30 Things to Do in Kobe

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Kobe beef
Source: Nishimuraya..

Kobe is a beautiful and vibrant city. It is always full of energy. It has beautiful mountains and parks. So it is a bit similar to Japan in this respect. The great thing about this city is that is that it is less than one hour distance on a train from Osaka and Kyoto. It is an appropriate place for people of every creed, color, and race. So here are the top 30 things to do in Kobe:

1. Visit Kobe Harborland

Source: Corey Hamilton

Kobe harbor land is a commercial and sightseeing destination in Kobe which was opened in 1992 as the cultural hub of the city. It has a large quality of commercial stores, departmental stores, and superstores. The great thing is that it is quite near to the station and there are sizzling restaurants all around it. The area also holds a romantic importance as there are many wedding halls and hotels in it.


  • Name: Kobe Harborland
  • Address: Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.harborland.co.jp/en/

2. Kobe City Oji Zoo

Kobe City Oji Zoo isn’t only an attraction for the local people but people from the surrounding areas also visit the zoo from the surrounding area. Giant bears and koalas are commonly seen in the place. Walk through the zoo as you look at 150 different varieties of animals around the world. A zoo is a great place for children. There are lots of cute bunnies to see and you will enjoy this place. So visit this place.


  • Name: Kobi City Oji Zoo
  • Address: 3-1 Ojicho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-0803, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.feel-kobe.jp/_en/sightseeing/spot/?sid=130

3. Tour at Mount Rokko

Source: Ian Irving

Mount Rokko is probably the highest mountain in the Rokko mountain range and provides a pleasant view of the city of Kobe. The outstanding views of Kobe and Osaka can be enjoyed after sunset. There are a lot of attraction for the tourists on Mount Rokko, which include a botanical garden, a pasture with sheep and flowers, Japan’s golf course, restaurants, shops and an observation deck. There are help signs to guide you on your way. The place is also quite close to the Umeda station.


  • Name: Mount Rokko
  • Address: Higashinada-ku, Kobe 657-0101, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.rokkosan.com/en/

4. Visit Arima Onsen

Source: Hideyuki KAMON

Arima Onsen is a small town near the outskirts of Kobe which is popular due to its all-natural hot springs. The landscaped walkways add to the beauty of the place and enable you to have a close view of the view. This town is quite old, approximately about 2000 years ago. This town will show you how the old Japanese people used to live in the place. There are only a few authentic restaurants left in the place. So you should visit the place and enjoy these foods.


  • Name: Arima Onsen
  • Address: 828 Arimacho, Kita-ku, Kobe 651-1401, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: Open 24 hours
  • Website: http://visit.arima-onsen.com/

5. Visit Ikuta Shrine

Source: Manish Prabhune

The Ikuta shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. The construction of the temple dates back to the 3rd century. The shrine has withstood the test of time and has also avoided the natural disasters and events that happened in Kobe. To put your mind off from the world, there is a lovely koi and pond, which serve as a sanctuary in the bustling city. It is near the sonnomiya station. So you should visit this place.


  • Name: Ikuta Shrine
  • Address: 1 Chome-2-1 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0011, Japan
  • Opening hour: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.ikutajinja.or.jp/

6. Visit Mount Maya

Source: Stefan Lins

Mount Maya is a 698-meter high mountain located in Kobe. The mountain is one of the major peaks of Rokko mountains. The temperature in the mountains is sometimes quite hot humid. However, you can have a barbecue at the end of the night to blow off the steam. There is also a cable car and a ropeway in Mount Maya but they consume plenty of time. So if you have plenty of time at your hand, visit this place.


  • Name: Mount Maya
  • Address: Mayasancho, Nada Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 657-0104, Japan
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

7. China Town (Nankin-Machi)

Source: shunkoh

The Kobe Chinatown is just one of the three Chinatowns in Japan. So you shouldn’t miss it on your visit to Kobe. The area was originally developed by Chinese developers in 1868. Since then, the city has bloomed. It is quite a popular attraction for shopping and dining. There are many other worth-watching sites in the place, like Central Pavilion, Xian Gate, Changan Gate, Nanluo Gate and many others. Just visit the place with your friends and family and see how spectacular it really is.


