Kobe Travel Guide
Kobe (as in ‘ko-bay’, not ‘ko-bi) is a port city just 20 minutes West of Osaka known for being very cosmopolitan and ‘westernized’. Before the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, Kobe had been one of the top ports in Asia, however since the earthquake it has never recovered to its previous status.
While there is some good sightseeing to do in Kobe, the city is better equipped for shopping and dinning experiences.
Kobe Restaurants & Food [VIEW ALL]
Experience Local dining
Kobe is Japans most ‘international’ city, with a great western influence in its fashions and foods. However for the purpose of the traveler and explorer, we assume there is no desire to seek out more “west” food and experiences, as you have traveled to the East for the East, and while Kobe offers amazing French, Italian and other cuisines we will focus on local Japanese cuisine.
2-1-17 Shimoyamatedori, Chuoku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0011, Japan
Step off the train at Sannomiya and step into Moriya for the real deal baby. $60 US will get you the standard Kobe Beef Set, and about $110 will get you the premium Kobe beef set. BOTH are outstanding, so don’t feel like you’re coping out if your budget doesn’t permit you to have the premium.
The restaurant is literally a five minute walk from the Station, and being popular with the tourists there may be a wait.
3/F of the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel complex
1-1 Kitano-cho | Chūō-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
The only meat that melts in your mouth, Kobe Beef is what to eat when you’re in Kobe. So slit some throats or whatever you must do so you can afford the $70 Kobe Beef Set. And don’t let the fact that this eatery is in a shopping complex turn you off, it is top notch, the chef even comes out and cooks it in front of you; so you end up getting a little show out of the deal.
Kobe Sightseeing & Attractions [VIEW ALL]
Our top picks of things to see and do
5-3-1 Nakayamatedōri, Chuo-ku, Kobe
When you need a break from all the shopping and steak, the Sorakuen is an excellent place to go to chill out and relax your feet and stomach. It is in fact the only traditional Japanese garden in Kobe. The garden is best viewed during the mid-early summer months when the Azaleas and Chrysanthemums are in bloom.
3-3-20 Yamamotodori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0003, Japan
The area of Kitano may or may not be as stimulating for foreigners visiting Japan as it is for the local Japanese, however it is definitely worthy of mention.
As Kobe was one of the first ports to open trade with the west in the 19th century, many of the foreign merchants took up residence in the city. A dozen or so such residences still stand and have been converted into museums ‘homes’. You can visit homes from various countries such as: China, Italy, France, England etc. They are all very grand and impressive.
Kobe Hotels & Accommodations [VIEW ALL]
Cheapest and best places to stay
Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland
7-2 Hatobacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0042, Japan
Travelers choosing the Kobe Harborland will want to get of at Kobe Station, as the hotel is a little far from Sannomiya and there is no free shuttle.
The Hotel is brilliantly located right in the harbor of Kobe on the water, needless to say the views are wicked, especially of Kobe Tower.
Rooms at the Harborland are notoriously large, which foreign travelers will find rather refreshing as accommodations in Japan are almost always ‘Japanese sized’. The hotel and rooms are very nicely designed in the classic elegance style.
Highlights include the French Restaurant 'Le Coeur' and the Spa (but only for women)
Single Occupant: $350
Double Occupant: $600
Hotel Piena Kobe
4-20-5 Ninomiyacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 651-0093, Japan
Only a thousand feet North of Sannomiya Station, the Piena has a good location and quite a decent price. The rooms are nice, designed in the classic elegance however they are a bit dated and underwhelming, but you can’t complain as the location and price are right. The morning breakfast is decent, with a buffet containing Japanese and Western dishes. The hotel is relatively small and has few dining options so travelers will do best to check out local eateries.
Single Occupant: $90
Double Occupant: $130
Note: The train station you want to arrive at in Kobe is called Sannomiya, not ‘Kobe’. Sannomiya is more centrally located, therefore we are using it for our guide.
Train from Tokyo to Kobe
Depart from Tokyo Station via Shinkansen NOZOMI 51 for Shin-Kobe Station
Time: 171 minutes
Arrive at Shin-kobe station and transfer to the Kobe City Subway Seishin-Yamate Line, bound for Sannomiya Station
Time: 2 minutes
Total time: 185 minutes
Cost: 14,670 yen
Train from Osaka to Kobe
Depart from Osaka JR Station via JR Special Rapid Service bound for Sannomiya JR Station.
Total time: 25 minutes
Cost: 390 yen