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Kobe: A City Full of Variety

Kobe is the seventh largest city in Japan, located close to Osaka Bay and the impressive Mount Rokko. Famous for Kobe beef, over 100 Chinese restaurants and a maze of onsens, Kobe is full of things to see and do, and Andy indulged in all that the vibrant city had to offer.

Chinatown and a Sake Museum

Andy marveling at the impressive west entrance archway

Andy enjoying umeshu at the Sawanotsuru Museum

Kobe’s Nankin-machi is one of the city’s major tourist attractions—and for a good reason! The area is home to more than 100 Chinese restaurants, stores, and even a temple dedicated to Guan Yu—a major figure of China’s Three Kingdom’s Period. Three impressive archways mark the east, west, and south entrances to the neighborhood, while guardian lions watch over its north. A pavilion featuring the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac highlights the main square.
Next was a visit to Kobe’s sake district—the largest in Hyogo Prefecture—to see the historic Sawanotsuru Museum. Sawanotsuru has been brewing sake for more than 300 years, and their museum shares insights about the entire brewing process. But no visit to a sake museum is complete without a tasting, and Andy found the umeshu to be his favorite. It’s made from shochu (distilled liquor), plums, and sugar. He liked it so much that he ordered it whenever he had the chance for the rest of his trip! How about searching for a bottle of your favorite sake at Sawanotsuru?


From Tokyo to Kobe’s Nankin-machi

Take the bullet train to Shin-Kobe Station; change to Kobe Municipal Subway to Sannomiya Station. Take a walk. (About 3 h 30 min).

From Shin-Kobe Station to Sawanotsuru Museum

Take a taxi (About 15 minutes).

Hot Springs and Hiking

Andy admiring the view from Arima Onsen

Andy admiring the phenomenal view while hiking up Mount Rokko

We are halfway through the trek. I am on top if the world...the trekking is hard work but it is worth it for this view—it is stunning!—Andy Gomarsall MBE

Arima Onsen is—you guessed it—an onsen town located in the city limits of Kobe. Its mountain setting is packed with natural hot springs and ryokan (traditional Japanese inns). Despite its 1,000-year history, the small town is still considered a hidden treasure. As Andy said, soaking in an onsen is the perfect way to relieve the fatigue of traveling!
Refreshed after soaking in the onsen and a good night’s sleep, Andy was ready to take on Mount Rokko, a famous retreat for hikers and nature lovers. The views from the peak give a rewarding panoramic view of the surrounding area.


From Shin-Kobe Station to Arima Onsen

Hokushinkyuko Line to Tanigami Station; change to Kobe Dentetsu- Arima Line to Arimaonsen station (About 30 minutes)

From Shin-Kobe Station to Rokko Cable Car Station

Kobe Municipal Subway to Sannomiya Station; change to JR Line to Rokkomichi Station. Take a bus to Rokko Cable Shita Bus stop(About 45 minutes).

Eat Kobe Beef!

Kobe beef can be found on the menu at teppanyaki restaurant Misono

Andy raved about the Kobe beef

This Kobe beef is heaven right here. If I die now, I’d be very happy. It’s amazing; oh my gosh.—Andy Gomarsall MBE

For those visiting Kobe, the famous Kobe beef is definitely worth trying. For his last night in Kobe, Andy was treated to world-famous Kobe beef at the teppanyaki restaurant Misono, where the chef cooks your meal right in front of you on an iron griddle. During his meal, Andy was able to talk with the chef, learning about the restaurant’s history and the chef’s training, while looking out at Kobe’s night skyline from the restaurant’s windows.


From Shin-Kobe Station to Misono

Kobe Municipal Subway to Sannomiya Station. Take a walk (About 10 minutes).

From Arima Onsen to Misono

Kobe Dentetsu- Arima Line to Tanigami Station; change to Hokushinkyuko Line to Sannomiya Station. Take a walk (About 30 minutes).


The port of Kobe has long been considered one of Japan’s most beautiful cities. It was one of the first cities to open to the West in the 19th century, and it has a distinctly cosmopolitan flair. Nearby is a well know sake brewery with over 300 years of history. The execptional taste of the sake compelled admirers to offer the brew at the Nobel Prize banquet. Badly damaged in Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995, the city has made a full recovery and very few remnants of the disaster remain.
Access from Tokyo by bullet train 2 h 40 mins ~


Stadium Information KOBE MISAKI STADIUM

The seats at this stadium are very close to the field, which makes for up close, dynamic viewing.
- Kaigan Line from Sannomiya Hanadokei-mae Station to Misaki Koen Station ( About 10 minutes). 5-minute walk from Misaki Koen Station.