Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens and Ropeway
Up in the air
Walking around the upper parts of Kitano to view the Foreign Residences, the Ropeway station, is just a quick stroll away. The Ropeway will take you up to the Herb Gardens at the top. It's called a ropeway, to me it's an enclosed ski lift not taking you to snowfields!
A good head for heights is needed as the gondola goes up above the tree levels and you look down over the city of Kobe. The day I rode the ropeway it was clear and the views were fantastic.
This photo was taken from not very high up! The capsules of the ropeway are totally sealed, there are 2 stations one mid way, then the top station. The idea is to stay on the ropeway until the top station get out there and walk through the Herb Gardens to the mid station and the catch the ropeway back down again. It is possible to hike all the way down, I've never done it!
The Nunobiki Falls, the Herb Gardens take their name from this waterfall. This was a hastily taken photo from the ropeway.
From the lookout at the top of the Herb Gardens, which is also where the ropeway ends. People then walk their way down through the gardens which has various displays, sections of the gardens depending on the season. The building with the glass domes is the Glasshouse/Greenhouse, both English labels are used, made me stop and think which was the American English term which was the British English. Australians seem to either use both interchangeably or call the building a conservatory if it's in a botanic gardens. (Not only a history nerd but a language one too!)
Sadly for me the cherry blossoms had all bloomed so I missed them, the bright green foliage belongs to the Japanese maples so in autumn the gardens would be a spectacular shade of red.
This picture from the ropeway is a really good aerial shot of Port Island, an artificial island just across from the main city centre (downtown) area of Kobe. I lived on Port Island for a few years but it has been 10 years since the last time I was actually on it and was shocked when I arrived there to see that it had been expanded, whole new sections had been added. Including the part I've labeled, it houses a university campus! The wharf area on the left hand side of the picture has also expanded.
Port Island was originally constructed in the early 1980s, it was constructed from landfill, basically garbage landfill. The taller building in the centre are part of the residential zone, behind that is the business zone with offices and the convention centre and a few hotels. Then the industrial zone with the wharf areas. The Kobe airport (domestic flights only) was built at the back on an adjoining island, that opened in the early 2000s.
Japan constantly offers up things that amuse me. This is one I particularly liked at the Herb Gardens, at various scenic spots (this was inside the Glasshouse/Greenhouse) there are these stands from where you can place your camera/smartphone to take a selfie! No need for selfie sticks here! What amused me even more was when I saw people actually using them to take selfles! I had to wait for people to leave to take this photo.