Kobe Tourism

The history of this place is said to have begun with the construction of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingu in AD 201. However the city itself did not exist 1889. Compared to other major Japanese cities, Kobe’s political history is quite fractured. For a brief time in the 12th century it was capital of Japan. It is also the site of one of Japan’s most important historical battles – the battle of Ichi-no-Tani of the Genpei war.

Much of the local development was precipitated by the city is location close to the sea. In 1853, when Japan’s by the sea of seclusion was ended, Kobe was one of the first port cities. During World War II Kobe suffered some air-bombing damage, with about 20% of its area destroyed. Of late, the only notable historical event to have taken place here was the 1995 Hanshin earthquake. As a result of the earthquake, the city lost its position as one of the top ports in Asia.

The layout of the city is long and narrow, as it lies between the coast and the mountains that run parallel each other. The city has a population of 1.5 million people. Several major Japanese companies have their headquarters here, including Kawasaki Industries and Mitsubishi Motors.

Essential travel information and Kobe tips for your visit

Essential Info

  • Time Zone: Japan Time Zone UTC+09:00
  • Currency: Yen
  • Electricity and Internet: 100 Volts, plug types A and B & Ungrounded two pins/ grounded three pins.
  • Languages: Japanese; many people speak basic English.
  • Security: Police: 110, Ambulance/Fire: 119

Off-Beaten Path

  • Venus Bridge
  • Rokko International music box museum
  • UCC Coffee Museum


  • Do not tip waiters or taxi driver or any service staff.
  • Tipping tour guides is alright, but present the money in an envelope. It’s rude to hand it right out of your wallet or hand.

Tourist Traps

  • ArimaOnsen
  • Mount Rokko
  • Chinatown


  • Bow when greeting.
  • Learn Japanese honorifics. Add a suffix ‘-san’ to most people’s names.
  • Slurp, soupy & wet foods.
  • the small wet cloth before meals is for your hands only.
  • Remove shoes before entering dwellings; remove slippers before getting onto tatami; and don’t wear bathroom slippers anywhere outside the bathroom.
  • Don’t be too outspoken or gregarious. It’s rude.
  • Since people barely speak English, it’s best to thoroughly know your travel and tourist information before hand.

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Kobe

  • Know the pollution level of Kobe before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 48.33 (Moderate)
    • Water Pollution 50 (Moderate)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 52.08 (Moderate)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 34.38 (Low)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 35.42 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 34.78 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 46.3 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 48.96 (Moderate)
  • How safe is Kobe for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Kobe.

    • Burglary and Theft 16.14 (Very Low)
    • Mugging and Robbery 11.56 (Very Low)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 13.75 (Very Low)
    • Corruption and Bribery 17.19 (Very Low)
    • Car Stealing 10 (Very Low)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 12.5 (Very Low)
    • Attacks 15.51 (Very Low)
    • Drug offense 12.5 (Very Low)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 89.51 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 84.57 (Very High)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 16.88 (Very Low)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 16.56 (Very Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 15.31 (Very Low)
  • Quality of Life Index of Kobe is 169.5 (Very High)

    • Safety Index 85.31 (Very High)
    • Climate Index 84.32 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 53.24 (Moderate)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 34.2 (Low)
    • Cost of Living Index 76.37 (Moderate)
    • Health Care Index 73.1 (High)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 9.07 (Moderate)
    • Purchasing Power Index 97 (High)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Kobe

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.27 USD
    • International Movie per seat 15.92 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 39.8 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 72.97 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 61.92 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ‚Äčand subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo