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Takarazuka

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Takarazuka (宝塚市) is a city in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. As of May 2021, Takarazuka had a population of approximately 225,900 people.

Understand[edit]

Takarazuka is a bedroom community city, in which residents typically work in nearby Osaka.

The city is known for both its hot springs and its all-female Takarazuka Revue, both of which are now the main draw for visitors.

Most people who visit Takarazuka are domestic travelers, with the largest group being middle-aged people and the older crowd.

For manga fans, the Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum located here is a must-visit. The manga artist, most well known for creating the character Astro Boy, grew up in the city, watching the Takarazuka Revue as a boy.

Get in[edit]

By Train[edit]

Take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line from the Hankyu Umeda Station in Osaka (about 10 minutes on foot from Osaka Station). Takarazuka Station is at the end of the line, and the trip takes about 45 minutes. The Hankyu Takarazuka Station is the best station to go if you are planning to visit the Takarazuka Revue and Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum.

Alternatively, catch the train to JR Takarazuka Station from JR Osaka.

Get around[edit]

Many of Takarazuka's main attractions, hotels and shops are located in the vicinity of the Hankyu Takarazuka Station and the Takarazuka Minamiguchi Station. Most of them are within walking distance.

If you are not staying at a local hotel, take note of the last train times at both stations (usually at or around 1 AM), or you might find yourself with no transportation out of the city.

See[edit][add listing]

One of the highlights of Takarazuka Revue performances are the spectacular costumes.
  • Takarazuka Revue (宝塚歌劇団 ''Takarazuka kagekidan''), 1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka (A 3 min walk from Takarazuka Stn), 0570-00-5100, [1]. 9AM-7PM, Closed Wed. The most famous and popular attraction in the city, this theater features all-female casts. The most famous actresses are the women who play male roles (男役 otoko-yaku), and it is for them that the theater is so popular. They make it quite easy to get lost in the story, forgetting that none of the men on stage are actually men. It is generally easy to get tickets at the door, but joining the queue at about 8 AM is recommended during weekends as shows are more likely to sell out on these days. From ¥3500.  edit
  • Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum (手塚治虫記念館 ''Tezuka osamu kinenkan''), 7-65, Mukogawa-cho, Takarazuka, Japan (About 8 min walk from Takarazuka Stn, just after the Takarazuka Revue), 079-781-2970, [2]. 9:30AM-5PM. This museum features the works of the famous manga artist, Tezuka Osamu, often nicknamed the "Father of Anime", with works such as Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion being some of his most famous. The museum features information about his works, screenings, artwork, and information about the personal life of Tezuka Osamu. Most information is in Japanese only. ¥700 (Adults), ¥300 (Student), ¥100 (Child).  edit
  • Nakayamadera (中山寺), 2-11-1 Nakayamadera, Takarazuka, 079-787-0024, [3]. 9AM–5PM. One of the best temples of the city to visit, with its 1300 year history, hugely opulent altar, 5-story pagoda, nice city views, and amazing intricate painting of its main hall. Especially nice during the cherry blossom season. Free.  edit
  • Kiyoshikojin Seichoji (清荒神清澄寺), 1 Kiyoshi, Maitani, Takarazuka, 079-786-6641, [4]. 5AM–9PM. With a history going back to the 9th century, this temple has survived being destroyed twice through wars, and has its own museum with exhibits the temple's many treasures and collections together with explanations of its history, beliefs, and events. Free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Start of the abandoned railway hike
First tunnel of the abandoned railway hike. Get your flashlight ready!!
Cross the bridge over the rapids on the abandoned railway hike
  • Hike along the old abandoned railway. Catch the train to JR Takedao Station from JR Osaka. (roughly 40 minutes). The walk is about 6 kilometers long and is flat. Difficulty level = 2/5. It takes about 2 hours. Key features: spectacular river views, rapids, gorge, cherry blossoms, red and yellow leaves in Autumn, train tunnels. Great for photography. When you exit the train station turn left and follow the river along and around to some steps up onto a small bridge (not across the main river, but a sidearm when the street turns left). Cross the bridge and you will come to the old train track sleepers. Follow them along the river. You will have to walk through 6 old train tunnels and that is what makes this hike so interesting. Make sure you bring good hiking shoes and a flashlight. You cannot walk through the tunnels without a flashlight. There are also nice places next to the river for a picnic. When you get to the end, walk towards the massive overpass and keep walking about 1km. Eventually you will come upon some T-intersections, turn right up the hill at the second traffic light towards Namaze station. You'll also find Hankyu Bus stops along the main street. Have fun.
  • Stroll along the Hana no Michi street when cherry blossoms are in season (usually late March or early April). Just across the road from the Hankyu Takarazuka Station, the popular senic spot is also near the Hana no Michi Seruka buildings which feature plenty of shops. The entire street is lined on both sides with cherry blossom trees and the low hanging branches envelop visitors in a gentle curtain of pink along the entire 100m walk. Visit on a Wednesday or just after lunch hour, as most visitors who have come to watch performaces at the Takarazuka theater just beside would have gone in.

