Throughout Yabu there are many wonderful sightseeing destinations, where you can enjoy the lush nature and the beautiful changes during all four seasons. You can experience traditional Japanese festivities, outdoor activities and interact with the kind and warm-hearted locals. The opportunity and ways you can spend your time in this wonderful destination are endless. We recommend you visit Yabu by car, so you can freely roam around and enjoy the full experience of exploring the countryside.
In the midst of modernization in Japan, the traditional and serene atmosphere of the Japanese inaka (countryside) can be experienced in Yabu. Located 2 hours away by train from the major tourist destinations Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Come travel back in time, and enjoy the traditional Japanese landscape with us!
Located in the northern part of Hyogo Prefecture, this is a hot spring town with over 1300 years of history. A popular way to enjoy the town is to stroll around and visit the 7 different public bath houses in traditional Japanese yukata. The town is filled with nature, and visitors can even see Oriental storks, which were once extinct in Japan, circling around in the sky.
One of the main things to see here is Takeda Castle Ruins, which is also known as the “castle floating in the sky” because of how the castle ruins appear to be floating on a sea of clouds. Another popular place to visit is the Ikuno Silver Mine, which was under the direct control of the government from 500 years ago for silver mining.
This is the second major city in Japan after Tokyo. This is also the prefecture where Kansai International Airport, which is the major international airport in the region, is located. Osaka Castle and Universal Studios Japan are a few of the popular spots in Osaka. Yabu is an approximately 2-hour journey away by car or by train from downtown Osaka.
Many shrines and temples can be found in Kyoto, which is the former imperial capital of Japan. This is a highly popular area among tourists. The city area, located in a low-lying area in a valley, has plenty of historic buildings, and the northern part also has scenic spots such as Amanohashidate, which is ranked among Japan’s three most scenic views.
Each of the four seasons in Yabu offer unique, but different kinds of natural beauty. We hope you come visit us to see the seasonal changes and one of a kind views that you can only find here!
The spring time or sakura season is a beautiful time in Japan. The cherry blossom trees can be admired throughout Yabu in various locations. During the spring we recommend you visit these beautiful nature sights which includes Tarumi no Ozakura the largest Edo Higan Cherry Blossom tree of the prefecture that is estimated to be over 1000 years old. If you would like to admire some Yozakura (night time viewing of cherry blossom trees) come see the beautiful weeping cherry blossom trees by Saihoji Temple light up.
In Yoka there is also a stunning panoramic view of the cherry blossom trees along the Takayanagi Shosa Line. This view can be admired from the Towa Bridge, and is named the Spring River of Yoka due to the beautiful river like flow of cherry blossom trees that line the road. The Hata Kesaka Sakura Park offers another stunning view during this time of year, the area is covered with many cherry blossom trees. After the end of the sakura season comes the month of May when Bekku no Tanada a beautiful rice terrace is filled with water. Photographers come to view the upside-down reflection of Mt. Hyonosen to snap some shots at this popular photo spot.
The summer season is time for adventure and is when you can experience nature to its fullest, from camping, admiring the fireflies in the Okumeiji area to outdoor activities you can enjoy the hot summer season by admiring the beauty of nature in Yabu. Visitors can camp out in the Ishigado Ancient Village where you can make old style craft activities such as bamboo dragonflies, magatama and ocarina from scratch and stay in traditional log houses. For those looking for a more luxurious style of camping glamping or glamorous camping is another option that is available in the area.
The summer is the optimal time for enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Numerous outdoor activities from paraglyding, mountain climbing, rowing, trekking and biking can experienced in the area. Don't forget to go stargazing at night which is an activity you cannot miss, stargazing hikes are also available by Wakasu Highlands. For those looking for family friendly activities the area also offers Ayu fishing where you can grab and catch Ayu fish by hands, then grill and enjoy the freshly caught fish. Summertime is also matsuri season or festival season where you can enjoy the local festivals and view the beautiful display of fireworks, and enjoy the yummy food stands. Various traditional and cultural festivals can be enjoyed such as the lighting of a local mountain in the Miyake no Mandosan as well as many traditional dances including the Zanzako Odori which happens during August.
Fall is one of the most stunning seasons in Yabu. Every year photographers across the Kansai region come visit Yabu Shrine to snap photographs of the stunning momiji (Japanese Maples) leaves. The fall is also a wonderful and optimal time to visit Tendaki Falls which looks beautiful against the foliage and autumn colors. Driving around the area and viewing the mountains from afar throughout Yabu is also a stunning view.
