Mount Maya(Maya-San) is one of Kobe’s most popular nighttime viewing spots, and is one of the three most spectacular night views in Japan.
The ropeway is a convenient way to get to the observation deck.
A night view photographer explains how to make the most of your night in Kobe, from dinner at a restaurant, night view photography to sunrise.
I’ll be introducing some of Kobe’s best nightscape spots.
In this article, I’ll be introducing the night view of Kobe.
Kobe’s night view includes Kobe Harborland in the Bay Area, the illuminated Kobe Luminarie, and the vibrant and lively Nankin Chinatown.
One of the most popular night views in Kobe is “Mount Maya Kikusoeidai“, where you can look down on the mountain for a panoramic view of the city.
Here, I’ll explain the features of the nightscape seen from Mount Maya and how to access it.
- Mount Maya and Japan’s 3 Night Nightscapes
- How to Get to Mount Maya
- How to get to Mount Maya from Sannomiya Station
- NightView From Mount
- Atmosphere of the Observation Deck
- Dinner with a Night View
- Enjoy the Night View on the Way Home
- Also Recommend Sunrise
Mount Maya and Japan’s 3 Night Nightscapes
Now let’s get to Maya Mountain…!
Before that, I would like to show you how Mount Maya is ranked among the many night view spots in Japan.
Suddenly, have you ever heard of the “Japan’s 3 Night Nightscapes“?
Even if you’re not familiar with night views, many of you have heard of them at least once.
But where are the three spots pointed by Japan’s three greatest night views?
There are only a few people who understand everything correctly.
The three greatest night views in Japan are, from the north, Mount Hakodate in Hokkaido, Mount Maya in Kobe, and Mount Inasa in Nagasaki.
To put it simply, they are Japan’s top three night views.
Some people sometimes misunderstand Kobe’s top three nightscapes in Japan as Mount Rokko, but technically it is actually Mount Maya.
In fact, there are no clear records of who was selected as one of Japan’s three most famous night views, and when and by what criteria.
They are all located on a mountain in a port city, and they are certainly of perfect beauty.
In terms of city size, Hakodate, Nagasaki and Kobe have the largest populations of 260,000, 420,000 and 1.53 million.
Based on the ideas of “large population” ⇒ “economic scale” ⇒ “plenty of light at night,”
So, it can be said that the nightscape seen from Mount Maya has the most amount of light among the three major nightscapes in Japan.
Of course, the beauty of the night view also depends on geographical conditions, so a city with a larger population does not necessarily have a more beautiful night view.
However, there is no doubt that the night view from Mt. Maya is more powerful with more light than Other mountains.
How to Get to Mount Maya
Now, let me introduce the access to Mount Maya.
There are two main ways to get to Mount Maya observation deck.
One way is to use public transportation.
The other way is by car.
If you drive, you’ll have to drive on a mountain road from the foot of the mountain, but the roads are clean and well maintained, and if you use a car navigation system, you’ll have no problem accessing the site for the first time.
There is a large coin-operated parking lot, so you won’t have any trouble finding a place to park.
The only thing that can complicate things is access by public transportation.
You’ll need to take a bus, cable car, and ropeway, which may be a bit confusing for first-time visitors.
The advantages and disadvantages of each are summarized below.
You can enjoy a different night view from the observation deck.
The cable car has a guide to Mount
Transfer is complicated.
You have to keep an eye on the last flight
The cable car and ropeway are only open at night on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, except in the summer.
You can see the night view without worrying about the time.
The more people accessing the site, the more you save money.
It’s a 10-minute walk from the parking lot to the observation deck.
In this article, I will explain in detail how to get there by public transportation, which is easy for tourists to use.
How to get to Mount Maya from Sannomiya Station
The rout is Sannnomiya Station ⇒ Bus(18) ⇒ Maya Cablecar ⇒ Maya Ropeway
Start From Sannnomiya Station
The starting point is Sannomiya Station, the main station in Kobe.
The first place you go is the east exit of JR Sannomiya Station.
You will see a red signboard at the Kobe City General Information Center near the taxi stand, where you can purchase a ticket to the observation deck.
Tell the receptionist that you wish to purchase a one-day ticket for Rokko-Maya.
The advantage of this ticket is that you get a little bit of a discount, and since the tickets are bundled together, you don’t have to buy a ticket for each stop.
The bus stop is located at platform 3, just outside the tourist information center.
From here, take bus 18.
Ask about the bus stop and bus boarding times when you buy your ticket, as they will politely tell you where to go and when to board the bus.
Especially on weekends, many tourists come to see the night view of the observation deck, so if you want to sit in the bus, it’s a good idea to get in line early.
It takes about 25 minutes from Sannomiya Station to downtown Kobe and then gradually into the residential area.
Take Maya Cablecar
Maya Cable Station, at the foot of Mount.
Although this is a quiet residential area, the station has an outstanding presence.
Normally, you buy a ticket for the cable car here, but this time I bought a ticket set in advance, so I got on the cable car as it is.
This is also the privilege of the ticket set.
There are two types of cable car cars: the green car and the red car.
