Nearby Hanshin and Hokusetsu areas
Osaka — Ikeda — Takarazuka
— Sanda — Sasayama
Takarazuka is about 30 minutes from Osaka by train. En route is the Hokusetsu region, with the Tamba region a little further north. Both regions have their distinctive charms, with areas rich in nature, history, and culture. There are plenty of places for the whole family to enjoy. Try adding Hokusetsu or Tamba to your Takarazuka itinerary—it’s all so close to Osaka and Kobe.
Note: Sections of the route pass through residential areas. Please walk through quietly with consideration for local residents.
Product packages at the Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda
Ichizō Kobayashi Museum
Fuku, everyone’s favorite wombat at Satsukiyama Zoo
The city of Ikeda has several spots that can’t be missed by Takarazuka Revue fans. These include a museum centered on the former residence of Ichizō Kobayashi (the founder of Hankyu Railway, Tōhō, and the Takarazuka Revue) and a library housing Takarazuka Revue materials. Also recommended are the Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda, where you can create your own cup of instant noodles, and Mt. Satsukiyama, which is known for its cherry blossoms, autumn foliage, and zoo.
● Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda
Learn all about instant noodles and Momofuku Andō, the man who invented them. You can create your own original cup of instant noodles in the My Cup Noodles Factory zone. Or, in the Chicken Ramen Factory area, you can try making chicken ramen by hand, starting by kneading the flour.
● Ichizō Kobayashi Museum
Trace the footsteps of this great entrepreneur through valuable documents, photos, and videos. Located nearby is the Ikeda Library, which houses documents and posters of Hankyu Railway and the Takarazuka Revue. The Itsuō Art Museum is devoted to the fine arts and crafts collection of Ichizō Kobayashi. Special exhibitions are held throughout the year.
● Satsukiyama Park
Mt. Satsukiyama is situated in the middle of Ikeda. It’s famed for its cherry blossoms, azaleas, and autumn foliage. Inside Satsukiyama Park is the Satsukiyama Zoo, where you can encounter cute furry animals like wombats and wallabies.
Susumu Shingū Wind Museum
Sculptures move gently with the breeze
The rural city of Sanda, located north of the Rokkō mountains, is a 15-minute train ride from Takarazuka on the JR Takarazuka Line. Surrounded by abundant nature, it’s known for its beautiful flowers and sites where you can immerse yourself in nature. There’s also plenty to keep foodies satisfied. Along with popular sweets shops, you’ll find restaurants serving fresh, locally grown vegetables and gourmet Sanda beef.
● Hyogo Prefectural Arima Fuji Park
One of the largest parks in Hyogo Prefecture, this park has a variety of areas and facilities that offer boundless opportunities for fun. Attractions include a playground with equipment inspired by Sanda folklore and a hands-on nature educational center. You’ll also find rice terraces, a traditional Japanese thatched-roof farmhouse, a waterside habitat, a grassy field, and a forest, as well as an area for wild birds.
● Susumu Shingū Wind Museum
This open-air museum located in Arima Fuji Park features the works of Susumu Shingū, an internationally active sculptor based in Sanda. Take a leisurely stroll around the spacious grounds as you watch the Satoyama Windmill and 12 other kinetic sculptures move gently with the breeze.
☆ Sanda for gourmets
Nature-rich Sanda is a thriving agricultural and livestock center. Worth special mention is Sanda beef, which is raised by a select few farmers. Before being sold, Sanda beef must meet strict criteria set by the Sanda Meat Distribution Council. Exquisitely marbled Sanda beef has won over countless gourmet food lovers, who all savor its tenderness and delicate but rich flavor.
☆ A quick side trip
● Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets
If you need a bit of retail therapy, stop by this gigantic outlet mall. It’s one of the largest outlet malls in western Japan. Here you’ll find a range of popular international and Japanese brands and plenty of places to eat.
7-3 Kōzudai, Kita-ku, Kobe
20 min. by bus from JR Sanda Station
Make your own pottery at Tachikui Sueno-sato
Ōshoin of Sasayama Castle
Surrounded by mountains, Sasayama is a former castle town with a rich history. It thrived as a transportation hub on the way to Kyoto. The local climate plays a crucial role in growing Tamba Sasayama kuromame black soybeans. Other local specialties include Tamba matsutake mushrooms and Tamba chestnuts. It’s also home to Tambayaki pottery, one of the “six ancient kilns of Japan.” Various events are held here throughout the year, including the Dekansho Festival in August.
● Tachikui Sueno-sato Tamba Traditional Art Craft Park
This “pottery village” gives you the full Tambayaki experience. In addition to seeing Tambayaki exhibitions, you can try your hand at making pottery yourself—no advance booking required. Or you can buy pieces crafted by one of 52 local pottery producers.
● Former site of Sasayama Castle
Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the construction of Sasayama Castle as a base from which to lay siege to Osaka Castle. The original castle no longer exists, but the grand Ōshoin building has been reconstructed.
☆ Tamba Sasayama for gourmets
Agriculture is a thriving industry in the nature-rich Tamba Sasayama area. Well-known local produce includes Tamba Sasayama kuro-edamame (top-grade edamame beans), Tamba Sasayama kuromame black soybeans, and Tamba chestnuts. A winter specialty is the wild boar hotpot.