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Where to Go in Kobe

Kobe is one of the 10 biggest cities of Japan, yet the city center is fairly compact and most of the key areas can be explored in a day or two. Here are a few places that need to be on your itinerary.

Index

  • Kobe Harborland

  • Kobe Port Tower

  • Sannomiya

  • Nankingmachi (Chinatown)

  • Nada Sake District

  • Ikuta Shrine

  • Kitano Tenman Shrine

  • Shinkaichi

  • Kobe Harborland

    This is an entertainment and shopping district built next to the waterfront. Several huge malls ensure you will have something to do no matter what time of the day you visit. However, just like many other parts of Kobe, this area really shows its best side after sunset, when the proximity to the ocean and the many illuminated buildings turn it into a popular date spot. Harborland has it’s on Subway station, but it’s also conveniently accessible by foot from JR Kobe station.

    Kobe Harborland

    Kobe Harborland

  • Kobe Port Tower

    Perhaps one of the most famous symbols of Kobe can also be found in the Harborland area. This 108-meter-high steel tower was built back in 1963, and today it has matured into a structure that has a fair bit of retro charm, especially the rotating floor where the café is located.
    The structure itself draws some design cues from a traditional Japanese Taiko drum, and it’s still a quite impressive view to behold, despite the modest height by today’s standards.

    Kobe Port Tower

    Kobe Port Tower

  • Sannomiya

    Sannomiya is the main shopping district in Kobe. Around here you will find several massive shotengai, or shopping streets, that are a worthwhile attraction by themselves. On top of all your shopping needs, you will also find a wide range of restaurants here, offering everything from Kobe beef to fast food. As Sannomiya is one of the biggest transport hubs in Kobe, most major train lines, including JR, Hanshin and the Kobe Subway all make stops here.

    Sannomiya

    Sannomiya

  • Nankingmachi (Chinatown)

    Despite being much smaller than its counterpart in Yokohama, Chinatown in Kobe is well worth a visit. The area, formally known as Nankinmachi, houses a broad selection of street food vendors and Chinese restaurants, most of which are priced very reasonably. The highlight of the area is the plaza in the middle, where people usually gather at the lit-up pavilion snacking on street food or having drinks. The nearest station is Motomachi, but it’s also easy to reach by a ten minute walk from Sannomiya station.

    Nankingmachi (Chinatown)

    Nankingmachi (Chinatown)

  • Nada Sake District

    Nada Sake District

    Nada Sake District

    When thinking about Kobe, its wagyu beef usually gets all the attention, but what most don’t know is that Kobe’s Nada District is at the top of the list of Japan’s sake producing regions. As such, one of the most interesting sightseeing activities in this cosmopolitan port city is touring the various sake breweries and sake museums where you can learn about sake production and try out some of the best Nihonshu Japan has to offer. Most of the locations open from 9am to 5pm with some of them offering meals as part of their tour.

  • Ikuta Shrine

    Ikuta Shrine

    Ikuta Shrine

    In the Sannomiya District, one cannot get the full essence of Kobe City without visiting Ikuta Shrine. Way back in AD 201, Empress Jingu founded Ikuta, enshrined the kami Wkahirume, and created what is now one of Japan’s oldest shrines. As if holding on tight to the past and confronting a modern Japan, Ikuta Shrine is located right at the center of Kobe’s busiest and most commercial district. The contrast between old and new is even more noticeable at night as a few steps will get you from the bustling shotengai to its towering Torii gate in a matter of minutes.

  • Kitano Tenman Shrine

    Kitano Tenman Shrine

    Kitano Tenman Shrine

    Before another sunset comes around Kobe City, you should head for another one of the city’s historic shrines. Kitano Tenman Shrine is one of the best spots within walking distance from Sannomiya Station to get that “insta-bae” shot of Kitano-cho and the city center as the sun is setting. The uphill walk is steep but well worth the effort.

  • Shinkaichi

    An old and slightly worn down neighbourhood that houses one of the biggest food markets in Kansai. Here you’ll find everything from Japanese snacks and street food, to fresh fish and vegetables, all wrapped in a very retro setting that brings you back to the Showa Era. A big part of Shinkaichi is made up of one of the biggest red-light districts in Kobe. But there are also several hip guesthouses, live venues and bars to be found here.

    Shinkaichi

    Shinkaichi

    Harbor Land
    Address
    Hyougo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Higashikawasakichou 1-chome
    Phone
    Kobe Port Tower
    rating 9 Reviews
    Address
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Hatobachou 5-5
    Phone
    0783916751
    Kobe-sannomiya(Hanshin Line)
    Address
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Onoedori 8 chome
    Phone
    Nankinmachi
    Address
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Sakaemachidori 1-2-chome, Motomachidori 1-2 chome
    Phone
    Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery Museum
    rating 77 Reviews
    Address
    Hyougo Pref. Koubeshi Higashinada-ku Uozakinishimachi 1-9-1
    Phone
    0788541029
  • Ikuta Shrine
    rating 706 Reviews
    Address
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Shimoyamatedori 1-2-1
    Phone
    0783213851
    Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
    rating 139 Reviews
    Address
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Kitanochou 3-12
    Phone
    0782212139
    Shinkaichi
    Address
    Hyougo Pref. Koubeshi Hyougo-ku Mizukidori 1-chome
    Phone
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