Takarazuka is a city in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.
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 travellers, 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.
Take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line from the Hankyu Umeda Station in Osaka (about 10 minutes by 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.
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 1am), or you might find yourself with no transportation out of the city.
One of the highlights of Takarazuka Revue performances are the spectacular costumes.
- Takarazuka Revue, 1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka-city, Hyogo 665-8558, Japan (A 3 minute walk just down the street from Takarazuka Station), ☎ 0570-00-5100, . 9am to 7pm (Closed Wednesdays). (宝塚歌劇団 takarazuka kagekidan)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 8am is recommended during weekends as shows are more likely to sell out on these days. From ¥3,500.
- Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum, 7-65, Mukogawa-cho, Takarazuka, Japan (About 8 minutes walk from Takarazuka Station, just after the Takarazuka Revue), ☎ 0797-812970, . 9.30am - 5pm. (手塚治虫記念館 tezuka osamu kinenkan)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. http://tezukaosamu.net/en/museum/tomm_floor_guide.pdf ¥500 (Adults), ¥300 (Student), ¥100 (Child).
- Takarazuka Gardenfields, 1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City, Hyogo, 665-8558, Japan (Just across the road from the Takarazuka Revue theater complex), ☎ 0797-85-6210, . What was formerly the Takarazuka Family Land amusement park, it has gone through a revamp and now comprises dog run, a merry-go-round, and various restaurants.
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). Note that there is no ticket machine at this station, so a sneaky person might save money and travel there on the minimum 120 yen fare. 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.
- Takarazuka Gala Fireworks Festival, . 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.
- Sorio Takarazuka, 2-1-1 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City (Just next to the Takarazuka Station along the Hankyu Takarazuka Line), . 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.
- 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.
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-shi, Hyogo-ken 665-0004, Japan. 11am - 10pm. The cafe restaurant at Takarazuka Hotel offers both Japanese and Western fare at pretty affordable prices.
- Sandwich LeMans, 2-12-14 Takarazuka Minamiguchi, Takarazuka, Hyogo, 665-0011, Japan, . 9am - 7pm (Until 12noon on Wednesdays). A popular sandwich cafe among regular visitors, LeMans 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.
- Long Fang (龍坊 - Ron Fan), 1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City, Hyogo, 665-8558, Japan (Inside Takarazuka Gardenfields), ☎ 0797-85-8510, . 11am - 3pm (lunch), 5pm - 10pm (dinner). A Chinese restaurant situated in the grounds of the Takarazuka Gardenfields. Lunch from ¥1890, Dinner from ¥5,250 (for 2 persons).
- Isolabella, 1-8-45 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City, 665-0845, Hyogo, Japan (inside Takarazuka Gardenfields), ☎ 0797-85-6755, . 11.30am - 2.30pm (lunch), 5.30pm - 9pm (dinner). An Italian restaurant situated in the grounds of the Takarazuka Garden Fields.
- Sarah's Count, Hana no Michi Seruka Ichiban Kan, 1-6-1 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka City, 665-0845, Hyogo, Japan (Just across the road from Takarazuka Station), ☎ 0797-81-5070, . 11am to Midnight (Closed Wednesdays). This is an English pub with very nicely decorated premises. They are open for lunch and offer drinks at pretty reasonable prices.
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-shi, Hyogo-ken 665-0004, Japan (Just next to the Takarazuka Minamiguchi Station or a 5 minute walk from Takarazuka Station), ☎ +81-797-87-1151, . 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.
- Takarazuka Washington Hotel, 2-2-2 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka-city, Hyogo 665-0845, Japan (Across the Muko River from Takarazuka Station, a 5 minute walk.), ☎ +81-(0)797-87-1771, . An affordable hotel catering mostly to people who visit the city for its Revue performances. Offers single, double and Japanese-style rooms. From ¥8000.
- Hotel Wakamizu, 9-25 Yumoto-cho, Takarazuka-shi, Hyogo, Japan 665-0003 (Across the Muko River from Takarazuka Station, a 5 minute walk), ☎ (0797) 86-0151, . checkin: Until 11pm. An onsen hotel that offers hot spring bathing in the Takarazuka Hot Spring, which was discovered some 700 years ago. From ¥12,600.
|Routes through Takarazuka
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