Sightseeing in Kobe

※ This article sums up my favorite sightseeing spots of Kobe after living there for 7 months now..

As pointed out, my dad and brother came to Kobe and I showed them around. So which places did we visit?


Between Kobe-Sannomiya and Ikuta Shrine, the downtown is located. We checked out the downtown and also Ikuta Shrine. We visited Tokyu Hands (a department store) to buy a handkerchief. In Japanese toilets, you often won’t find any devices to dry your hands. Japanese people carry a small towel to dry their hands and sweat with them.


Akashi is to the west of Kobe and outside the city. The castle is a nice site, but you should probably only visit it for Hanami. At this particular date, we have been too early by about 4-7 days. Back in Kobe, my relatives and Martina ate Kobe beef, the beef Kobe is famous for. Afterwards, we went southwards to Higashiyuennti, the East park next to Kobe City Hall. We went along the Port to reach the Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park. The Meriken Park is a nice place to visit and relax. For 700 Yen, we took the elevator to the seventh (IIRC) floor to get a nice overview at the Kobe Port Town. The money is worth it, if the weather is not too bad (which was not in our case). The nearby MOSAIC mall is a night-life amusement zone, but we didn’t visit it. We continued to the North. Chinatown, also Nankinmachi, is located south of Motomachi station. This place is definitely worth a visit. You will see a lot of Chinese motives and designs. However, Kobe beef is advertised at every corner. Afterwards, we went back towards Kobe-Sannomiya and finished our day.


In the morning, we went from Kobe-Sannomiya to Shin-Kobe (you can also take the subway). We took the Shin-Kobe Ropeway to reach the top station and we went down the mountain to the middle station crossing the Nunobiki Herb Gardens. By the way, the ropeway was built by the Austrian-Swiss Doppelmayr company. It was the perfect time to visit the place, because all flowers were blooming and it was a delight to take pictures in this sunny setting. At the top station, you can do some herb shopping (I bought Rokko beer and wine) and smell different scents from small bottles. It is also the starting point for a hike to Mount Maya. In the Herb Gardens, a herb cafe is located. To stopped there, got an all-you-can-drink ticket for herb tea and my brother and dad ate a snack. Using the ropeway, we got back from the Middle station to Shin-Kobe and went by foot to the west. Kitano-Cho is in my opinion not really interesting for us Europeans, but admittedly the Weather Cockhouse is nice to look at. Further to the west, we climed up to the Suwayama Park and reached Venus bridge. This is a wonderful sightseeing spot to see across Kobe. Afterwards, we briefly visited the Kobe Masjid Mosque and returned to Kobe-Sannomiya.


This day was actually about Osaka. My dad visited Osaka in his youth (back in 1974) and was interested in some spots. To keep it short: We visited Osaka Castle, Shinsaibashi district, Dotonbori district, Namba district and the Namba Jasaka shrine (I link to the German Wikipedia, because there is no English article in Wikipedia about it). The day was finalized by a visit to the Umeda Sky Building.

So this was my trip with my dad and brother. How about my Austrian friend also visiting in April?


We met in Osaka to visit the area around the Tsūtenkaku tower. We went to the park around Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts and spent some time there looking around. To be honest, the area around the tower was not very lively in the afternoon and the park was nice to look at once. But it was not really interesting to me. I left by train at Tennoji station back to Kobe.


We began very late and visited Ikuta Shrine at about 15:00. We visited the Kobe Downtown and used the observatory at the Kobe City Hall. Just like with my brother and dad, we went southwards to the Port. We reached Kobe Port Tower, but we did not go up to the upper floors. We continued in direction of Chinatown and my final goal was the Venusbridge after sunset. We ate dinner in some tiny booth close to Kobe-Sannomiya and went northwest-bound to Venusbridge. This was a great decision. It was actually my first 10-million-dollar-view experience. By the way, at GPS coordinates "34.692766,135.190512" south of Ikuta Shrine, there is a public foot bath. It is definitly worth a visit, but it was under construction in April.


Entering from Ashiyagawa, we climbed Mount Rokko. We brought lunch and ate it before reaching the summit. The summit has a height of 931 meters and in general, the path is neither easy nor difficult. You should wear proper shoes and be prepared for weather changes. The first half of the trail is quite exposed to sun whereas in the latter half we often enter the woods. After the summit, we left Mount Roko towards the north and reached Arima Onsen. After spending some time in Gin No Yu (the golden hot spring water), we left and got tired on our way back to Kobe.

So? Time for a conclusion. What are the place, you should visit?

  • Downtown northwest of Kobe-Sannomiya and Ikuta Shrine

  • Meriken Park including the Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park and Kobe Port Tower

  • Kobe Nankinmachi (Chinatown)

  • Take a footpath in the Kobe downtown at "34.692766,135.190512"

  • Venusbridge is the best at night, but it is also dangerous if you don’t have light and don’t know the location. You don’t have to climb there, but be sure you don’t get lost or trip in the dark.

  • For sports-loving people, I definitely recommend the Mount Rokko hike. On public holidays, Japanese people are traverse this way and it will be easy to ask someone for the way. Otherwise you have to read Kanji at the guideposts.. You can finish at Arima Onsen, but in my opinion Arima Onsen is not the best onsen. You can find better ones in Japan.

Yeah, this is my personal recommendation list skipping some sightseeing spots, I don’t think are interesting enough.