Issues to do in Kobe, Japan
Whereas it could not have the status and quirkiness of Tokyo or the historical past and tradition of Kyoto, the town of Kobe deserves a spot in your Japan journey itinerary. On this Kobe journey information, we share a few of the enjoyable issues to do in Kobe, from dipping your toes in historical scorching springs to sampling the scrumptious wagyu beef that shares its identify.
If that is your first time studying in regards to the metropolis of Kobe, you aren’t alone. It’s not sometimes ranked excessive on the listing of locations to go to in Japan. It’s usually neglected and most definitely underrated. We hope to alter that.
Positioned 30 km (19 miles) west of Osaka, many guests will journey to Kobe as a day journey from Osaka or Kyoto. For those who don’t have numerous time, this is perhaps the best choice.
Once we visited Japan again in 2009, that was our strategy. We made Kyoto dwelling base and took day journeys to Kobe, Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima. The Japanese rail system is quick and environment friendly, so it’s simple to cowl numerous floor.
Nonetheless, when you have a number of days to spend in Kobe, you’ll discover loads of enjoyable and fascinating issues to maintain you busy and entertained. This weblog put up highlights the issues we did throughout our three days in Kobe.
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**Be aware – we visited Kobe Japan in Oct 2019, a number of months earlier than the worldwide pandemic was declared. As such, a few of the objects listed under could have modified, together with admission costs to sights, motels and transportation.
1. Strive some scrumptious Kobe Beef
First on the listing of issues to do in Kobe is to indulge within the delicacy that shares it’s identify – Kobe beef. Until, in fact, you don’t eat meat. If that’s you, skip to the subsequent suggestion – nothing to see right here.
Kobe is known for wagyu beef, arguably the best minimize of beef on this planet, which comes from the Tajima pressure of Japanese Black cattle. Folks journey from far and extensive to style this mouth-watering, perfectly-marbled beef.
Much like consuming Champagne in Champagne, France or sipping port wine in Porto, Portugal, you have to strive Kobe Beef in Kobe. There are particular guidelines about what beef could be categorised as true Kobe Beef and Kobe is the place you’ll discover the actual deal.
The second you step off the prepare at Kobe-Sannomiya Station you might be reminded that Kobe Beef is a giant deal in these elements. Indicators and commercials are scattered all through the town selling quite a lot of methods to indulge your self, from Kobe beef teppanyaki to Kobe beef sushi.
Kobe beef is an costly minimize of meat, so your journey price range will dictate one of the simplest ways to expertise this celebrated Japanese delicacies. Excessive-end steakhouses supply multi-course meals that serve quite a lot of cuts and kinds of wagyu beef. Go forward and splurge; you’re value it.
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Most eating places that serve Kobe beef may have a black cow statue outdoors the restaurant. That is the Japanese Black, which is the breed of Japanese beef cattle often called wagyu.
Kobe beef sushi
Many ramen and sushi eating places in Kobe will serve Kobe beef sushi. For those who’re not interested by dropping large coin at a flowery Kobe beef restaurant, beef sushi is an affordable approach to pattern the products.
A single piece of Kobe beef nigiri prices 800 Yen (approx $10.00 CAD).
Kobe Beef Ramen
There are various methods to get the tasty wagyu in your stomach. The above was captured at a small ramen restaurant in Kobe that was really helpful to us by mates. This miso ramen dish is served with 4 alternative ways to eat Kobe beef.
Above is a photograph of Kobe beef ramen Yazawa. It’s small, so that you may miss it.
2. Kobe Port Tower
Probably the most recognizable landmark in Kobe is the Kobe Port Tower. The 354 foot tower has a number of statement flooring that provide 360 diploma panoramic views of the town, harbor and Mount Rokko.
Kobe Port Tower is open yr spherical. Relying on whenever you journey to Kobe, the most effective time to go to the Port Tower statement deck is simply earlier than sundown. The town sparkles at evening.
Admission to the Port Tower is 700 yen for adults ($9.00 CAD) and 300 yen for youngsters ($4.00).
Extra data in regards to the Kobe Tower right here.
