Known for its wonderful meat culture, Kōbe is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and is one of Japan’s largest cities. Kobe is a very important part of the country due to its stressful port.
Kobe harborland is a popular waterfront area in central Kobe with a focus on shopping and entertainment.
The area offers a romantic atmosphere in the evening and attracts a lot of tourists. Harborland is also home to several shopping malls and museums. Take the opportunity to enjoy its beautiful views from any of its restaurants.
Something nearby, worth visiting is Renga Soko. A narrow brick path along the water. This street is also full of restaurants, cafés and various types of cozy lighting.
A cable car that takes you up to the top of Mount Rokko’s southern valley. From the lift you pass the Nunobiki waterfall and the Nunobiki Herb Garaden before reaching the lookout point at the top. The lift stops halfway, just below the Nunobiki Herb Garden and allows travelers to hop off if desired.
Once at the top, you will find a spectacular vantage point, with the whole of Kobe in front of you. There is also a cafe, shops and toilets.
For the fast, we then recommend taking a small hike down the mountain. For those of you who are not interested in the mountain’s beautiful garden, you can hop off at the center station and get down from there. On the way down you pass two beautiful waterfalls, wonderful nature and several nice stops.
Shin-Kobe Ropeway Station is just a 5-minute walk from Shin-Kobe Station.
Several beautiful waterfalls, surrounded and hidden by greenery, you will find along the mountain Rokko. A recommendation is to take you up the mountain via Shin-Kobe Ropeway and then walk down to the waterfalls. More info about Shine-Kobe Ropeway can be found in the paragraph above.
There are a total of four waterfalls to visit along the mountain depending on how much you can walk and in some cases climb. Ondaki, Mendaki, Tsusumigadaki and Izumoki.
Most people prefer Ondaki, as this is the easiest to get to. The other Tsusumigadaki waterfall is also fairly easy to reach and is usually loved by photographers.
A world-famous top-class delicacy. Unfortunately, its price tag is also world-class. Expect to pay thousands of JPY per 100g of meat.
Flygi.se has on several occasions tested and evaluated La Shomon. The restaurant is very easy to find and is only a few minutes from Tarumi Station per foot (JR Kobe Line). Once at the stop, take the western exit where you will find a square. La Shomon is located above the Lawson store.
Expect a world-class Kobe experience. The restaurant manager prepares the meat in front of you and presents what you ordered.
The restaurant receives its order of meat daily and in certain quantities. We therefore recommend that you contact the restaurant before and book your meat in connection with booking a table. La Shomon reserves selected pieces of meat for you. It is also possible to buy regular meat on site at normal “yakiniku” prices. However, this is also top class. You will not be disappointed!
Arima Onsen is a popular street for those who want to experience Japan’s bathing culture. The street consists of several hot springs in central Kobe. Surrounded by mountains and wonderful nature, you will find the perfect place for a day trip. The street may look modern today but has a lot to offer. The area is small enough to explore by foot and even has a museum for its hot springs.
Visitors can expect to be greeted by numerous ryokan, hot springs and bathhouses. Some ryokan also allow bathers without accommodation. Prices vary between 500 – 2,500 JPY.
Chinatown city center in Kobe and home to wonderful street food. The area is popular with tourists as it is surrounded by shopping streets and restaurants. However, we recommend eating in Nankinmachi, take the opportunity to enjoy some Chinese food and culture.
The area is reached on foot and is a 5-minute walk from Motomachi Station and a 10-minute walk from Sannomiya Station.
Take the chance and experience the magnificent Akashi Kaikyo bridge. The world’s longest suspension bridge but also Japan’s highest bridge with its 283 meters above the water. The bridge stretches 4 km across the Akashi Strait connecting Kobe with Awaji Island.
The bridge is built for motor traffic and there is therefore no walkway over the entire bridge, but one way to experience the bridge without a car is to visit the Maiko Marine Promenade, a 320-meter walking trail that extends under the suspension bridge platform. The floor is made of glass and offers a fantastic view of the strait, 50 meters above the water.
To reach the Maiko Marine Promenade you need to take an elevator up from the Kobe side of the bridge.
A perfect excursion for the family. Visit one of Kobe’s most famous zoos, with 850 animals of 150 different species. Most people choose to visit Oji Zoo to meet their two pandas, Tan Tan and Koko, but zoot is also home to Japan’s oldest elephant Sowoko and there is an amusement park for the younger children.
The park stretches over 80,000 square meters and has different sections where you can, for example, pet rabbits and goats, or get a close look at zoo tigers through a glass observatory.
Visit one of Kobe’s most iconic landmarks and experience a fantastic view over the city. Built in 1962, Kobe Port Tower is 108 meters high and is an incredibly popular tourist attraction that has long been a unique building throughout Japan, thanks to its construction.
