You may know of Kobe from the top-notch beef it produces, but the city has much more to offer. Its close proximity to Osaka and picturesque setting among the mountains make it a great choice for a day trip.
When To Visit Kobe And How Long To Stay
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit most of Japan, but especially in Kobe, which has 1,450 parks and a beautiful mountain range where you can view the changing colors of the seasons. A day or two is enough to see most of the city.
Transportation To And Within Kobe
Osaka is by far the closest and most convenient city from which to travel to Kobe. The bullet train from Shin-Osaka station to Shin-Kobe station, north of the city center, takes only 13 minutes and costs 1,500 yen. By train, from Shin-Osaka Station to Kobe Station, the journey takes 31 minutes and costs 640 yen. The Special Rapid Service on the JR Kobe Line also travels between Osaka Station and Kobe Station; the 25-minute trip is 410 yen.
Major sites in Kobe can be accessed through a combination of buses, trains, and walking.
Kobe’s Must-See Sights
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
This four-kilometer-long suspension bridge is the longest of its kind in the world. For a unique perspective, check out the Maiko Marine Promenade, which provides glimpses of the bridge’s interior from several observatory hallways beneath the bridge.
Kobe Port Tower
Located in the Meriken Park, the Kobe Port Tower stands 354 feet tall and, with its distinctive red lattice pattern, is the most recognizable landmark in Kobe. Take the elevator up to the top floors for a panoramic view of the city.
Kobe’s Must-Eat Food And Drink
Cheese tarts have a cult following in Japan, and few places do them as well as Yamagen Kazamidori. Be sure to check out the milk-flavored ice creams as well.
Arguably the region’s most famous product, Kobe beef is prized for its exceptional flavor and tenderness. It’s available throughout Japan, but you may as well try it when you're in the region. Beware of the price tag, though; at some restaurants, Kobe beef costs upwards of 6,000 yen.
Kobe’s Must-Visit Neighborhoods
This historical district, situated below the Rokko mountain range, is excellent for hiking and natural views. In addition, Kitano includes many mansions once inhabited by foreign merchants and diplomats. Now open to the public, these former private homes offer a rare glimpse at the European presence in Japan.
One of only three Chinatowns in Japan, Nankinmachi is one of Kobe’s most popular destinations. For the gastronomically curious, this is where to go to taste steamed buns, noodles, and other dishes that are originally Chinese but have been modified for Japanese tastes.