Best Things To Do in Kobe, Japan

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Sightseeing in Kobe has an interesting blend of tourist attractions. Rising above its skyline are Mount Rokko and Mount Maya. These serve up terrific views, a host of quirky little alpine attractions, and spectacular cable car rides. The mountains are especially magnificent in springtime and autumn. Behind Mount Rokko is the famed hot-spring resort Arima Onsen.

Inside the city itself, the most popular are is the Kitano-cho district with the Ijinkan (Foreign Houses), a neighborhood for charming 19th century architecture. There are many excellent shopping areas:Kyu-kyoryuchi, Chinatown, and the Harbourland. There nearly as many attractions dedicated to nature: Fruit Flower Park, Sorakuen Garden, and the Nunobiki Herb Park. Also, take a walk up the Nunobiki Falls area, on of Japan’s most important waterfalls. There are spectacular viewpoints from the Kobe Tower and the City Hall. And for several centuries, Kobe has been the hotspot for sake brewing – check the breweries out. Kobe also has Japan’s first mosque and first Sikh temple. The Animal Kingdom and the Rokkosan farm make for great family time.

Below we have a list of things to do in Kobe and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Kobe getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Kobe with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Kobe

Here is the list of things to do in Kobe and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden And Ropeway

    Garden, View Point, Ropeways

    The layout of this attraction can be mildly confusing to foreigners: the thing to remember is that this is TWO attractions, a cable car ropeway from the foot of the hill, and the herb garden the cable car takes you to at the top of the mountain. The ride is about 10 minutes long and takes you over iconic views - Nunobiki waterfall and, the NunobikiGohonmatsu dam, and of course, spectacular pano...Read more
  2. Kobe City Oji Zoo

    4.3 (2085 Votes)
    Kobe City Oji Zoo


    The 80000 square metres of the zoo are home to around 850 different animals from 150 different species. A pleasant number of the species are quite rare - giant panda, koala, golden snub-nosed monkey, Amur tiger, and snow-leopard. Polar bears, ostriches, monkeys, dolphins, orangutans, lions and penguins help round off the attractions. Kids will enjoy the petting zoo, where the rabbits and goats ...Read more
  3. Sannomiya Center Town

    Cafe, Street Market, Shopping Center, Street Food

    It would be easy to end up spending an entire day in this commercial complex without realizing where the time has flown. The main attraction here is the Sannomiya Centre Street underground shopping market. 120 establishments ranging from upscale fashion, books, electronics, interior decor boutiques to excellent eateries make this one of the most popular malls in the city. But there are just as ...Read more
  4. Kitanocho

    Museum, Cafe, Restaurant

    In 1860, the city of Kobe opened up to foreign traders, after a treaty signed by Japan and several western nations. These merchants established themselves in the Kitano district, and once upon a time there used to be over a thousand western style mansions in this area. Today there are only thirty. Of these, about 20 are open to public visitors as museums. These are: Weathercock House Moegi Hou...Read more
  5. Ikuta Shrine

    4.2 (1946 Votes)
    Ikuta Shrine

    Entertainment, Festival

    This is one of the oldest and most historically significant shrines in the country. It was built in the 3rd Century AD in worship of the deity (kami) Wakahirume, and is one of the three major shrines established during that period. The shrine is seen as a spiritual center for life and health and it is popular among local athletes who come to pray here before events. During New Year's, revelers ...Read more
  6. Kobe Port Tower

    4.1 (1351 Votes)
    Kobe Port Tower

    Landmark, Tower, Observation Deck

    Completed in 1963, this hyperboloid tower is a classic tourist trap. The tower is 108 meters tall and there is an observation deck at 90 meters, with 360 degrees panoramic views of the city. It looks like an elongated Japanese drum. It is one of the city of Kobe's landmarks. The views from the top look out to Mount Rokko, Kobe, Kobe Port, and out to Awaji Island in Osaka Bay. If you reserve a s...Read more
  7. Kobe City Hall

