Hyogo Prefecture has an area of 8,396km2（3,242mile2）which occupies the center of Japan and includes a major city within the Kansai region, Kobe. It is a prefecture which is bigger in area than the 174th-ranked country of Brunei（5,765km2＝2,226mile2）. It faces the Japan Sea to the north, the Seto Inland Sea to the south, and continues onto the Pacific Ocean via Awaji Island. Visitors can enjoy a number of leisure activities such as swimming, skiing, and onsen due to the variety in climate and natural features.
Since the opening of the Port of Kobe in 1868, Kobe has developed into an international trading port in which there are a number of retro and modern areas such as the old foreign settlements and the historical district of Kitano Ijinkan. In the northern part of Kobe, there is Mt. Rokko and Arima Onsen which is one of Japan’s 3 ancient baths along with Kinosaki Onsen. There are also many other sights to see including the World Heritage site of Himeji Castle, Awaji Island which is the largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge which is the longest suspension bridge in the world.
Regional dishes include Akaishi sea bream, Akaishi yaki which is known as Hyogo’s version of takoyaki, and Kobe beef which is one of Japan’s 3 prime examples of wagyu. As popular delicacies of the area, there is Kobe custard pudding, sobameshi and takomeshi rice, Tajima beefburgers, and katsumeshi (pork cutlet on rice).
The Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen (Bullet Train) will conveniently get you from Tokyo Station into Shin-Kobe Station in the city of Kobe, the gateway of Hyogo Prefecture, within approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes. To reach Himeji from Tokyo will take 3 hours and 5 minutes. Shin-Kobe is a major hub whose trains will also get you to Mt. Rokko and Arima Onsen. By express bus and rental car, you can reach Awaji Island. There are also plenty of trains, buses and rental cars to help you navigate within the prefecture.
There are also many accommodations for tourists in the areas surrounding the airport, Shin-Kobe Station and Sannomiya Station. Access to sightseeing spots within the prefecture is also convenient. There are also many hotels in the onsen areas such as Arima and Kinosaki and on Awaji Island.