There’s more to Kobe than just the Beef There’s more to Kobe than just the Beef

There’s more to Kobe than just the Beef


2020.05.21

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

There’s more to Kobe than just the Beef

The city of Kobe is world-famous for its high quality “Wagyu” beef, and with good reason too - its tender, marbled fatty texture and exceptionally tasty flavor are considered a prized Japanese delicacy. In fact it is probably the most widely known regional Japanese food in the world. But there’s a lot more to Kobe than just the beef, in this article we will only begin to scratch the surface by looking at two areas of the city that are attractive to domestic and international travelers alike – The area around Kobe Port including Meriken Park and Kobe Harborland and Kitanocho, a former foreign merchant and diplomat settlement at the foot of the Rokko mountain range.

  • Kobe Beef

    Kobe Beef

    Kobe beer article is here.

  • 02

    Kobe Harborland

    Anyone who arrives in Kobe via Kobe Station will see Harborland as they emerge from the main station exit. A popular shopping and entertainment district suitable for families, it boasts a wide range of shops, cafes, restaurants and other amusements. It has an unmistakably modern feel to it, with heavy influences of western culture thrown into the mix – think American style shopping arcades alongside European style cafes and walkways. If you’re in Japan looking for traditional architecture and culture, perhaps this isn’t the area for you, however if you are looking to wine and dine with your partner, and perhaps indulge in a spot of retail therapy with fantastic views of the port and ocean, then it is well worth checking out!

    Harborland’s Ferris Wheel and Mosaic Shopping Complex look especially good as the day draws to an end

    Harborland’s Ferris Wheel and Mosaic Shopping Complex look especially good as the day draws to an end

    You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a town in the middle of Europe while walking along the winding paths of Kobe’s Harborland, which are lined with cafes and restaurants

    You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a town in the middle of Europe while walking along the winding paths of Kobe’s Harborland, which are lined with cafes and restaurants

    The backstreets which are positioned behind the main shopping malls are a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the shopping promenades

    The backstreets which are positioned behind the main shopping malls are a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the shopping promenades

    With a wide range of shops available there should be something for everyone inside the shopping malls

    With a wide range of shops available there should be something for everyone inside the shopping malls

    Umie shopping  complex is the most prominent in the Harborland area with a wide range of shops and stores

    Umie shopping complex is the most prominent in the Harborland area with a wide range of shops and stores

    At the far end of the pier you will find both the Ferris Wheel and the Anpanman Museum, a museum dedicated to the popular Japanese anime character

    At the far end of the pier you will find both the Ferris Wheel and the Anpanman Museum, a museum dedicated to the popular Japanese anime character

    The Ferris Wheel offers fantastic views over the harbor, port and city

    The Ferris Wheel offers fantastic views over the harbor, port and city

    Passenger boats that dock along the side of Harborland are ready to ferry visitors around the port offering fantastic views of the harbor and city alike

    Passenger boats that dock along the side of Harborland are ready to ferry visitors around the port offering fantastic views of the harbor and city alike

    When evening falls and the various attractions along Harborland light up, it takes on a romantic atmosphere that attracts lots of young couples who can be found strolling along the water’s edge. It is also a popular spot for photographers who want to try and capture the illuminated nightscape.

    Looking across the harbor towards Kobe Port Tower from Kobe Harborland

    Looking across the harbor towards Kobe Port Tower from Kobe Harborland

    The Oriental Hotel illuminated at night as seen from Kobe Harborland

    The Oriental Hotel illuminated at night as seen from Kobe Harborland

    The Ferris Wheel with Kobe Port Tower in the distance

    The Ferris Wheel with Kobe Port Tower in the distance

    Kobe Harborland
    rating

    4.0

    1935 Reviews
    place
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Higashikawasakichou 1
    phone
    0783603639
    opening-hour
    Each Depending on the facili…
    View Allarrow
  • 03

    Meriken Park

    Juat a hop, skip and jump from Kobe Harborland, across the water, you will find Meriken Park – a waterfront park with a grassy lawn, open courtyards, various art installations and cafes for relaxing in. It is a popular hangout for young locals who come to sit, chat, bmx and skateboard along the promenade. Don’t let this put you off though, it is an excellent place to unwind and indulge in a spot of people watching.