    3.7 (1269 Votes)
    Kobe City Hall

    Cafe, Performance, Neighborhoods , Hall

    This beautiful observation hall, on the 24th story of the Kobe City Hall building has two sides. The north side looks out to the Rokko mountain range and the Sannomiya neighborhood. The south side looks over the Kobe Port Tower, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge between Kobe and Awaji Island in Osaka bay. While the view is fantastic during the daytime, the observation deck is also open until the night; and ...Read more
  8. Kobe-sanda Premium Outlets

    Restaurant, Entertainment, Shopping Center

    North of the city of Kobe you will find this sprawling, charming shopping complex. There are about 260 foreign and local brand shops here selling everything from clothes, antiques, furniture and sporting equipment. The architecture of the place was inspired by the Pasadena complex in Los Angeles, which itself looks like a southern European town. There are also over a dozen seafood restaurants. ...Read more
  9. Kobe Animal Kingdom

    4.4 (348 Votes)
    Kobe Animal Kingdom

    Botanical Garden, Bird Watching

    The name of this attraction can be a little misleading. It is not a zoo, but rather a bird and flower park, although some people now call it an animal cafe. It used to be called the Kobe Botanical Garden. Yes, you do get to see some fauna, mostly cute animals such as kangaroos, capybaras, rabbits, alpacas, sheep, goat, horses, giant tortoises, cats dogs, red pandas and guinea pigs. There is eve...Read more
  10. Kobe City Suma Marine Aquarium

    Amusement Park, Aquarium, Rides

    This is another fun tourist trap for the family - an aquarium next to Suma Beach. Opened in 1957, the main attraction here is the live dolphin pavilion, where the marine mammals perform tricks. On the first and second floors of the attraction there is a large glass wall on the other side of which is a huge water tank. The inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean - sharks, stingrays, sea turtles and sar...Read more
  11. Meriken Park

    4.2 (1044 Votes)
    Meriken Park
    In 1868, when Japan started letting in foreign tourists and visitors, this area was the wharf where the ships could come in. The name comes from the Japanese translation for 'American'. In the latter half of the twentieth century this became a very popular tourist area, thanks in no small part to the nearby Kobe Port Tower, the Kawasaki Good Times World and the Kobe Maritime Museum. In 1995 a m...Read more
  12. Kawasaki Good Times World

    4.1 (228 Votes)
    Kawasaki Good Times World

    Museum, Automobile Museum

    The Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group has been around in the city of Kobe for over a hundred years. Though most people think of the Kawasaki brand as associated to motorcycles, the company started out as a ship manufacturing concern. Over the years the company has been associated to multiple other heavy industries such as aviation, space travel, and railways, and even the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo....Read more
  13. Nunobiki Falls

    4.4 (335 Votes)
    Nunobiki Falls
    The importance of this series of waterfalls for Japanese history and Japanese literature cannot be overstated. There are four separate major cascades known as Ondaki, Mendaki, Tsusumigadaki, and Izumoki, of which the first is most popular and also the tallest at 43 meters. Though most people enjoy the view of the waterfalls from the cable car above, visitors can also get up close to them from t...Read more
  14. Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum

    Museum, Brewery

    Kobe is one of the foremost brewing centers for the Japanese alcoholic drink Sake. And the Hakutsuru is one of the most important breweries in town. Your tour through this delightfully charming traditional building, set inside a modern brewing facility, will be self-guided. Written guides in multiple languages will take you through the traditional sake brewing process, tools, and equipment. At ...Read more
  15. Rokko Cable Car

    4.3 (667 Votes)
    Rokko Cable Car

    Cable Car

    This is part of a series of the attractions of Mount Rokko. Technically this is not a cable car but rather a funicular. The car departs from Rokko Cable Shita Station and goes to the RokkoSanjo Station. This is one of the easiest ways to get up the mountain from Central Kobe. The cars began to operate in 1932 and since then have become one of the most fun family-friendly activities in the city....Read more

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  • Are there bike tours in Kobe?

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    • You may check out this bicycle tour in Kobe. If this is not what you are looking for, you may have to contact the local operators providing bike tours in Kobe. 

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