Kobe travel experience: discover a unique city with beef 'thousand dollars'
A major port city in Western Japan, which has an attractive landscape, boasts many stylish cafes and historic buildings. With Kobe travel experience will help you have a great trip.
About Kobe city
Kobe is a stylish city in Western Japan, located not too far from Osaka and Kyoto . It is also very famous for its Kobe beef and for shopping along its port. It doesn't stop there, it offers an interesting mix of different cultures, having flourished as a port town for a long time. That's why the blend of Western and Japanese cultures created the exquisite cityscape that is still found here to this day.
Kobe travel experience: travel guide
- From Osaka : take the JR Kobe Rapid Train (21 minutes - 410 yen).
- From Kyoto : on the JR Kyoto Special Line (52 minutes - 1,080 yen) to JR Sannomiya Station. Use your JR Pass when traveling to save more.
- From Kansai International Airport (Kankuu) : you should use the bus. Ticket price: One-way 2,000 yen (adult). 1,000 yen (child). Round trip price: 3,140 yen (adult).
From Kansai Terminal 1: leave the International Arrival Hall and go to bus stop 6, take the Kobe Sannomiya - Rokko Island line bus. Travel time is about 65 minutes.
From Kansai Terminal 2: leave the Arrival Hall and go to bus stop 4, take the Kobe Sannomiya - Rokko Island line bus. Travel time is about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Things to do in Kobe
1. Take in the breathtaking view of Kobe from the Port Tower
Port Tower is a 108-meter-high observation tower and a symbol of Kobe. The bright red hyperbolic structure with its helix center looks especially beautiful against the blue sky. At night, the tower is lit up, giving it a different beauty than during the day. If you go up to the observatory at this time, you will be able to catch a beautiful night view of Kobe.
2. Try street food in Nankinmachi
A five-minute walk from Motomachi Station, you can find West Japan's most famous Chinatown - Nankinmachi. There are over a hundred shops in this small area. Self-sufficient Kobe travel experience , enjoying your lunch at one of the restaurants is a great option you should try.
Typically Peking duck from a food stall. Crispy Peking Duck skin coated in a sweet sauce and coated with green onions provides an irresistible aroma and deliciousness. Or Kakuniman, tender braised pork wrapped in a soft steamed bun. Prices vary depending on the store, but most dishes cost a few hundred yen each.
3. Stroll the number one shopping district in Kobe
Located about a five-minute walk south of Sannomiya Station is Sannomiya Central Street. According to the Japan handbook experience , this is a historic shopping district about 600 meters long. It is a wide street with all kinds of shops including big brands from: electronics, clothing stores, cafes on either side. Always busy, where you can shop to your heart's content.
4. Check in Love Bridge at Ikuta Shrine
While Kobe may have an image as a stylish port town, historic temples can also be found here. A goddess named Wakahirumeno Mikoto is enshrined at Ikuta Shrine. She is the goddess of fabric and it is believed that she binds people's destinies together. Currently, Ikuta Shrine is becoming famous as a place to pray for love.
Kobe travel experience , the Inari Shrine in the northeast is a particularly popular photo spot. The multimillion-dollar lacquered tori gates are there for those whose prayers have been answered to express their gratitude. For example, when you visit the Fushimi Inari Kyoto shrine, you will find it is believed that the more gates there are, the more likely your prayers at this shrine are to be answered.
5. Unforgettable night view
Kobe's night view is known as one of the three great night scenes of Japan. Especially the night view from an observation point near the top of Mt. Maya Kikuseidai. Easy access from central Kobe makes it a popular spot, especially for dates.
You can even see Osaka from here if the weather is clear or all the way to Kansai International Airport in winter. Kobe's night view is also known as the "Ten Million Dollar Night View", referring to the cost it takes to maintain the amount of lights you can see from the observatory.
6. Enjoy the famous Kobe beef
This is the home of the world famous Kobe beef. Kobe beef is a special type of meat of "Tajima cattle" in Hyogo Prefecture. It must be certified by the "Kobe Beef Distribution and Marketing Promotion Association" to be called genuine Kobe beef. Misono is the birthplace of Teppanyaki steak and the place where you can enjoy top-notch steak.
Kobe Tanryu is a Kobe beef specialty restaurant located in Sannomiya-Motomachi operated by Kissho Corporation. Kobe travel experience , here you can enjoy this premium beef at a low cost. The price is about 3000 yen for a lunch and if you want to try something different, then Hiroshige Gyudon is a good suggestion. Or try the deluxe Kobe Beef version of the classic Japanese beef bowl.
7. Relax at a trendy cafe
There are many cafes around Kobe, which blend in perfectly with the sophisticated atmosphere of the city. Cafe Freundlieb, for example, is located inside a building that used to be a church. Built for Christians visiting from the port, it survived both World War II and the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995.
There is also Injinkan, one of the nice check-in cafes in Japan , the Kitano Injinkan branch of Starbucks Coffee. Here you can experience drinking coffee in a centuries-old Injinkan. Many cafes in Kobe are not only trendy, but many have a long history.
8. Try Fresh Sake
Kobe's Hyogo Prefecture produces the largest amount of sake in Japan. Many sake breweries are located in an area called Nada. Established more than 270 years ago, the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery includes a unique Museum. The warehouse was formerly used for sake production and now hosts a follow-up exhibition on the sake production process. Admission is free and at the tasting area you can try and buy freshly brewed wines.
9. Relax in Japan's oldest hot spring town
Arima Onsen is Japan's oldest hot spring town, dating back over 1000 years. According to Kobe Japan travel experience , this hot spring town is only 1km wide and very compact while including a variety of hot spring resort inns, restaurants and souvenir shops. Feel free to take the time to recuperate after an exciting day of travel here.
Arima Onsen's famous Golden Spring has a unique reddish brown color. The source of this hot spring is that it contains a lot of iron, which will oxidize and change color when exposed to air. It is said to heal problems such as poor circulation, lower back pain, muscles and joints. If you put some in your mouth, you'll discover it's extremely salty, due to its high salt concentration it has a long-lasting moisturizing effect.
10. Explore Nunobiki . Falls
Traveling to Japan with a hike to Nunobiki Falls is another highlight of your stay in Kobe to discover beautiful natural spots near the city center. There are several waterfalls to see, of which Ontaki Falls is the largest. Alternatively you can proceed to a spectacular viewpoint of Kobe, a reservoir area. If you don't feel like walking up or down, you can catch the Shin Kobe cable car that links several points around Mount Rokko.
Recommended place to stay in Kobe
Kobe has many hotels and motels. "Guesthouse Maya" is located near Nada Station, 1 stop from Sannomiya Station. With a local shopping district nearby, it is a popular spot for those looking to experience everyday life in Kobe. Or Kobe's Peanuts hotel near Sannomiya station with different style in each room, you can feel like entering the world of Snoopy and friends.
Photo: @Live Japan
Suggestions for Kobe 2 day tour
Kobe is compact and many of the main sites are located in the Sannomiya-Motomachi area, so two days in Kobe might be more than enough to get you around.
- On the morning of the first day, start by going to the Injinkan in Kitano. This area has a lot of hills, so it's best to go while still having energy. You can have some Kobe beef for lunch and in the afternoon head to Torwest or Sannomiya Central Street.
If you decide to go shopping around Sakaemachi and Nankinmachi, be sure not to miss the romantic night view of the bay in the evening.
- On the second day, go to Arima Onsen. Enjoy a public hot spring and spend time at one of Arima's old standing cafes or bars.
Many experiences for a trip to an exciting city are waiting for you to explore. Check in Kobe now to have more memories of another real Japan here.