Japan may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

KitanoKobe

Discover museums, cafés and shops in this pleasant hilltop neighborhood, featuring mansions from the early 1900s displaying distinctive Western-style architecture.

Walk around the hilltop district of Kitano and discover a different side of Kobe. Instead of Japanese architecture, this neighborhood holds abundant Western-style residences, former homes of early 20th-century foreign diplomats and traders. Many have been preserved as museums. Between the grand residences, find trendy cafés, restaurants and small shops.

When Kobe port opened itself to the outside world, American and European traders flocked to the city. At the top of Yamate Hill, they built luxury homes in the unique architectural styles of their homelands, creating this truly international neighborhood. Known in Japan as ijinkan, the houses all exude their own characters. See some of the dozen remaining homes open to the public, now preserved by the local government.

Visit Kazamidori-no-yakata, or the Weathercock House, with a rooftop weathervane that has become a symbol of Kitano. The imposing red-brick building, one of the most elaborate ijinkan, was built by a German trader in the early 1900s. Inside, discover mixed German architectural styles, some of which resemble a medieval castle.

Tour through Europe as you visit the English House, which is a museum during the day and a pub at night. The French House features ornate antiques including stained-glass Tiffany lamps. Create your own perfume inside the workshop at the Dutch House, which is filled with curious Dutch antiques. Enter the taxidermy world of Ben’s House, where stuffed animals include a tiger, a moose and a polar bear.

Relax inside chic cafés and restaurants tucked inside or between the houses and soak up the nostalgic atmosphere of bygone days. Peruse the area’s antique shops, high-end souvenir shops and stylish boutiques.

Kitano is a short uphill walk from San-no-miya and Shin-Kobe stations. The district is small and easily navigable on foot. Pay the fees to enter the houses and save money by opting for combined or passport tickets, granting entry into multiple houses. Come to Kitano to see what daily life was like for the wealthy families who moved across the world to Kobe.


Popular places to visit in Kitano

Top things to do in Kitano


Top Hotels in Kitano

Hotel Kitano Plaza Rokkoso
Hotel Kitano Plaza Rokkoso
3.5 out of 5
1-1-14 Kitanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo-ken
Free Cancellation
The price is ¥11,570 per night from Nov 29 to Nov 30

Located in Kitano, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kitano Foreigners Club, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Port of Kobe and Kobe Oji Zoo are also within 3 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (87 reviews)

"The location and environment of this hotel is good."…"

Reviewed on Aug 22, 2020

Hotel Kitano Plaza Rokkoso
Super Hotel Kobe
Super Hotel Kobe
3 out of 5
2-1-11 Kanou, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥3,718 per night from Nov 29 to Nov 30

Located in Kitano, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kitano Foreigners Club, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Port of Kobe and Kobe Oji Zoo are also within 3 ...

5/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)

"よかったです。 また、利用いたします。"…"

Reviewed on Sep 7, 2020

Super Hotel Kobe
Green Hill Hotel Urban
Green Hill Hotel Urban
2.5 out of 5
2-5-16 Kano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo-ken
The price is ¥3,914 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in Kitano, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Shin-Kobe Ropeway, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Port of Kobe and Kobe Oji Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 ...

2.7/5 (167 reviews)
Of course small

"Dirty carpets and small for the money although front desk staff nice"…"

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2015

Green Hill Hotel Urban
HOTEL TRANCE -Adults Only
HOTEL TRANCE -Adults Only
3 out of 5
2-19-1,Nakayamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe
Get Rates

Located in Kitano, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kobe Mosque, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Kobe Harborland and Kobe Anpanman Children's Museum & Mall ...

3.2/5 (10 reviews)

"食事をいちいち扉開けないでいいようにならなあかな"…"

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2019

HOTEL TRANCE -Adults Only
Hotel Liberal -Adults Only
Hotel Liberal -Adults Only
3 out of 5
2-2-8 Yamamoto-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo
Get Rates

Located in Kitano, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kobe Mosque, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Kobe Harborland and Kobe Anpanman Children's Museum & Mall ...

3.3/5 (48 reviews)

"The free breakfast was never provided."…"

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2017

Hotel Liberal -Adults Only
Community Guesthouse Tonarino - Hostel
Community Guesthouse Tonarino - Hostel
1 out of 5
2-19-9 Nakayamatedori, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo
Get Rates

Located in Kitano, this hostal is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kobe Mosque, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Kobe Harborland and Kobe Anpanman Children's Museum & Mall ...

2.8/5 (5 reviews)

"Very close to Sannomiya station. Nice staff. Work in progress for place itself. If you just need a place to put your backpack as you go out to sightsee and enjoy a night out than this works. Don’t expect much in the way of extra frills. Bring your own towel."…"

Reviewed on Oct 28, 2019

Community Guesthouse Tonarino - Hostel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Other neighborhoods in Kobe

Kitano