  • Name: China Town (Nankin-Machi)
  • Address: 1-3-18 Sakaemachidori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0023, Japan
  • Opening hour: 11:00h a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.feel-kobe.jp/_en/sightseeing/spot/?sid=72

8. Visit Kobe the Animal Kingdom

Source: pelican

The Kobe Animal Kingdom is a beautiful place for people of every generation and features rare birds and animals found only in this place. The place has one of the largest owl collections in the world which you should definitely see. The inside floors are quite flat and specially designed for people who need special assistance. You can bring children and supervise them in playing with the animals. This place is perfect for families.


  • Name: Kobe Animal Kingdom
  • Address :7-1-9 Minatojima-minami, Kobe 650-0047, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

9. Shop at Sannomiya Center Town

Sannomiya Center Town is a huge shopping center and located just a two-minute walk from the Sannomiya station. The center stretches from the east to West from Flower Road to Koigawa-suji street. When you walk through the streets, you will feel that the shops are never ending. The whole range is huge with a bustling center. However, you should beware that the items are cheap because the quality isn’t the best. But still it is a good shopping center to visit.


  • Name: Sannomiya Center Town
  • Address: Sannomiyacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0021, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

10. Visit Kobe Port Tower

Source: Manish Prabhune

The Kobe Port Tower is a 108 m high landmark tower and an important symbol of Kobe. It was the world’s first building pipe structure in 1983 and it has certainly proven its worth over time. The observation platform gives a 360-degree view from where you can view Mount Rokko, the streets of Kobe, Osaka Bay, and the Awaji Island. Although the tower is a bit old, it still is a worth-visiting site.


  • Name: Kobe Port Tower
  • Address: 2-2 Hatoba-cho | Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/spot/cityscap/kobe-port-tower.html

11. Hang out at Meriken Park

Source: Hideyuki KAMON

The Meriken park is a waterfront park present in the region of Kobe in Japan. Some worth-seeing sites at the park include Kobe Maritime Museum and memorial to the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. The park is covered in grassy lawns with full of modern installments and art. You can feel the breeze as you pass through the place. This is the only place in Kobe where you will find nature and city merged together.


  • Name: Meriken Park
  • Address: Hatobacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

12. Visit Sorakuen Garden

Source: Guldem Ustun

On your visit to Kobe, you should definitely visit the Sorakuen Garden. It belonged to a mayor who gave it to the city in 1941. There are some amazing trees and chrysanthemum flowers in the garden to feast the eyes. The deeper you go into the garden, the more beautiful and ecstatic it becomes. Newly wed couples usually come here for a photo shoot. So you should visit this place with your family.


  • Name: Sorakuen Garde
  • Address: Kobe, Chuo-ku Nakayamate-dori 5-3-1
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

13. Visit Kobe City Museum

The Kobe City Museum was opened in 1982 when it merged the collections of Namban Art Museum and Kobe Archeological Museum in one building. The museum’s exhibitions feature maps of different countries and ancient artifact representing the exchange with foreign countries. The staff and attendants at the museum are quite nice and ready to help you. So you should go to this museum.


  • Name: Kobe City Museum
  • Address: 24 Kyo-machi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0034, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/culture/culture/institution/museum/

14. Visit Nunobiki Falls

Nunobiki waterfalls are located in the downtown Kobe, Japan and have an ancient history. They are considered as the divine falls along with Kachi falls and Kegon Falls. It consists of four different waterfalls. You can walk along walk along the bank and enjoy the waterfalls. The walk is quite pleasant and you will find a nice path with a couple of shrines. The place is quite peaceful and you should visit it after to release stress.


  • Name: Nunobiki Falls
  • Address: Kobe, Chuo-ku, Fukiai-cho
  • Opening hour: Open 24 hours

15. Visit Kitano-Cho

Kitano-cho is a town in Kobe, close to the Rokko mountain range, where foreign merchants used to trade in the 19th century. About half the mansions are open to the place for the public as museums. The houses there are built in the Western style. The houses are quite spread around the place, so it’s wise to have a map of the area. It is quite fun to walk around in nice weather. So visit this town.