    The BE KOBE art installation in Meriken Park is a popular Instagram spot with visitors and locals

    The BE KOBE art installation in Meriken Park is a popular Instagram spot with visitors and locals

    Contemporary art piece inside Meriken Park

    Contemporary art piece inside Meriken Park

    The Meriken Park Art Walls

    The Meriken Park Art Walls

    Local BMXer flexing his skills in Meriken Park

    Local BMXer flexing his skills in Meriken Park

    Meriken Park is also home to some of the cities most iconic landmarks including the Kobe Port Tower, the Kobe Maritime Museum, the Fish Dance sculpture and the Kobe Oriental Hotel.

    It is also home to a memorial park commemorating the many victims that sadly died in the port during the Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck the area in 1995. To learn more about the quake you can also visit the Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum which includes lots of photos, documents and other memorabilia from the incident, and other natural disasters around the world.

    Starbucks Coffee Shop with the Kobe Maritime Museum in the distance

    Starbucks Coffee Shop with the Kobe Maritime Museum in the distance

    Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum as seen from across the water

    Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum as seen from across the water

    Fish Dance – a contemporary art piece in Meriken Park by artist Frank O Gehry

    Fish Dance – a contemporary art piece in Meriken Park by artist Frank O Gehry

    Meriken Park
    place
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Hatobachou
    phone
    0783210085
    opening-hour
    Free walking
    View Allarrow
  • 04

    Kitanocho Area

    Towards the north of the city, close to Shin Kobe Station, lies the Kitanocho area of Kobe. A city district that saw large numbers of foreign merchants and diplomats settle after the port of Kobe opened its doors to international business in the late 1800s. Many of the merchants, who came from various countries across Europe brought with them architectural ideas from their homelands, and built houses that closely resembled where they had come from. Over time this meant the area started to take on an interesting visual identity that incorporated both traditional Japanese and contemporary European ideas and aesthetics. The streets are lined with European style streetlamps, flower displays that look like they are straight from an English garden and houses unlike what you would normally find in Japan.

    Moegi House, built in 1903 by the American vice consul

    Moegi House, built in 1903 by the American vice consul

    Weathercock House, built in 1909 by a German merchant

    Weathercock House, built in 1909 by a German merchant

    A street scene from Kitanocho

    A street scene from Kitanocho

    Scenes from a very European looking Japanese town - Kitanocho

    Scenes from a very European looking Japanese town - Kitanocho

    Today more than a dozen former mansions built and owned by overseas merchants and diplomats still remain, many of which are open to the public in the form of open-house museums. These include houses built by British, French, German and Dutch settlers. Most of the houses charge a small fee to enter (between 500 and 700 yen), there are also combination tickets available that will allow you visit multiple houses.

    Rhine House, built in 1915

    Rhine House, built in 1915

    Inside one of the foreign built homes now open to visitors who are curious about the lives of merchants and diplomats from overseas stationed in Japan

    Inside one of the foreign built homes now open to visitors who are curious about the lives of merchants and diplomats from overseas stationed in Japan

    Inside one of the foreign built homes now open to visitors who are curious about the lives of merchants and diplomats from overseas stationed in Japan

    Inside one of the foreign built homes now open to visitors who are curious about the lives of merchants and diplomats from overseas stationed in Japan

    Yokan Nagaya (French House), built in 1904 is filled with ornate French furniture and artwork

    Yokan Nagaya (French House), built in 1904 is filled with ornate French furniture and artwork

    Weathercock House as seen from Kitanocho Square

    Weathercock House as seen from Kitanocho Square

    Uroko House boasts a collection of antique furniture and paintings, with a nice garden out front, complete with a red British telephone box, a rare sight in Japan

    Uroko House boasts a collection of antique furniture and paintings, with a nice garden out front, complete with a red British telephone box, a rare sight in Japan

    Kitano Ijinkan
    place
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Kitanochou 1-3 Kobe City Kitano Tourist Information Office
    phone
    0782518360
    opening-hour
    Depending on the facility
    View Allarrow

Click here for a summary article including this article