Events[edit]

  • Takarazuka Gala Fireworks Festival, [5]. Yearly, beginning of August. One of the oldest fireworks festivals in Japan, the Takarazuka Gala Fireworks Festival is a yearly highlight of the city's events. The spectacular fireworks display takes place at the Mukogawa River around Kanko Dam. Free.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Sorio Takarazuka, 2-1-1 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City (Just next to the Takarazuka Station along the Hankyu Takarazuka Line), [6]. A nice, small-town mall comprising a Hankyu department store, various speciality shops, cafes and restaurants. Good for getting daily goods or doing a little shopping when in the city.  edit
  • Quatre Reves, 1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka-city, Hyogo 665-8558, Japan (Inside the Takarazuka Revue Grand Theater Building). There are many shops situated inside the Takarazuka Revue theater complex. Aside from books, multimedia and items related to the Revue's performances, visitors can also find a wide range of special pastries, baked goods and sweets unique to the Revue and Takarazuka city.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are numerous restaurants and cafes in Takarazuka, serving Japanese or Western fare, or a mixture of both. Shops and eateries located in the vicinity of the Takarazuka Revue theater often plan their closing hours and days around the operating hours of the theater. Many close early on Wednesdays, or take a break altogether, as there are no performances at the theater.

  • Solares, 1-46 Umeno-cho, Takarazuka. 11am - 10pm. The cafe restaurant at Takarazuka Hotel offers both Japanese and Western fare at pretty affordable prices.  edit
  • Sandwich Le Mans (サンドウイッチ ルマン 宝塚南口本店), 2-12-14 Takarazuka Minamiguchi, Takarazuka, 079-772-0916, [7]. 9AM-7PM, Closed Wed. A popular sandwich cafe among regular visitors, Le Mans offers a wide range of homemade western-style sandwiches. Good place for lunch, but might be crowded with people between performances from the Takarazuka Revue theater.  edit
  • Ganko Takarazuka-an (がんこ 宝塚苑), 3-3-15 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka (400m from stn), 079-785-8188, [8]. 11AM–3:30PM, 5–10PM. A kaiseki ryori place for luxury Japanese food. Conveniently located about a 5 minute walk northwest of Takarazuka Station.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

The larger hotels in Takarazuka typically cater to either hot spring visitors or the theater-going crowd. As such, rooms may be booked well in advance and vacancies might be few, so do book early.

  • Takarazuka Hotel, 1-46 Umeno-cho, Takarazuka (Next to Takarazuka Minamiguchi Stn or a 5 min walk from Takarazuka Stn), 079-787-1151, [9]. The official hotel of the Takarazuka Revue, the hotel has a classical European feel similar to the Revue's many romantic plays. Rooms are large by Japanese standards. Some staff are able to speak some English and the service is good.  edit
  • Takarazuka Washington Hotel, 2-2-2 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka (Across the Muko River from Takarazuka Stn, a 5 min walk.), 079-787-1771, [10]. An affordable hotel catering mostly to people who visit the city for its Revue performances. Offers single, double and Japanese-style rooms. ¥8000~.  edit
  • Hotel Wakamizu, 9-25 Yumoto-cho, Takarazuka (Across the Muko River from Takarazuka Station, a 5 minute walk), 079-786-0151, [11]. checkin: ~11PM. An onsen hotel that offers hot spring bathing in the Takarazuka Hot Spring, which was discovered some 700 years ago. ¥12,600~.  edit

Contact[edit]

For the latest info on events and sights, contact the Takarazuka International Tourism Association (宝塚市国際観光協会, Takarazuka Kokusai Kankō Kyōkai) Tel. 079-777-2012.

Get out[edit]

  • Osaka - Biggest city in Kansai with activity 24/7, great nightlife, and one of Japan's most famous food cultures.
  • Minō Park - A site of natural beauty in the middle of all of Kansai's urban sprawl, with a beautiful waterfall.
  • Kobe is an international port, with its scenic waterfront, Chinatown, gorgeous Sorakuen Garden, sake district, and Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Museum.
  • Kyoto - Former capital for over a millennium with over 2000 temples and shrines, and the traditional soul of Japan.
  • Himeji - Famous for Japan's grandest castle, the stunning Kokoen Garden, and mountaintop Engyoji Temple.
  • Okayama - Includes, the brooding black Crow Castle, and the lovely Korakuen Garden, one of Japan's Top 3 gardens.
  • Kurashiki - Near Okayama, is famous for its large Bikan Historic District with many well-preserved canals and warehouses from the Edo Period, as well as the famous Ohara Museum of Art.
  • Takamatsu - Famous for Ritsurin Park, one of the largest gardens in Japan, as well as the historic Yashima Island where one of the final battles of the Gempei War took place.
  • Naoshima - A small island on Seto Inland Sea with superb contemporary art museums, can be easily reached from Uno port (one hour by JR train).


Routes through Takarazuka
Hiroshima ← 'Nishinomiya-Kita  W noframe E  Chugoku-IkedaOsaka


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