  • Name: Kitano-Cho
  • Address: Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0002, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.harborland.co.jp/en/

16. Board on Rokko Cable Car

Source: Geoff Stearns

The historic Rokko cable car was initially built in 1932 and connects the foot of Mount Rokko to a summit through a 1.5 km long cable. The cable cars are quite fancy and romantic and you will enjoy your view of Mount Rokko from here. The cable car will also take you to a trip of 10 minutes to the National Park Rokkosan. It’s a really nice cable car and will give you the whole view of Kobe City.


  • Name: Rokko Cable car
  • Address: Kobe, Nada-ku Takaha Nishiyama 8-2
  • Opening hour: 7:10 a.m. to 9:10 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.rokkosan.com/en/access.html

18. Visit Kobe Kitano Museum

The Kobe Kitano Museum is definitely a worth-visiting site. Inside the museum, you will find lots of architectural work done and a collection of antique furniture and household items. There is every kind of architecture for tourists. The European style architectural will make you feel as if you are in Europe. Other than the items, the environment is quite family friendly and the staff is quite nice and are there to answer your queries.


  • Name: Kobe Kitano Museum
  • Address: 2-9-6, Kitanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0002, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

19. Visit Nada Sake Breweries District

Source: hslo

If California has the Napa Valley, then Kobe has the Nada Sake Breweries District. It is known for producing rice wine and distributing it throughout Kobe. There are about 40 breweries in the area which fulfill about 30% needs of the entire country. Just come to the district and taking a walking tour through the villages and look at the different shops. Some open stores there allow the general public to taste the rice wine.  So if you want to be amazed, visit Nada Sake Breweries District.


  • Name: Nada Sake Breweries District
  • Address: Japan, 658-0041 Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe, Higashinada Ward, Sumiyoshi Minamimachi, 4-5-5
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

20. Visit Kobe Luminarie

Source: Marufish

Kobe Luminarie is definitely a sight to see. Although it is just one of Japan’s many illuminations, it is the only one which has an actual history behind it. It was started after the great Hanshin Earthquake. Its main purpose was to give relief to the depressed. They still serve this purpose even today. You should go to the Luminaire about thirty minutes before the illuminations so that the busy streets don’t create any trouble for you. The Luminarie is about 10 minutes from the Kobe train station. So you should visit this place.


  • Name: Hotel Luminarie
  • Address: 6 Chome Kanocho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0001, Japan
  • Opening hour: Open 24 hours

21. Hotel Piena Kobe

If you want to stay at a beautiful hotel with reasonable rates, you should go for Hotel Piena Kobe. The hotel has about 90 unique rooms for a variety of visitors. They have a special breakfast buffet and dinner for you to enjoy. The great thing about the hotel is that it is a short walk from the Sannomiya station. However, the only problem there is the language barrier between the staff and tourists because most of the staff speaks only Japanese. Still you will enjoy your stay at the hotel.


  • Name: Kobe Luminarie
  • Address: 4 Chome-20-5 Ninomiyacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 651-0093, Japan
  • Opening hour: 12:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.piena.co.jp/english/

22. Visit UCC Coffee Museum

UCC Coffee Museum is definitely an interesting place to visit. Here you can learn everything about the coffee, like its history and where to prepare tasty coffee. The tour guy will tell you about the history of coffee, where the beans come from and how they are processed and prepared. Some non-coffee lovers might find the place a bit boring. However, it is a precious gem for all the coffee lovers.


  • Name: UCC Coffee Museum
  • Address: Kobe, Chuo-ku Minatojima Nakamachi 6-6-2
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.ucc.co.jp/museum/

23. Dine at Hanasato

Dining at Hanasato in Kobe is a worth-while experience. The food at the restaurant is nothing short of delicious. When you start eating, you might think that it isn’t enough but once everything comes, it becomes adequate. A variety of dishes are served there from beef to sushi and every dish is wow. Your belly will be filled after visiting the place and you would consider it a good visit.


