A little stretch from the city is a place where nature grows. The Kobe Municipal Arboretum is filled with flowers, trees, and relaxing spaces. There are three trails you can take depending on what you like: a walk through the trail of flowers, a short hike up a hill, and a trail through the fragrant forest; all very nice. The hiking course takes about an hour but if you choose to, it is possible to venture through all three courses in a day. The garden is currently showcasing the beautiful ajisai (hydrangea) flower. The ajisai is an iconic flower of June and is also the official flower of Kobe City. This flower can be seen in full bloom and its soothing colors of light blue, purple, and pink, capture the hearts of many every June.
Walking through the trails, all that reaches your ears are sounds of chirping birds, a light wind brushing through leaves, and the occasional slow footsteps of fellow travelers. After experiencing the endless noise of the city, it is a relief to be surrounded by sounds of nature. I decided to make my own course looking at the map that was given to me at the entrance and making sure I stopped by the intended spots. After passing through the ajisai trail, I took a path up into the woods intending to climb as high as I could. There was a sign that said “to the observatory deck with the view of the sea” which sounded appealing; the hike was a workout, but not an extreme one. Unfortunately the clouds prevented me from seeing the sea, but it is a trip I fully intend to take again when the rainy season passes.
I followed the trail that led me to a pond. There were water lilies, and yellow flowers called floating hearts, both preparing to fully bloom. There were all kinds of signs of life; frogs croaking, brilliant black butterflies fluttering their wings, and giant koi fish demanding food.
So if you ever tire of the city lights, this is the place to recharge. There are plenty of spots to sit down, so make sure to pack a lunch and have a picnic, and if you’re in the mood for a snack the soft serve ice cream is famously delicious! The garden offers different flowers and plants for every season and whichever trail you choose, it is sure to lead you to a sightly view.