Ask anyone in Japan about Kobe, and they will tell you about how chic and cosmopolitan this city is. Now whether NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was actually named after this city in Japan remains a mystery to me. But, what is certain is that Kobe is an impressive urban space that sits on a hillside, with a front-seat view of the sea. It is well-admired for its sleek skyscrapers and dashing harbor front. I expected Japanese-style modernity and cutting edge architecture when I visited Kobe, but what I did not expect to see right in the middle of this urban jungle was a marvelous waterfall set in a beautiful and tranquil spot.
The name of this gorgeous cascade is Nunobiki Falls, and the curious thing about this waterfalls is its location, which is sort of a paradox in terms of accessibility. The multiple sets of waterfalls are actually located just behind Shin-Kobe Station, one of the main stations in Kobe. To find a huge waterfall just behind a modern train station is something very rare in a country like Japan, so this intrigued me a lot. But getting to Nunobiki turned out to be much trickier than one would think.
Getting to Nunobiki Falls is an Adventure
Once you arrive at Shin-Kobe Station, do not expect to see waterfalls unfold right before your eyes. In fact, it is hard to believe that there is even one in the area. Fortunately, there are some signs at the station that will set you on the right path. The first thing we needed to do was find the walking trail that leads to Nunobiki. We found it by walking out the ground-floor exit and through the underpass that goes under the station building. While walking we felt hesitation whether we were going the right way. And I am sure most tourists will feel the same way too.