Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities, shopping, eating, or sake sampling, this bright and bustling harborside city has something for you. Why not combine all four pursuits into one exciting long weekend? Follow our recommendations for a fun and adventure-filled few days in Kobe.
Stroll through streets of European architecture in Kitano
Meander uphill from Sannomiya Station to an area of tree-lined streets with a smattering of old-style merchant houses, quaint cafes, and boutique shops.
Eat desserts made from Kobe dairy produce
Stop into a sweets store like Kannonya Motomachi or Kazamidori Honpo for cheesecake and ice cream made with milk from Kobe dairy farms.
Check out the stores along the Motomachi Shotengai
Wander down the Motomachi covered shopping street and browse the approximately 300 clothing, electronics, and souvenir shops down this 1.2 km arcade.
Ride the sky-scraping Mosaic Ferris Wheel
Take in panoramic views of the city, port, and bay from a giant Ferris wheel located in Kobe Harborland.
Go for a morning walk in Port Island’s seaside parklands
Catch the port liner driverless train over to the man-made Port Island in Kobe bay and take a brisk walk through its waterfront parks.
Hunt for Japanese crafts and antiques at Kobe flea markets
Pick up washi paper greeting cards, Tamba-style pottery, and other arts, crafts, and accessories at weekend markets by the sea (Maiko Park on Saturdays, and Meriken Park on the first and third Sundays of the month).
Tour rice-wine breweries in the Nada sake district
Go cellar-door hopping and learn about the sake-brewing process in one of Japan’s top sake-production hubs. Start out on foot from Hanshin Uozaki Station and drop in at Hamafukutsuru Ginjo Kobo, Sakura Masamune, Kiku Masamune, and Hakutsuru breweries.
Eat a plate of sobameshi
Served sizzling on a hot teppan (iron griddle), this simple blend of fried rice and soba noodles mixed with egg and chicken or pork in a fragrant sweet sauce is just the kind of comfort food you’re looking for after a day of sake sampling. Try Aomori or Nagata Tank-suji in the Nagata district.
Admire the twinkling lights of Kobe from the ocean on a bay cruise
Ride a boat out from the port and take in views of the Kobe skyline and city lights in the evening.
Sample the catch of the day at the Akashi fish market
Enjoy a sashimi breakfast with the sound of the bustling morning fish auctions in the background
Pick persimmons at a fruit orchard
Pluck and eat persimmons straight from the trees in the October–November harvest period at Hazedani and Oshibedani in Kobe’s Nishi district of Kobe. Try Tomokiyo Kaki Orchard or Kizu Kaki Orchard
(reservation only – Tel: 078-961-2650).
Browse Japanese and Western artworks at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art
Wander through the aesthetically pleasing glass and granite buildings designed by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando and admire art collections from Japan and around the world.
Explore Nankin-machi—Kobe’s China Town
Feel the atmosphere of China as you walk through the alleys of Nankin-machi. While you’re there, drop into Roshoki—an old restaurant that specializes in serving Chinese steamed pork buns (buta-manju).
Hike to the top of Mount Rokko
Get an early start and climb to the Rokko summit, take in far-reaching city and bay views, and wander through the Nunobiki Herb Garden on the way down.
Dip your feet into a waterfall rock pool
Walk for 30 minutes downhill from the lower exit of Nunobiki Herb Gardens or catch the ropeway down to view Nunobiki Falls. Have a picnic at the bottom and splash around in the rock pool near Shin-Kobe Station.
Feast on a Kobe beef steak
Reward yourself after a long day of hiking with a meal of the marbled wagyu beef that this area is renowned for at a Kobe beef restaurant like Wakkoqu, Kissho Grill, or Steak Aoyama.
Kannonya Motomachi 3-9-23 Motomachidori, Chuo Ward; kannonya.co.jp • Kazamidori Honpo Chuo Ward, Kitanocho, 3-5-5; kazamidori.co.jp • Maiko Park 2051 Higashimaikocho, Tarumi Ward; hyogo-maikopark.jp • Meriken Park Chuo Ward, Hatobacho, 2; feel-kobe.jp • Hamafukutsuru Ginjo Kobo 4 Chome-4-6 Uozaki Minamimachi, Higashinada Ward; hamafukutsuru.co.jp • Sakura Masamune 5-10-1 Uozaki Minamimachi, Higashinada Ward; sakuramasamune.co.jp • Kiku Masamune Higashinada Ward, Mikagehonmachi, 1-7-15; kikumasamune.co.jp • Hakutsuru 4-5-5 Sumiyoshi Minamimachi, Higashinada Ward; hakutsuru.co.jp • Aomori 4 Chome-8-6 Kubocho, Nagata Ward • Nagata Tank-suji B1 Sannomiya Center Plaza bldg, 1-8-1, Sannomiyacho, Chuo-ku; kobe1te2.com/tank • Akashi fish market 2029-1 Fujie, Akashi-shi; akashishijo.co.jp • Tomokiyo Kaki Orchard Nishi, Hasetanicho, Tomokiyo 265-266 • Kizu Kaki Orchard Oshibedanicho Kizu 751 • Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art 1-1-1 Wakinohamakaigandori, Chuo Ward; artm.pref.hyogo.jp • Nankin-machi 1-3-18 Sakaemachidori, Chuo Ward; nankinmachi.or.jp • Nunobiki Herb Garden 1-4-3 Kitanocho, Chuo Ward; kobeherb.com • Wakkoqu Japan, Chuo Ward, Kitanocho, 1-1; wakkoqu.com/index.html • Kissho Grill 2F 1-8-4 Motomachi, Chuo Ward; grill-kissho.com • Steak Aoyama 2-14-5 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo Ward; steakaoyama.com