On the basic levels there are restaurants, souvenir shops and ticket sales up to the upper levels of the tower. Once up there, you will find several different observation decks that offer a panoramic view of, among other places, Kobe’s harbor and Mount Rokko, as well as a 360 degree rotating café.
Nada Sake District
Something that should definitely be on your list is to visit a sake brewery. Many people associate Kobe with their meat, but the city is equally famous for its drink “sake”. Sake is a rice wine made with water from the nearby mountains.
Nada Saka District in Kobe is Japan’s foremost sake-producing region and home to large sake breweries that offer guided tours and tastings. It can be difficult to choose which brewery you want to visit, but the largest and most visited are the Sawa-no-Tsuru Museum, the Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery Company and the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum.
Motomachi shopping street is a shopping street located in the center of Kobe and has a lot to offer. The street stretches 1.2 km between Motomachi Sta. and Kobe Sta. and is indoors so it is perfect to visit on a rainy day.
Here you will find 300 shops selling everything from clothes to souvenirs and books. If you get hungry, there are several cozy cafes and nice restaurants.
Fruit Flower Park
Michi-no-eki Kobe Fruit Flower Park Osawa, which is the full name, is a large multifunctional park that has a lot to offer. Here you will find beautiful flower gardens where 10,000 tulips bloom in the spring. There is an area for fruit picking where you can pick apples, grapes and peaches yourself.
Another area is called Farm Circus and is a market for local products such as fruit and vegetables, but also cafes and restaurants that use locally produced goods. For the younger children there is Kobe Fairyland Amusement Park which is a small amusement park with Ferris wheels, mini golf, playground and go-karts.
Finally, there is the Kobe Hotel Fruit Flower, whose building is designed to mimic the Dutch National Museum in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum. The hotel has its own hot spring “Ozo Onsen” as well as a restaurant, souvenir shop and in the summer they also have their pool open.
Kitano-chō or Kitano Ijinkan as it is also called is an area in Kobe that was formerly inhabited by foreign merchants and diplomats, in connection with the flourishing of trade in the port of Kobe.
Many of the houses they lived in have been preserved and are today museums that are open to the public to visit. Each house has its unique style linked to the land of the old homeowners. These include the French House, the English House and the Dutch House.
Even if you do not enter any of the houses, it is nice to walk around among the houses as their facades are also characteristic of their different countries.
Tetsujin 28 Statue
Tetsujin 28 Statue or Gigantor as it is also called is a large iron statue that was built after the devastating earthquake in 1995 to give hope and give strength to the inhabitants of Kobe.
Gigantor is a flying robot from a Japanese comic book “manga”, whose name was Tetsujin 28 Go. Mitsuteru Yokoyama, who created the manga in 1960, was born and raised in Kobe.
You will find the statue in Wakamatsu Park and it is easy to find as it is 18 meters high.
You do not have to worry about holding on to your valuables or walking around with large sums of cash. The Japanese are a very loyal and well-educated people with very few thieves and the like. Seeing younger children ride the subway home from school alone is not an unusual sight to see in Japan. Of course, there are jerks everywhere, but Japan has very few of them.
Buy a JR pass if you plan to move to other cities. If you are only going to be in Kobe, you can do well to pay for your transport at a time. But most visitors take a week in Tokyo and then move on to Kyoto, Osaka and other popular cities. These routes are quite expensive without a JR pass. Nalatrip is an official reseller of these passes. Buy your Japan Rail Pass now!
The Suica card – a fantastic IC card that can be pre-loaded with money to easily flip beverage machines, the subway and other machines for a cash-free and fast payment. Alternatives to the card are Icoca Card & Pasmo Card .
The city has lots of beautiful parks. Enjoy good food and take it easy, enjoy your visit to Japan.
The city’s airport is called Kobe Airport (UKB) and is located 8 kilometers outside the city on an artificial island. Unfortunately, the airport handles almost only domestic flights.
Most people go to Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Osaka, and then travel by high-speed train to Kobe and Shin-Kobe.
Japan uses the Japanese Yen – JPY.
We recommend a small change before the trip at Forex or another currency exchange to be able to pay for any transport from the airport, food and drinks on site.
Secure ATMs for cash withdrawals are available around the city. You do not have to worry about walking around with larger sums of cash as the country is very safe.
7-eleven usually have a very good exchange rate. We therefore recommend that you only bring a small amount and withdraw more cash on the spot.
Do not change at the Airport. Visit a bank or 7-eleven in town.
Tips are not appreciated by the staff and can sometimes be considered offensive.
If you want to tip, in that case ask the staff before if it’s okay. Most likely you will get a no, as tips are not part of their everyday life.