You can enjoy which one you get to ride.
The cable car started moving a short time after I got on the train.
Most of the seats in the car are facing the opposite direction of going, but the only one facing the direction of going is next to the driver’s seat.
On the cable car line, you can almost only see the trees around you if you look at the foot side, so I highly recommend sitting on the direction of travel for the outward journey!
It takes about 5 minutes to get to the Niji(rainbow) station.
When you get off the cable car, you can see a little bit of the night view from the station, but the observation deck is not on this level.
You will change to the Maya Ropeway from here.
Take Maya Ropeway
It takes about two minutes walk to transfer to get ropeway station.
Please be careful not to spend too much time at the ropeway station, because you may miss the ropeway if you spend too long.
In such a case, I missed the ropeway because I spent too much time watching the photo gallery at the Niji station.
This time, the extra flight arrived at just the right time and I was able to board.
The view of Mount Maya started after you got on the ropeway.
When I went up to the observation deck gradually…
The field of vision opened up, the night view of Kobe, and then Osaka, and the range of vision got wider and wider, and the further I went, the more excited.
Inside the car, the lights are dimmed so there is no reflection in the glass, making it easy to see the night view.
NightView From Mount
As soon as you get off the gondola, you will see the observation deck.
And if you go to the observation deck…
This is the night view from the Mount Maya Observation Deck, one of the three greatest nightscapes in Japan!
The panoramic view extends to the city of Kobe in the west and Osaka in the east, and it would be impossible to capture it in one picture.
You can even see as far as Wakayama in the back.
The energetic lights of the two major cities, Kobe and Osaka, give off a scale of light that is hard to see in other nightscape spots, and the moment you see the night view you would say “Oh my God!”
A night view on such a large scale cannot be seen in Tokyo or any other large city.
I still remember the excitement I felt when I first saw the night view from the Observation Deck.
Let’s take a closer look at each area.
Kobe Airport is the one floating on the port of Kobe.
It’s quite far away, but you can see Kansai Airport.
There aren’t many spots where you can see both airports floating on the sea.
This is the area where the airports are densely populated, and when you look at the night view, you can see planes constantly flying over Osaka Bay.
Let’s take a look at the Osaka area.
Kobe is in the foreground and Osaka is in the background.
The thickness of the city and the shimmering skyscrapers in the background are overwhelming!
Atmosphere of the Observation Deck
There are two viewpoints at the observation deck, one of which is the observation deck near the ropeway station.
There is plenty of room to sit down, but it’s crowded on weekends as people exiting the station are the first to head there.
The other observation deck is located a little further up the road.
It’s a common occurrence at nighttime viewing spots that too the observation deck in front of station get crowded, so don’t hesitate to go to the back.
The beautiful night view is not the only point of interest.
On the ground of the observation deck, there is a Milky Way-like structure called the “Kira kira shokei(Twinkle Twinkle Path),” which is a fantastic sight that will enchant you.
The glittering path leads to the observatory at the back of the station, so you and your partner can walk on the Milky Way after getting off the station.
You’ll be even more impressed when you see one of Japan’s three greatest night views stretching out beyond!
Dinner with a Night View
After admiring the night view and taking pictures, you are now hungry.
In that case, I recommend Maya View Terrace 702, a restaurant on the second floor of the ropeway station.
They serve curry and hamburger steak as well as alcohol.
I recommend seating at the window side counter!
It’s a luxurious experience to dine with a view of one of Japan’s three greatest nightscapes.
Enjoy the Night View on the Way Home
You’ll want to gaze at the night view forever, but you’ll also have to pay attention to your return time.
Before the last flight departs, an announcement will be made, so be sure not to miss it.
You can see the night view from inside the gondola on the way back.
You can’t see the night view from the gondola on the way back, and it’s a bit like finishing a book you’ve been enjoying reading.
It’s a little lonely, but you’ll never forget the excitement of that night view.
When you get down to the bottom of the mountain, take the bus to Sannomiya station to get back to the station.
Also Recommend Sunrise
I’ve given this explanation based on the premise that it is accessible by public transportation.
But what you can’t see in time by public transportation is the morning sunrise.
In fact, observation deck is not only good for the night view, but it’s also a famous place for sunrise.
You can see the sky toward Osaka beautifully before the sunrises because the view faces east, so you can see the sunrise.
The balance between the brightness of the city and the degree of burning of the sky is well-balanced and the scene 50 minutes to 40 minutes before sunrise is recommended.
The sunrises and dyes the whole Osaka Plain red.
The sunrise from here is always beautiful
At the beginning of the year, many people come here just to see the sunrise.
If you have access to the park by car, try to see the sunrise from here!
I have introduced the night view of the Mount Maya.
It’s fun to ride, impressive to see, and the atmosphere is enchanting.
This article and photos alone won’t convey the true emotions, so I urge you to visit the site and experience one of Japan’s three great night views!
Openinghours: open all day
Maya View Line
Fare: 1,540 yen for adults and 770 yen for children
Discounted set tickets are available at the Kobe City Information Center at Sannomiya Station.
Opening hours: Depends on the season, see the official website.