Three Great Night Views of Japan – Mount Maya 摩耶山 in Kobe

6 September 2015

Continuing the Kobe weekend special (the post on Kobe beef is the first) is Mount Maya! What is special about Mount Maya is that the night scenery is one of the Three Great Night Views (三大夜景 Sandaiyakei) in Japan.

We drove and arrived at the top of Mount Maya just as the last light was fading. That’s the whole point, right? So that we won’t have to wait too long till nightfall to enjoy the night view. But that means photos won’t turn out well. What a conundrum!

Last light

BUT! Lucky my camera is quite a capable little fellow! There were a few photographers with all their gear set up – tripods, DSLRs, the works – and I asked one of them to helped us take a photo of us and the view. He took my camera and shook his head. “Nah, I don’t think anything will turn up. It’s too dark.” but he patronized us and took one anyway.

Then he reviewed the photo and there was genuine surprise in his voice as he said “Oh, wow. This is a pretty good camera!”

I guess the fact that something more than two black figures turned up from my camera is amazing haha.

He then directed us to the other side for a different view. We somehow always manage to meet assertive photographers, and always old men lol.

Selfies, because we can:

And then the light finally gave out and we had the full glory of one of the famed Three Great Night Views before us.

Mount Maya overlooks both Kobe and Osaka Bay:

We’ve seen two of the three great views (Hakodate is the other one) and we’re just left with Nagasaki. To be honest, the views don’t vary a lot to me. They’re all just very dark with a great concentration of twinkling lights in the distance hahaha. They do have distinct shapes though, so maybe that’s what makes the beauty?

I generally like nature more than man-made things, but night views have a romantic vibe to them ;) In any case, I will someday visit Nagasaki’s Mount Inasa too so as to complete the collection! :D

edit: Mission accomplished! Visited Mount Inasa too!

p.s.: None of the photos in this post had the lighting or color adjusted! All as-is from the camera. Feels like this post is more about the camera than the night view, eh? Hahaha.


  • Reply yeeloong 29 September 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Been poking around on your blog once in a while whenever I want some mental fix of awesome Japanese travel memories… but heh im finally heading there myself for the 3rd time and was wondering about the night views in Kobe. Between Mount Rokko and the one you’ve been, are there any difference at all? Weird that I haven’t seen Mount Maya comes up on travel guides.

    P.S. btw your food recommendation segment looks awesome… I’m definitely hitting up most if not all of them!

    • Reply Rin 30 September 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Yeeloong, Mount Rokko and Mount Maya is the same thing!

      To be more specific, here is what Wikipedia says:

      “Mount Rokkō (六甲山 Rokkō-san?) is the name of a range of mountains in Hyogo. There is no single mountain or peak called “Rokkō,”

      Mount Maya (摩耶山 Maya-san?) is a 698.6-metre-high (2,292 ft) mountain and is one of the major peaks of the Rokkō Mountains, and is the most popular peak for visitors on the West-Rokkō Mountains.”

      Haha, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the food! And thanks for reading :D

  • Reply yeeloong 30 September 2016 at 3:16 pm

    /facepalm… i have an inkling that might be the case because the scene looks the same >.> …. I was under the impression that a mount something always comes with a peak ahahaha…. i initially plan to make a day trip from kyoto to koya-san but realize the commute time is just horrendous… so i was hell bent to get up on some sort of mountain somehow. I’ve been to Hakodate and that stuff is awesome… the night scene just gives off a different sort of vibe :p

    • Reply Rin 1 October 2016 at 12:59 am

      If time is a constraint, then maybe you can go to a nearer mountain in Kyoto like Mt Daimonji or Iwatayama (where you can see monkeys and also the beautiful Arashiyama town nearby). The downside is that it’s not as high as Mt Maya and may not have night views.

      Of all the night sceneries I’ve seen so far, my favorite is the one at Mount Inasa. If you ever have a chance to visit Nagasaki, I highly recommend it :)

  • Reply yeeloong 1 October 2016 at 1:41 am

    Oh it’s not, I have enough time for a day trip to Kobe…. just that Koya-san is a tad more challenging :p, I will be heading to Arashiyama as well on another day!

    Speaking of which, do you have any experience with Lake Biwa? On one hand I feel like heading there for a walk/cruise, on another hand, the video of the place looks kinda sad -_____-

    I hope to make the trip to Nagasaki in a future trip that bundles some of the more southern prefectures…. Maybe do some island hopping too XD

    • Reply Rin 2 October 2016 at 12:39 pm

      Oh you’re going to Wakayama as well? Busy trip! Arashimaya is currently my favorite place in Kyoto ❤︎

      Unfortunately, nope, never been to Lake Biwa. If you have the time, why not just visit? Then maybe you can make your own video of the place haha

  • Reply yeeloong 2 October 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Busy trip but not really haha …. will be in japan for over 2 weeks, most of the places that are planned involve a good mix of places i’ve been before and places i definitely want the people i come with to take a look, and then taking into considerations what sights are actually worth filming/taking pictures in winter over the new year period…. XD….. i nearly miss out Arashiyama myself, didn’t even know how i miss out that place on my first pass in kyoto haha

    • Reply Rin 3 October 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Well, don’t feel too bad. I visited Arashimaya only on my 4th trip to Kyoto lol.

      Sounds like it’ll be a fun trip! Enjoy!

  • Reply yeeloong 4 October 2016 at 5:56 am

    Thanks! If you know of any awesome soba place in kansai to do Toshikoshi soba… let me know… else that’s fine and I’ll just hit it randomly :)

    • Reply Rin 6 October 2016 at 1:53 am

      This is a soba place in Osaka that comes highly recommended. Only problem is its limited opening hours. Also the reason why I didn’t manage to make it there yet :( If you can fit it into your schedule, I think it’s worth a visit!

      p.s. It’s a Michelin-starred restaurant too :)

  • Reply YB 19 October 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Hi! I am planning to go for this magnificent view next month!
    May I know how is the operation hour like in Mount Maya? I have read that the cable car to get to the top closes at 530pm? That is way too early for night view isn’t it? If that is the case, what do you recommend so that I do not miss out this great view?

    Thanks in advanced!

    • Reply Rin 19 October 2016 at 10:40 pm

      it’s a mountain, so there are no opening or closing times. During winter, the last light in Japan can be as early as 4pm. I’m not sure about Kobe since I haven’t been there in winter, but in Tokyo, it can be pitch black by 4.30-5pm (depending on which period of winter it is). We drove up, but if you don’t want to drive, you can take a taxi instead.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to catch this view!

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