3. Meriken Park
Meriken Park is a waterfront park situated within the Kobe port space. It’s dwelling to a few of Kobe’s most iconic structure, together with the Kobe Port Tower, Kobe Maritime Museum (pictured above) and Meriken Park Oriental Resort.
The Kobe Maritime Museum can be dwelling to Kawasaki Good Instances World, a museum devoted to the 100+ yr historical past of Kawasaki and it’s many merchandise, together with Shinkansen trains, jet planes, helicopters and bikes. Extra data in regards to the museum right here.
Additionally, you will discover the Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park on the east aspect of Meriken Park. The Kobe Japan earthquake, or Nice Hanshin earthquake, occurred on January 17, 1995 within the southern a part of Hyogo Prefecture. The earthquake killed 5,378 folks, broken or destroyed 152,000 buildings, and is alleged to the most costly earthquake ever to strike an city space [source].
4. Mosaic Ferris Wheel
For those who’re visiting Kobe with children, the Mosaic Ferris Wheel at Kobe Harborland is a enjoyable exercise. Much like the statement deck on the Port Tower, the Mosaic Huge Ferris Wheel affords 360 diploma views of the waterfront, port, metropolis and mountains.
The Kobe Huge Ferris Wheel operates from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Every trip prices 800 yen for adults ($10.00 CAD). Every air conditioned gondola suits as much as 4 folks.
All smiles contained in the Mosaic Ferris Wheel at Harborland.
Panoramic views of the Port Tower and Mt. Rokko from contained in the Mosaic Ferris Wheel.
The Mosaic Ferris Wheel has over 120,000 LEDs that placed on a present at evening.
5. Kobe Harborland
Kobe Harborland is a big purchasing complicated situated on the waterfront throughout from the port, going through Kobe Port Tower and Meriken Park Oriental Resort. Harborland has develop into certainly one of Kobe’s prime vacationer sights with over 200 shops, eating places, museums and leisure.
For those who solely have one evening in Kobe, we suggest you go to Kobe Harborland and dine at one of many waterfront eating places at Mosaic. The Fisherman’s Market at Kobe Mosaic is kind of well-liked. The Mosaic boardwalk is arguably the most effective place in Kobe to look at the sundown.
Kobe Harborland is dwelling to Anpanman Theme park and Kobe Anpanman Youngsters’s Museum, situated behind the Mosaic Ferris Wheel. It additionally has video arcades and video games room, so that you’re children may have lots to maintain them entertained.
When you’re within the neighborhood, take a stroll down Kobe Gaslight Road and take a look at the Ninth-century purple brick warehouses referred to as Renga Soko.
We ate dinner on the conveyor belt sushi restaurant at Kobe Harborland (additionally referred to as rotation sushi, sushi prepare and kaiten sushi).
It’s a enjoyable and simple approach to pattern quite a lot of sushi. Not solely does the sushi come out rapidly, you’ll be able to truly see the objects as they cross your desk. That is perfect for first timers who’re nervous about attempting sushi and uncooked fish for the primary time.
6. Kobe Bay Cruise
Get a special perspective of this bustling port metropolis by taking a Kobe Bay Cruise. Cruises sail across the bay and final about 40 minutes.
The boat is docked at Meriken Park beside the purple Port Tower. See photograph above. You should buy tickets instantly on the dock. Boats depart each hour, so you might have choices.
An alternative choice is the Kobe Concerto cruise.
The ship is docked in entrance of Harbourland (see photograph under) and affords a eating expertise whereas cruising across the bay. You possibly can be a part of a lunch cruise that sometimes departs at 12:00 midday, tea cruise that departs at 2:30 PM, twilight cruise that departs at 5:15 PM and an evening cruise that departs at 7:30 PM.
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7. Rokko Cable Automobile
The Rokko Cable Automobile is a Japanese funicular that transports company to the highest of Mt. Rokko. The cable automobile opened in 1932 and is likely one of the prime Kobe vacationer sights.
It takes 10 minutes to get from the Rokko Cable Shita station, situated on the base of the mountain, to Rokko Sanjo station on the prime of the mountain. The elevation acquire is roughly 500 metres.
It’s greatest to get the Rokkosan Vacationer cross for 1200 yen. This cross consists of bus fare to get to Rokko Cable Shita station, the cable automobile trip, and the bus to the Mount Rokko Tourism Space. Extra data right here.
