5 Reasons to Visit Kobe, Japan
If you’re looking for something a little different when you visit Japan, get off the tourist trail and visit Kobe, a coastal city on Osaka Bay. Kobe is a modern, friendly city that boasts many striking landmarks, interesting museums, and natural beauty. As the sixth largest city in Japan and an important center for business, it’s no surprise that the city has plenty of things to do and great places to shop and eat. You’ll even find upscale hotels like the ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe and options to suit all budgets.
Places like Tokyo and Kyoto might be the first destinations you think of when planning a trip to Japan, but Kobe should also appear at the top of your list. Here are five reasons you should visit Kobe.
Kobe is Blessed by Nature
Kobe occupies a narrow strip of land between forested mountains and the sea. You can stroll along the seaside in the morning and then climb the mountains in the afternoon. Kobe’s modern waterfront enables you to spend your leisure time shopping, dining, or enjoying entertainment. Other significant additions to Kobe’s seaside include the artificial Port and Rokko islands, where Kobe’s main commercial center is now located.
Nearby, Mount Rokko offers spectacular panoramic views over Kobe and nearby Osaka. If you prefer hiking, there are a number of smaller tourist attractions on Mount Rokko, including a botanical garden, Rokko Garden Terrace, and an observation deck. Shin-Kobe Ropeway provides exceptional views as you ascend to or descend from Mount Rokko.
Kobe Has Marvelous Landmarks
Kobe also has some outstanding historical and architectural landmarks. Located in the Kitano-cho area, the Jain Temple welcomes prayer and meditation. The temple is made of marble, elephant figures decorate the entrance, and the intricate structure demands detailed observation.
The Kobe Mosque is the first Islamic place of worship built in Japan. It features a dome and two minarets, an elegant interior, and a traditional architectural style.
The city’s iconic symbol, Kobe Port Tower, offers beautiful 360-degree panoramic views over Kobe and the surrounding area. From here you can get a glimpse of Mount Rokko or enjoy a drink in the rotating café.
Kobe Has a Laid-Back Vibe
Kobe is a cosmopolitan city where you’ll always feel welcome. Whether you stroll through beautiful Kitano-cho, enjoy the rich nightlife in Sannomiya or Motomachi, or head to Chinatown to sample local delicacies, it’s easy to see why Kobe has a reputation for being one of the most pleasant Japanese cities.
Kobe Is a Cultural City
Kobe has some world-class museums. One of the best is the Maritime Museum, which traces Kobe’s history as a port city. Here, you can browse models of various ships and navigation instruments and see a theatrical performance revealing the effects of World War II and the 1995 earthquake.
Kobe is also home to the first fashion museum in Japan. The Kobe Fashion Museum, which looks like a spaceship on Rokko Island, organizes temporary exhibitions and has a library with fashion publications in a number of languages.
The Kobe City Museum boasts an extensive collection of paintings, artifacts, and maps. This museum highlights the longtime relationship between Eastern and Western cultures.
There’s so Much to See Around Kobe
Don’t limit your visit to the city, since there’s so much to do in the surrounding area. Visit Himeji Castle, a 17th-century masterpiece that’s also known as White Heron Castle due to its semblance to a bird taking flight. Explore Nunobiki Falls, a group of waterfalls that has inspired various artists for centuries.
You shouldn’t leave Osaka, a large port city near Kobe, off your itinerary either. In Osaka, you can see modern architecture, visit historic sites, have fun at amusement parks, and enjoy excellent food.
As you can see, Kobe is a city that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Japan. With so much to see and do and such a welcoming vibe, it’s easy to find many reasons to visit Kobe.