The beautiful contrast of the green cedar trees and lovely blend of orange, yellow, browns and red leaves throughout the mountains is a breathtaking view that you won't want to miss. Outside of the stunning fall views there are many traditional festivals throughout the fall season including Nette Sumo, Kuroku Zanzaka Odori and the annual Mt. Hyonosen climbing festival. In the Oya area of Yabu which is known for art, there is a display of wooden art that is brought together every fall. Artists from all over Japan submit their wooden artwork which is judged in a local compeition. The fall season is a wonderful time to visit Yabu, with various events going on and the beautiful fall scenery, it is the time of year that you will not want to miss.
During the wintertime it gets snowy in Yabu, making it an optimal destination for skiing in the Kansai region. Yabu has 4 ski resorts situated in the area, and during the ski season many people in the area come to visit to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and different kinds of winter sports. Rental gear is also available with many rental shops and lodges available right where the ski resorts are for those who are planning to spend the weekend there. After going for a ski you can rest your body in the warm and soothing onsens that are in the area.
From the Onsen in Wakasu Highland Ski Resort to Gokaku no Yu right in Sekinomiya we highly recommend you take a soothing and relaxing break in the onsens after a fun day of skiing. When in doubt we recommend you warm up to a delicious bowl of nabe or hotpot during the winter season. Enjoy Hachibuse Nabe a local specialty made of fresh local veggies and niku dango (meatballs) made from minced duck and pheasant meat. Once the new year hits there will be various special local events such as a wonderful display of fireworks at the Hachi Highland festival as well as Maisou Matsuri, a fire festival of torches and hitting on oni (Japanese devils) to wish for a healthy year.
What is the weather and temperature like in summer?
The summer tends to have a lot of rain and is high in humidity which is characteristic of being located near the Sea of Japan. It is usually around 28 °C /82 °F during July and August.
What is the weather and temperature like in winter?
The wintertime or between January and February the temperature ranges from 1 to 7 degrees Celsius or 33.8 to 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a bit colder than Tokyo and Osaka and tends to be snowy and cloudy during this time
I have a Japan Rail pass, can I use it to get to Yabu?
Yes, you can use the Japan Rail (JR) Pass to get to Yoka Station located in the central area of Yabu.
Where is Yabu? How far is it from the major cities Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe?
Yabu is located in northern Hyogo Prefecture the area is known as Tajima. It is approximately 2 hours away from Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe by train and 1 hour away from Himeji.
Can I use my credit card for purchases?
You can use a credit card as payment for convenience stores, supermarkets, drugstores and most hotels in the area, but a portion of local restaurants and minshuku will not accept cards as payment. We recommend that you bring cash ahead of time. If you forget cash ATMs are available in the local convenience shops.
Are there any ATMs where I can withdraw cash?
Yes we have convenience stores including Lawson, FamilyMart and Mini Stop with ATMs available for withdrawing cash.
Can I use an IC Card (ICOCA, Suica, Pasmo) at Yoka Station?
Starting in April of 2021 IC card usage will be available for those that are travelling from Yoka Station.
When does the skiing season start and end?
Hachi Highland Ski Resort which has artificial snow will be open from the start of December. Ski season in the Tajima area is generally between the end of December through the end of March.
When is the optimal time to come see the fall foliage?
The optimal time to see the fall folliage is usually during the month of November. The specific time changes yearly depending on the temperature conditions, so be sure to check back on our website and instagram pages and we will keep you updated!
When is the optimal time to come see the Cherry Blossoms?
Cherry Blossom season is during the beginning to mid of April. It changes yearly depending on the weather conditions, so be sure to check back on our website and we will keep you updated!
When is the best time to climb Mt. Hyonosen?
The climbing season for Mt. Hyonosen is generally between the end of May to mid November
Is there anywhere that I can exchange money?
Within Yabu you can exchange only US dollar bills to yen at Tajima Shinyo Bank. In order to exchange money you must bring a proof of identity (Passport, Residence Card etc.) as well as an emergency contact while you are in Japan (Any cellphone number that we are able to contact, or the number at your hotel). For more specific details please directly contact Tajima Shinyo Bank. Open Hours: 10AM - 3 PM (Not including weekends or national holidays)