Serving as the gateway to Kobe for travelers arriving and departing by the Shinkansen trains, Shin Kobe Station connects Kobe with Tokyo, Hiroshima, and other cities along the Shinkansen route.
On the north side of Shin Kobe Station is Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki no Taki), which is among the 100 best waterfalls in Japan.
Nunobiki Falls actually is a set of four different waterfalls, which are Ontaki, Mentaki, Meotodaki, and Tsuzumidaki. The name Nunobiki Falls literally means “draped-cloth falls” because the beautiful, cascading water resembles a long, flowing cloth that has been draped over the steep rock walls.
Among the four is majestic Ontaki, which is at the upper reaches of the falls. It is well worth a visit just to see the rapidly flowing water plunge down a sheer wall of rock in five stages from a height of 43 meters. Alongside Ontaki are a group of five caves ranging from large to small in size. There is still a legend that lives on even these days that says deep inside the caves lies the Palace of the Dragon, the undersea place of the dragon god of the sea.
It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk from Shin Kobe Station to Ontaki.
The water that flows down from Nunobiki Falls is one source of the world-famous “Kobe Water”. This water is renowned for its special property, which is, the taste of the water doesn’t go stale even when left at room temperature for long periods of time. As a result, even when Kobe Water is loaded on ships traveling from Japan to destinations far beyond the Equator, it never loses its fresh, delicious taste. For this reason, it is prized among sailors who visit Kobe.