Tour the south-central Japanese city that has rebuilt itself after a devastating earthquake. Be charmed by its waterfront attractions and diverse neighborhoods.

Kobe is an attractive, cosmopolitan city that sits on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Devastated by an earthquake in 1995, Kobe has been completely rebuilt. Visit its bustling waterfront, monuments and fascinating neighborhoods.

After two centuries of isolation, Kobe was one of the first Japanese cities to open its doors to the West. Explore Kobe’s port, also known as the Bay Area, one of Japan’s busiest trading ports, which also serves as a shopping and entertainment district. Visit the department stores of Harborland, ride the giant Ferris wheel and take a boat cruise around the bay.

Visit the waterfront Meriken Park and its memorial to the earthquake victims. Learn about the port’s history at the Kobe Maritime Museum. See the city from the top-floor viewing platform of Kobe Port Tower. This 335-foot (108-meter) red steel structure resembles a large twisted tube and is illuminated by colored lights at night. From the tower, enjoy the view of majestic Mount Rokkō. Ride a gondola up the mountain to find walking trails, a botanical garden and hot springs.

When foreign traders first came to Kobe in the early 20th century, they built houses and mansions in the Kitano district. These former residences are now public museums. Inspect the intricately carved bars in England House and explore its Sherlock Holmes Room, a representation of the fictional detective’s headquarters. Admire French artwork and beautiful antique furniture inside France House.

Enjoy Kobe’s cultural events, including the biannual Kobe Fashion Week and Kobe Jazz Street, a jazz festival held every October. Try some of the renowned Kobe beef, a delicious marbled meat from local wagyu cattle. Visit Chinatown, a lively tourist area with restaurants, food stalls and souvenir stores.

Fly into Kansai International Airport, which is 40 miles (64.4 kilometers) south of Kobe. Get around on foot, by public transportation or by renting a car. Kobe experiences hot, humid summers and cool winters. With historic character and plenty of attractions, Kobe is an irresistible addition to your travel itinerary for Japan.

Where to stay in Kobe

Sannomiya
Kobe showing a city and street scenes

Sannomiya

Known for Gardens, Chinatown, Museums

4.5/5(43 reviews)

Consider exploring the abundant dining options in Sannomiya. If sightseeing is on the list, Ikuta Shrine is a top attraction. Hop on the metro at Sannomiya Hanadokeimae Station or Boeki Center Station to see more of the area.

Kobe City Centre
Kobe Tower showing a bay or harbor, a city and a high rise building

Kobe City Centre

Known for Museums, Gardens, Monuments

4.5/5(67 reviews)

You might take some time to check out the waterfront views in Kobe City Centre. Spend some time visiting top spots like Kobe Tower, and catch the metro at Kyukyoryuchi Daimarumae Station or Motomachi Station to see more of the area.

Kitano
Kitano featuring a city, shopping and street scenes

Kitano

Known for Historical Buildings, Budget, Museums

5/5(1 review)

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

Nankin-machi
Chinatown featuring a city, street scenes and markets

Nankin-machi

Known for Chinatown, Coffee, Ports

Experience the sights, smells and flavors of one of Japan’s liveliest Chinatowns. Discover street food, restaurants, shopping and traditional celebrations.

Higashinada
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum showing flowers and a garden

Higashinada

Known for Hot Springs, Relaxing, Islands

5/5(2 reviews)

Get to know Higashinada and its many features like its bars and museums. You might want to explore sights like Mount Rokko and Osaka Bay, and you can jump on the metro at Island Kitaguchi Station or Island Center Station to get around the city.

Hatobacho
Kobe Tower showing cbd, modern architecture and skyline

Hatobacho

While visiting Hatobacho, you might make a stop by sights like Kobe Tower and Meriken Park.

Top Hotels in Kobe

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Okura Kobe
Hotel Okura Kobe
4 out of 5
2-1 Hatoba-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo-ken
¥8,099
per night
Nov 25 - Nov 26

Located in Kobe City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Kawasaki Good Times World ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,689 reviews)

"The property is located at the Port of Kobe. The harbor facing rooms have amazing views, the west harbor view is not really worth the up charge but if you want a harbor peek and a view of Mosaic it’s ok. The area around the hotel is a very popular tourist and local destination. The historic Port ..."…"

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2019

Hotel Okura Kobe
KOBE LUMINOUS HOTEL SANNOMIYA
KOBE LUMINOUS HOTEL SANNOMIYA
3 out of 5
92 Edomachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo
¥6,204
per night
Nov 24 - Nov 25

Located in Sannomiya, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kobe City Hall, Kobe Tower, and Meriken Park. Kobe Harborland and Kobe Anpanman Children's Museum & ...

