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Takarazuka: A City of Dreams Come True

Takarazuka Revue
Takarazuka Revue is the limelight, the center piece of Takarazuka City of Hyogo Prefecture. It is one ofthe few all-female theater troupes in the world, where women play the roles of both genders, putting together an entertaining, melodramatic show of elaborated dance choreography, enchanting singing and the lavish costumes. All of this happens at the Takarazuka Grand Theater, where the Takarazuka Revue perform year round.

Takarazuka’s elegant vibes. 

The palatial lobby hall of Takarazuka Grand Theater, embellished with chandeliers and red carpet.

The quality of the performers is illustrated from just how tough the competition is for young teenage girls to get a spot in Takarazuka Music School. The school values discipline and is a gateway to success for future stars. The school values discipline and is a gateway to success for future stars.It is truly a dream come true for both the blossoming graduates and admirers alike to enter the opulent hall of Takarazuka Revue.

Statues of The Rose of Versailles, a Japanese manga series dramatized for Takarazuka Revue.

Interestingly, most of the audience seemed to be female, though the number of male fans seems to be increasing year by year. People coming out of the Takarazuka Grand Theater seemed starstruck after being immersed in a sparkling dream world.

The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum
More dreams, especially childhood dreams, are to be fulfilled right here in Takarazuka if you happen to be a fan of Osamu Tezuka, one of the manga pioneers who have gained international fame with works like Astro Boy, Black Jack and Phoenix.

Entrance to a fantastical world of Osamu Tezuka.

Whose childhood hero is Black Jack?

The gorgeous sculpture of Hi no Tori, or Phoenix, the namesake title of one of his greatest manga series, which unfortunately is unfinished due to Tezuka’s death in 1989.

The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum sparks nostalgia if you grew up with Tezuka’s manga. Chase and relive your childhood fantasy and feel Tezuka’s unique world view through precious exhibitions of his works, and get lost in time at the library that houses all his work in multiple languages. The biggest surprise came when I found a series of Tezuka’s books in Braille. It shows how much thoughts the author had to share his views with anyone in the world.

Tezuka's apparent talent could be seen in one of his earliest works at the age of 8.

Relish the stories of your favorite Tezuka in the language you are familiar with.

Series of “manga” in Braille.

You can even create your own animation while looking at the desk on which Tezuka drew his manga works, a dream realized for many of Tezuka’s fans.

Kiyoshikojin Seichoji Temple
In Malaysia, where I used to live, Islam was very popular and there was only one God. Long ago in Japan, the spirituality of Shinto was observed together with the faith from abroad, Buddhism. The combination formed a custom unique to Japan known as Shinbutsu Shugo. Even today, many Japanese people visit Shinto shrines when babies are born, but hold funerals at Buddhist temples. On New Year’s Eve, people gather at Buddhist temples to ring the kane bell, but the next day visit a Shinto shrine for the customary first prayer of the year, hatsumode.

Aside from the contemporary glamor, Takarazuka does offers alternate allures for those who love historical charm and peaceful walks. The Kiyoshikojin Seichoji Temple, or affectionate called “Kojin San” in the Kansai region, grants a different kind of wish. It was founded in 896 in the early Heian period by a Buddhist priest. You can see how the temple is an epitome of “Shinbutsu Shugo”—syncretic faith of Buddhism and Shintoism, evident in the temple precincts where temple halls and torii gates are erected
side by side in harmony.

Ten-do, where you can see statue of Buddhas, next to a Shinto Torii gate.

The main deity enshrined here is the “god of fire and kitchen,” as fire has played an important role in the daily lives of olden families—a good kitchen means a well-fed family, which signifies prosperity. You can also spot ema (wooden plaques) with wishes written on them, often for passing the test to enter Takarazuka Music School!

Fire tongs as an “omamori” (amulets), dedicated by devotees who pray for safety and prosperity at the temple.


Here’s a “power spot” in the temple you should not miss if you are looking for monetary luck: the sacred Sakaki Tree. Sakaki, or Japanese Cleyera, is an evergreen shrub considered divine in Shintoism. I found coins scattered all around the fenced-up tree, but instead of making an offering during prayers, I was told that visitors take a coin here and make a wish, usually for financial gains. And when their wish is granted, they come back and offer double the amount they took! So I took a five yen coin and kept it in
my wallet. Hopefully the next time I return, I can contribute back ten. Pretty good investment strategy, if you ask me!

As beautiful and healing as the sacred temple grounds is, the highlight for me was actually “Tatsu no Michi” (path of dragon), a 1.5 km sloping approach from Hankyu Kiyoshikojin Station leading up to the temple grounds dotted with about 100 souvenir stores, traditional eateries and stylish cafe. The serene landscape makes it a good stroll for those with extra time to spare.

A mixture of old and new

Grab a matcha latte to go at Coffee Stand Wily



If you are feeling peckish, drop by Sandwich Le Mans for your sandwich to go, stuffed with an impressive array of hearty fillings. The egg sandwich is a luxurious and satisfying dish with overflowing eggs, yet the eggs are soft and tender. In fact, you can then hop over next door to Tarakazuka Milk to dine in, talk about good neighbors! Don’t forget to order a wholesome bottle of non-homogenize, low temperature pasteurized milk and other sweet dairy treats.

SANDWICH LE MANS Takarazuka-minamiguchi Main Store

Takarazuka Milk

Sandwich from Le Mans & a bottle of fresh milk

Takarazuka Hotel is an excellent choice of stay for those who can’t get enough of their favorite musical troupes. Featuring a stunning revue-themed interior, this accommodation gives the easiest access to the Takarazuka Grand Theater, and is also a short walk away from the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum.

Lobby of the hotel

Indulge yourself in a generous traditional Japanese Course meal at Iroha, served with plenty of seasonal ingredients and heart-warming hospitality. Don’t forget to try out Takarazuka Highball—an interesting cocktail mix of whiskey, Wilkinson soda and a hint of floral liquor.

Kaiseki dinner at Iroha

Tender sukiyaki

Have your dreams come true, come to Takarazuka City to experience its fine cultures!

Access to Takarazuka City:
There are multiple ways to access from various cities, but the easiest access is a 25 minutes train ride on the JR Takarazuka Line from Osaka Station.

Takarazuka Grand Theater
Access: 10-minute walk from Hankyu Takarazuka Station
Address: 1-1-57 Sakae-machi, Takarazuka
Business hours: 10:00 – 18:00
Closed: Wednesday

The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum
Access: 7-minute walk from Hankyu Takarazuka-minamiguchi Station
Address: 7-65 Mukogawa-cho, Takarazuka
Business hours: 9:30 – 17:00
Closed: Wednesday

Kiyoshikojin Seicho-ji Temple
Access: 15-minute walk from Hankyu Kiyoshikojin Station

1 Kiyoshi Maitani, Takarazuka

Le Mans Takarazuka-minamiguchi Main Store
Address: 2-12-14 Minamiguchi, Takarazuka
Access: 1-minute walk from Hankyu Takarazuka-minamiguchi Station
Business hours: 9:00 – 19:00
Closed: Wednesday

Tarakazuka Milk
Access: 1-minute walk from Hankyu Takarazuka-minamiguchi Station
Address: 2-12-14 Minamiguchi, Takarazuka
Business hours: 9:00 – 19:00

Access: 4-minute walk from Hankyu Takarazuka Station
Address: 1-1-33 Sakaemachi,Takarazuka
Writer: Cheesie URL:

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