For a vacation to a city with a lot of movement and a matchless international feel, Kobe, Japan, is where to spend your time. This Japanese harbor city is also a delicious haven for foodies—and one you’ll quickly come to love.
At first glance, Kobe seems totally westernized; thanks to it once being a key port city and now having lots of neon and high-rise buildings. But behind all those eye-catching modern buildings lie lush green parks, peaceful gardens and friendly people.
Kobe was once a major port city established for foreign trade. It brought hundreds of foreign merchants into its city, which caused Western-style houses and trading company offices to be built. Today, you can tour these former mansions turned public museums in Kitano-cho, a city district at the base of the Rokko mountain range.
While you’re in the area, take a hike up Mount Rokko—the mountain range’s tallest peak and your best spot for gorgeous panoramic views of the Hanshin region. Others who have done it claim sunset is when to be at the top. You can also visit a botanical garden and a music box museum while on Mount Rokko.
Also resting within Kobe’s city limits is Arima Onsen, a famous hot spring resort. Its history dates back more than 1,000 years, making it one of the oldest hot spring resorts in all of Japan. The town is so small you can venture through it in a few hours on foot. And afterward, to help relax your tired feet and muscles, dip into the steamy gold and silver waters filled with natural minerals.
And be sure you set aside a morning for Himeji Castle. Elegance, beauty and commanding are three words many use to describe Japan’s most renowned castle. The castle is a historical landmark for Japan, a world heritage site and a real tourist pleaser.
Something that you likely already know, Kobe is most famous for its Kobe beef. Wakkoqu and Moriya Honten are two of the top restaurants serving up a mean plate of Kobe beef. And besides Kobe beef, enjoy all the fresh seafood you can while in town. You’re actually never too far from the sea no matter where you wander in Kobe, and plenty of local restaurants dish up scrumptious seafood, like octopus and sea bream.
We shouldn’t have to tell you twice that Kobe is a great city to stay in. But we will—Kobe is a city worth vacationing in.
But before you get too far into your trip’s itinerary, first find Kobe hotels available for your trip. And if you want the best deals on the best Kobe hotels (and who doesn’t), we can help you out. Book direct with Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club to save time and money booking a hotel room, while also earning points for future rewards. It’s a win-win, and the only way to start your Kobe vacation off on the right foot.