Exterior the Rokko Cable Automobile station. That is on the base of Mount Rokko.
8. Rokko Backyard Terrace
Rokko Backyard Terrace, pictured above, is the right place to get panoramic views of the town, ocean and mountains. It’s a vacationer complicated with viewing platforms, an statement tower, a number of eating places and small retail outlets that promote souvenirs, ice cream, drinks and snacks.
Rokkosan Genghis Khan Palace
For a singular lunch, go to the Rokkosan Genghis Khan Palace. Grill recent meats, seafood and greens on a scorching forged iron plate that sits in your eating desk. It’s a enjoyable eating expertise for everybody.
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Map of issues to do on Mount Rokko in Kobe Japan.
You possibly can simply spend a full day visiting the small vacationer sights on Mount Rokko. It has a botanical backyard, forest journey park with zipline and treetop impediment course, the music field museum, small golf course and the Rokko Backyard Terrace.
The beehive construction within the above photograph is the Rokko Shidare Observatory.
The greatest views of Kobe and Hyogo Prefecture are discovered on the prime of Mount Rokko.
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9. Rokko-Arima Ropeway
The Rokko-Arima Ropeway is an aerial tramway that travels 2.8 kilometres (1.7 miles) from Rokko Sancho station to Arima Onsen. You possibly can stroll from the Rokko Vacationer Space to the Rokko Sancho station, so it’s a simple addition to your Kobe day journey.
The a technique journey from Mount Rokko to Arima Onsen takes 12 minutes and prices 1030 yen ($13.00 CAD). Spherical journey tickets value 1850 yen ($23.00).
Rokko Sancho station on the prime of the Rokko-Arima Ropeway.
Contained in the aerial tram descending from Mount Rokko to Arima Onsen.
Lush mountain landscapes from the Rokko-Arima ropeway.
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10. Arima Onsen
One of the crucial well-liked Kobe sights is Arima Onsen, Japan’s oldest and most well-known scorching spring city. Wandering the slender streets of Arima Onsen affords a glimpse into Japan’s historical previous.
It’s stated that emperors and samurai would go to Arima Onsen to soak in its therapeutic scorching springs.
Arima Onsen is accessible by taking the Rokko Cable Automobile and Rokko-Arima Ropeway, which makes for a enjoyable day journey from Kobe. Plan for a full day if you wish to embody time on Mount Rokko. Or keep in a single day at a standard Japanese ryokan.
There are solely two public tub homes in Arima Onsen. Some ryokan motels will open their non-public baths to guests through the day. Admission ranges between 500 and 2500 yen ($6.00 CAD to $30.00 CAD). See a listing of scorching spring baths in Arima Onsen right here.
For those who’re travelling with children, it’s necessary to know that there are particular guidelines for bathing at Japanese onsen. We weren’t allowed to wash as a household on the public tub home at Arima Onsen (women and men can not tub collectively, even with children). Hold this in thoughts and plan accordingly.
For those who’re not eager to spend time at a shower home or ryokan, you’ll be able to soak your ft at Taiko no Ashiyu (the free public foot tub in Arima Onsen). It’s situated outdoors Kin no Yu (Arima golden Scorching-spring public spa).
The water is stored at 42.3 diploma Celsius, so it’s scorching! I don’t assume any of us lasted longer than one minute.
The city of Arima Onsen has many small retail outlets, eating places and shrines.
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11. Nankin-machi – Kobe Chinatown
Greater than 100 eating places and outlets make up Kobe’s Chinatown, also called Nankin-machi. It’s certainly one of Japan’s largest Chinatowns, though it solely covers a geographical space of roughly 200 meters by 100 meters.
The full of life streets of Nankinmachi see a relentless movement of individuals, particularly within the night and at evening. This can be a good spot to pattern quite a lot of avenue meals in Kobe, together with steamed dumplings, pork buns, Peking duck wraps, noodle soups and deep fried croquettes.
Kobe Chinatown has a number of avenue meals distributors with small bites on the market.
Tasty steamed pork buns on the market in Chinatown.
