphael

  46. Hi Yoko,
    So wonderful to visit you and to see your amazing photos of the park.
    I don't know when I will get the chance to visit Japan for a holiday, but seeing your lovely images makes me feel like I am there with you! ;-)
    As you can imagine I especially love the birds. The hawk and owls are my favourites. I saw a wild Sparrow Hawk in my garden yesterday!
    The lily pond picture is so beautiful and I like the owl prints too. What a great idea for the toilet doorway! ;-)
    Anyway, good to see you again and thanks for the tour around the park.
    Best wishes,
    Jo. x

  47. Wow! So many beautiful and colorful birds. It must have been a pleasure to watch them all yourself.
    The pics are really fantastic.
    Thanks for sharing them.
    Have a fabulous day:)

  48. Hi, I saw your blog. It is very nice. I like it.
    I don't speak Japanese but I like Japan.
    Also I don't speak English, but I'm studing it.
    Regards since Astorga, Spain, in the Camino de Santiago.
    I'll see you

  49. We went for a visit at Kakegawa Kachoen (Shizuoka-ken) in the summer of 2010! It was very hot and we kept indoors, where the air was conditioned for birds, flowers and humans,too! It was a rare experience! I enjoyed everything with the soul of a child! The birds were so near at hand and the colourful parakeets would come on your hand IF you had something to GIVE them, not otherwise1 They don't like to be petted! Then the ponds with waterliles were like in a dream, with large flowers of all colours! I loved most of all the cafeteria which was a huge conservatory or flower-house....I would never have left there, I would have loved to spend at least a day under the hanging baskets of begonias, geraniums and so many others.On the sides, along the walls were pots with huge flowers of begonia that were the most impressive among so many other flowers!Colours among the green, lush impressionistic painting in which you could spend time for a while...
    Everybody should get to visit at least ONE of the many Kachoens in Japan!

  50. what a wonderful visit today! I am always so amazed at the transportation system in your country! It surpasses us here in America honestly! These birds are beautiful. I really had a pleasant read today! So glad I visited!

  51. Te agradezco infinitamente la foto del charco de los lirios... me recordastes a Monet... Bss


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