  • Name: Hasanato
  • Address: 7-3-27 Sumiyoshi-miyamachi, Higashinada-ku | 1F, Kobe 6580053, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

24. Hang out at Maiko Park

Maiko Park is located at the foot of the Great Akashi Strait Bridge. You can easily reach this place through bus route. As you enter the bridge, there is breathtaking scenery of the Pearl bridge, which is the biggest extension bridge. There are a lot of historical building inside the park. The whole scenery, with the many trees and flowers, is just majestic. So you should visit this park if you are looking for peace and quietness.


  • Name: Maiko Park
  • Address: Kobe, Tarumi-ku Higashi Maiko-cho 2051
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

25. Rokoshi Kobe

You should dine at Roshoki Kobe if you want to eat some quality dumplings. The place sells only this one type of food but it is quite tasty. The staff at the restaurant is quite nice and speaks both English and Japanese. If you want to eat only three dumplings, you can eat in the restaurant. If you want more than three, you can take it away. The price of dumplings is also quite affordable. Therefore, you should visit the place.


  • Name: Rokoshi Kobe
  • Address:  Motomachidori, Chuoku, Kobe 650-0022, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

26. Visit Minatogawa Shrine

The Minatogawa Shrine, located in Kobe, is just roughly around the battle of Minatogawa. The shrines show the treasures of Kusunoki Masashige, a warrior buried in the shrine. As you go deeper into the shrine, you will notice many aspects of traditional Japanese culture, like some calligraphies and swords. The place is extremely quiet and just short walk from the Kobe station. So enter the shrine and experience the spirituality.


  • Name: Minatogawa Shrine
  • Address: 3-1-1, Tamondori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0015, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

27. Dine at Kokubu

If you want to relish your hunger by eating steaks, then Kokubu is your go-to place. The place isn’t too flashy but still comfortable. And the beef steaks is the best one you will find in the area. The staff and the chefs are all very friendly. Even the owner is a chef and he cooks right in front of you and you can ask him anything you want. The prices are much lower than other Kobe restaurants and the location is also good. So you should dine at this restaurant.


  • Name: Kobe Harborland
  • Address:  1-21-2 Kitanagasadori, Chuo-ku | 2F Sanmei Bldg., Kobe 650-0012, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

28. Visit Concerto

Source: Hideyuki KAMON

Concerto is a romantic cruise ship in Kobe. On the ship, you can enjoy several dishes presented on iron plates and the Cantonese Cruise arranged in a unique way. The cruise lasts for about 40 to 60 minutes. You can get an excellent view of Mosaic, Port Tower, and Harborland while cruising. The whole enjoyment is worth the entry fee. So you should take the cruise.


  • Name: Concerto Kobe
  • Address: Kobe, Chuo-ku, Higashi Kawasaki-cho 1-6-1 Mosaic, 1st Floor
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.kobeconcerto.com/English/index.asp

29. Dine at Bistrot Cafe De Paris

As the name suggests, this restaurant serves Japanese food. And no doubt about it, the food has proven its worth as everyone who visits the place appreciates it. It might be related to the fact that the Japanese people love French food. You can eat a variety of French and European dishes from beef to a cake. The staff is also quite helpful and hospitable. So if you are in love with French food, visit this restaurant.


  • Name: Kobe Harborland
  • Address: 1-7-21 Yamamotodori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0003, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://cafe-de-paris.jp/

30. Visit Kobe Sports Park

Kobe sports Park is the house of many sports games and international meetings, like the National Sports festival of Japan. There are many swings and equipment for the children. There are beautiful flowers and trees all around. The place is good for jogging and exercising. You can also view the baseball and the soccer stadium. The place is easily accessible as it at a distance of one-minute walk from Sogo Undo Koen Station. So enjoy yourself at the Sports park.


  • Name: Kobe Sports Park
  • Address: Midoridai, Suma-ku, Kobe 654-0163, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Website: http://www.kobe-park.or.jp/sougou/

Now you know the top things to do in Kobe. Kobe is a wonderful place to visit if you have some cash and plenty of time at your disposal. So if you are planning to take a trip to somewhere, visit Kobe. With its many restaurants, parks and museums, Kobe is the place to be. You will remember this visit in the years to come.

Have a good trip and travel!