4.4/5Excellent! (822 reviews)

"Good location and convenient to find, will visit again if stay at Kobe next time!"…"

Reviewed on Nov 20, 2019

KOBE LUMINOUS HOTEL SANNOMIYA
Kobe Portopia Hotel
Kobe Portopia Hotel
4.5 out of 5
10-1 6-chome, Minatojima Nakamachi Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo-ken
¥7,228
per night
Dec 16 - Dec 17

This family-friendly Kobe hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Kobe Convention Center and Port of Kobe. Kobe Tower and Kobe Animal Kingdom ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,230 reviews)

"For conference in area, this is great. Spacious rooms for area in high quality hotel (if not that is showing its age). Great variety of restaurants."…"

Reviewed on Nov 6, 2019

Kobe Portopia Hotel

Popular things to do in Kobe

Arima Hot Springs
Image for Arima Hot Springs

Arima Hot Springs

4.5/5(37 reviews)

Find out about the history of Arima Hot Springs, one of the top monuments in Kobe. Make time to visit the area's shops, or simply enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Kobe Tower
Image for Kobe Tower

Kobe Tower

4.5/5(36 reviews)

See the beautiful views over the port of Kobe from the top of this landmark, which is a well-known symbol of the city.

Port of Kobe
Image for Port of Kobe

Port of Kobe

4.5/5(33 reviews)

Explore the waterfront in Kobe with a trip to Port of Kobe. While you're in the area, stroll along the waterfront.

Meriken Park
Image for Meriken Park

Meriken Park

4.5/5(12 reviews)

This pleasant waterfront park hosts a number of interesting attractions, including a memorial, several museums and varied entertainment centers.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Image for Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

4/5(1 review)

See the longest suspension bridge in the world, recognized as one of Japan’s most impressive engineering accomplishments.

Kobe Animal Kingdom
Image for Kobe Animal Kingdom

Kobe Animal Kingdom

4/5(1 review)

Why not visit the native and exotic animals at Kobe Animal Kingdom and see why this is a popular attraction in Harutakemachi Oaza Harutake? While you're in the area, stroll along the waterfront.

Top activities in Kobe

Osakan Cooking Class
Image for Osakan Cooking Class

Osakan Cooking Class

¥9,000

Your class introduces you to world of Japanese cuisine as you prepare the Osakan specialties of takoyaki and okonomiyaki, as well as delicious miso soup to pair. after main meal you try whisk green tea(Matcha) and Taiyaki(popular street fish shaped waffle) Meet your instructor at JR Morinomiya Staition North gate.

Private Full-Day Excursion to Kobe & Mount Rokko from Osaka
Image for Private Full-Day Excursion to Kobe & Mount Rokko from Osaka

Private Full-Day Excursion to Kobe & Mount Rokko from Osaka

¥46,500

Spend a day out of Osaka exploring the natural wonders surrounding Kobe. Take a scenic cable car up Mount Rokko, where you step into the lush, floral landscapes of the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden. Later, visit the hot springs at Arima Onsen and soak in the therapeutic waters of their baths.

Sushi-Making Workshop
Image for Sushi-Making Workshop

Sushi-Making Workshop

¥11,000

Learn the centuries-old art of sushi during an interactive workshop with a licensed chef in a local home. 2.5-hour sushi-making lesson takes place. Get personalized instruction in mastering the traditional Japanese techniques, and then sit down for a delectable meal of your own creation.

Family Day in Kobe, Your Way
Image for Family Day in Kobe, Your Way

Family Day in Kobe, Your Way

¥5,264

At first glance Kobe is all about the shrines, historic landmarks and beautiful scenery but look a little deeper and you will find a city bursting with adventure- the kind that your whole family will love because let's be honest, what kids find fun is very different to what the adults like to do.

Must See Kobe in a Day
Image for Must See Kobe in a Day

Must See Kobe in a Day

¥8,843

It's tough trying to sum Kobe up in one sentence, let alone seeing all its must-sees in a day! But that is not the aim. The important thing is that you get to experience the highlights that are unmissable to you.

Osaka Castle Photography
Image for Osaka Castle Photography

Osaka Castle Photography

¥10,202

Itinerary We will go to Osaka Castle in the morning. It is beautiful to see Osaka Castle in the morning and take a fresh breath air! Most of our beautiful pictures are taken in the morning. First I will pick you up at the Morinomiya station near Osaka Castle.

Reviews of Kobe

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
74
5 - Excellent 64.91228070175438%
4 - Good
33
4 - Good 28.94736842105263%
3 - Okay
7
3 - Okay 6.140350877192983%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 18, 2019

Wonderful city to visit and the people were very friendly.

5/5 - Excellent

Botmui

Nov 15, 2019

Convenient transfer to other locations

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 11, 2019

Comparing with Osaka and Kyoto, Kobe has fewer travelers. It is a relatively quiet town with good foods and great shoppings. It is close to Himeji Castle, Shikoku and Kyoto. You can stay in Kobe as a base and see Kansai .

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 25, 2019

Great city with wonderful food, good shopping & relaxation.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Oct 15, 2019

Kobe is a small town so there isn't much to see and do outside of shopping. The Motomarchi was huge with a large variety of shops. Foods variety were in short supply though there were lots of restaurants in Sanomiya.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Oct 7, 2019

Arima Onsen is a very small town. Limited things to do and places to eat. Worth half a day at the most.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Kobe

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Image for Rugby World Cup Japan: Things to Do Between Matches

Rugby World Cup Japan: Things to Do Between Matches

Crouch, bind, set for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan! With matches spread over 12 venues in cities across the country, traveling for the Rugby World Cup lets you experience Japanese culture and hospitality beyond the usual tourist cities.

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