In the previous post, we had introduced Kobe as the city often neglected by tourists visiting Osaka and Kyoto. As a port city with a rich history, this is one city no visitor interested to learn about Japanese culture should miss. Here, we draw your attention to some of the reasons you should drop by, be it for a day trip or for a couple of nights.
Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park
The earthquake of January 1995 was one of the strongest to have hit Japan. Having caused 6000 over deaths and 10 trillion yen in damage, it was the first worst natural disaster in post-war Japan. A 60 metre stretch of the damaged docks had been left untouched for visitors to remember the devastation by. Here, at the museum, you can not only learn about the earthquake, but also the steps taken to minimise casualties in future.
Operating hours: 9.30am – 5.30pm for the museum
Admission fees: ￥600 for the museum
Directions: 15 min walk from Motomachi Station on JR Kobe Line
Another of Kobe’s famous attraction is Arima Onsen, located just 40 minutes from Kobe station and 1 hour from Osaka station. It is therefore a popular destination for a weekend getaway for locals. There are plenty of shops in quaint shophouses selling everything from snacks and souvenirs to art crafts. Not only are there plenty of shrines and museums, there are also trekking routes for those wanting to explore the mountains.
Directions: Take the Shintetsu Kobe railway to Arima Onsen station
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
No visit to a port city will be complete without dropping by a suspension bridge. A marvel of engineering feat and majestic structure, the Akashi Kaikyo bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world. While the exhibition center presents information about its planning and construction, the Maiko Marine Promenade gives visitor a rare view from underneath the bridge.
Operating hours: Tour timing 9.30am – 12.10pm and 1.30pm – 4.10pm
Admission fees: ￥3000
A diversity of food offerings here caters to every tastebuds. A mention of Kobe will definitely bring up Kobe beef, known for its perfect combination of marbled fat.
For the best gyoza in town, head to Hyotan, a local recommended place known for the miso sauce inside, making it all juicy, tender and tasty.
Head on to wanto burger should you crave for western fare as opposed to noodles and rice.
But, if you still prefer your rice and noodle fix, then sobameshi marries the best of both worlds with Chinese noodles and rice fried together on a hot plate.