Chinatown is a enjoyable place to expertise Kobe at evening.
The enduring gazebo in Nankinmachi Sq. in Kobe Chinatown.
Choanmon Gate welcomes guests to Kobe Chinatown.
Above is the ornate Seian-mon Gate in Nankin-machi.
12. Motomachi Buying Road
One of many issues we love about Japan is its pedestrian solely purchasing streets. Motomachi Buying Road is an historic purchasing district in central Kobe with lots of of retail outlets and eating places.
The favored avenue is situated within the middle of Kobe close to a few of its prime vacationer sights, corresponding to Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown), Kobe Metropolis Museum, Meriken Park and Harborland. It stretches between Motomachi Station and Kobe Station, so it’s simply accessible from anyplace within the metropolis.
13. Ikuta Shrine
Probably the most well-known temple in Kobe is Ikuta Shrine, stated to be one of many oldest shrines in Japan. Ikuta Shrine is centrally situated and simple to entry by foot from Sannomiya Station.
There are various temples, shrines and tori gates inside the grounds at Ikuta Shrine. Plan to spend a minimum of one hour exploring the this lovely shrine. The temple is free to enter.
Above is the principle entrance gate to Ikuta Shrine.
Row of brilliant orange torii gates inside Ikuta Shrine.
The temples and shrines in Japan are exceptional and value visiting, even should you’re not non secular.
14. Kobe Oji Zoo
The Kobe Oji Zoo is conveniently situated a number of prepare stations from central Kobe-Sannomiya Station. Admission to the zoo is just 600 yen for adults (approx $7.00 CAD) and youngsters are free, making it an affordable household exercise in Kobe.
The zoo is dwelling to over 850 animals and birds from 150 totally different species, together with hardly ever seen animals like the large panda, golden snub-nosed monkey, Amur tiger, polar bear and snow-leopard.
Find out about Oji Zoo and see a listing of animals right here.
The enormous panda is the star attraction on the Kobe Oji Zoo.
An uncommon amusement park on the Kobe Zoo
The amusement park inside Kobe Zoo is fascinating, to say the least. We anticipate slightly bizarre and wacky from Japan. It’s what makes Japan such an interesting nation to go to, in our opinion.
As quickly as we entered the amusement park we have been immediately transported again in time. Whereas the zoo has a formidable line up of animals, the park amenities seem to have been left behind.
Watch this quick video from the Kobe Zoo amusement park.
Learn extra – The weird amusement park at Kobe Oji Zoo
15. Rugby Match at Kobe Misaki Stadium
Even should you’re not a rugby fan, it’s enjoyable to look at a stay sporting occasion at Kobe Misaki Stadium, also called Noevir Stadium Kobe. The stadium, which has a retractable roof and capability of 30,000 folks, is dwelling to the Kobelco Steelers, a rugby union High League group. Examine the group schedule previous to your go to to see if the group is enjoying.
The stadium can be dwelling to Vissel Kobe, a Japanese skilled soccer membership within the J1 League, which is the highest tier of soccer within the nation. Kobe Misaki Stadium hosted matches on the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The principle cause we determined to journey to Japan in October was to attend the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the primary Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia.
Inside Kobe Misaki Stadium on the Japan Rugby World Cup.
Different issues to do in Kobe
Throughout our first journey to Kobe, earlier than having children, we visited these sights which are additionally value visiting.
- Nada Sake District – pattern sake at quite a lot of Sake Breweries in Kobe. Extra data right here.
- Shin-Kobe Ropeway – situated beside the Shin-Kobe prepare station. For those who’re taking a day journey from to Kobe to Osaka or Kyoto, you’ll possible arrive at this prepare station. We suggest you’re taking this cable as a substitute of the Rokko Cablecar, to maximise your time.
- Nunobiki Waterfall – should you’d moderately go for a hike within the mountains, skip the Pores and skin-Kobe Ropeway and hike to this 43 meter waterfall. The path additionally passes the Miharashi Observatory, which affords good views of the town.
- Kitano Ijinkan – additionally situated close to the Kobe Shinkansen station, this historic district is dwelling to numerous overseas residences and mansions, often called Ijinkan. A few of them have transformed into public museums. Extra data right here.
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