Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Beautiful Port City Of Kobe

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Kobe is not just about Kobe Beef. In fact, the port city of Kobe, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. Because of its long history of foreign interaction, this city is considered as one of the more foreigner-friendly places in Japan and a lot of expats live here. There are a lot of must-see places in this city and allow me to list some of the best places to go in Kobe.

1) Mt. Rokko Tenrandai (六甲山展覧台)
The Tenrandai (or viewing deck) in Mt. Rokko is my favorite place in Kobe. Go here at night time and you will be amazed by the view of the whole Osaka Bay at night. The view is so beautiful that it is referred to as the 10-million dollar view and considered as one of the Three Great Night Views of Japan. From here, you can see the lights from Kobe, Osaka and even Kyoto glittering against the night sky. The temperature here is around 10 degrees colder than the rest of Kobe so bring a jacket if you are afraid of the cold like me :D

Osaka Bay from Mt. Rokko (taken on August 14, 2008)

Kobe from Mt. Rokko (taken on August 14, 2008)

Osaka Bay from Mt. Rokko Tenrandai (taken on August 14, 2008)

Access to the Base of the Rokko Cable Car:
a) Hanshin Mikage Station
b) JR Rokkomichi Station
c) Hankyu Rokko Station
** After taking option a, b or c, ride the Kobe City Bus # 16 going to the Rokko Cable Car Base Station

Access to Tenrandai:
From the Rokko Cable Car Base Station, ride the Rokko Cable Car upto Sanjo Station (1000yen roundtrip, 570 yen one-way) then walk to the Tenrandai

Note: The Rokko Cable Car is open from 7:10 am to 9:10 pm (9:55 on weekends and public holidays) with a 20-30 minute interval

2) Meriken Park (メリケンパーク)
This park was built in commemoration of the Great Hanshin Earthquake which destroyed Kobe in the 90s. It also houses the unofficial landmark of Kobe - the Kobe Tower. This place is a good place for relaxation. I recommend going here at night because the lights from Kobe Tower and the different establishments around it make the view more beautiful.

Kobe Tower (taken on August 13, 2008)

View From Meriken Park (taken on August 13, 2008)

a) 10-minute walk from JR Motomachi Station
b) 10-minutes walk from Hanshin Motomachi Station
c) 10-minute walk from Kobekousoku Hanakuma Station
d) 10-minute walk from JR Maiko Station

3) Ijinkan (異人館)
Barbarian Houses (yes you read it right) in English. This part of the Kitano Area of Kobe housed the different consulates and foreigners in Kobe. They might be long gone, but their influence on Kobe lasts until now. This place is one of the most famous tourist spots in Kobe and it makes you forget that you are in Japan. So for those who need a change of scenery, go to Ijinkan.

Weather Cock House in Ijinkan (taken on August 14, 2008)

Moegi House in Ijinkan (taken on August 14, 2008)

Kobe City Bus Loop in Ijinkan Area (taken on August 14, 2008)

a) 9-minute walk from Kobe City Bus Loop Kitano Ijinkan Stop
b) 15 minute walk from JR Sannomiya Station
c) 15-minute walk from Hanshin Sannomiya Station
d) 15-minute walk from Hankyu Sannomiya Station

4) Motomachi Area (元町)
This is where the shopping areas and the Chinatown can be found. So what you do here is shop till you drop then grab a bite in Chinatown. Yummy and cheap food :D

Kobe Chinatown (taken on August 13, 2008)

Kobe Chinatown (taken on August 14, 2008)

Kobe Motomachi Shopping Street (taken on August 13, 2008)

a) JR Motomachi Station
b) Hanshin Motomachi Station

5) Sannomiya Station Area (三宮駅)
Since Sannomiya Station is one of the busiest stations in Kobe, expect a lot of establishments around this area. You can also find tourist offices, shopping areas and restaurants here. If you want authentic Japan, you can try visiting the nearby Ikuta Shrine which is one of the most famous shrines around this area.

Unique Building Around the Sannomiya Area (taken on August 14, 2008)

Outside JR Sannomiya Station (taken on August 13, 2008)

Ikuta Shrine (taken on August 14, 2008)

a) JR Sannomiya Station
b) Hanshin Sannomiya Station
c) Hankyuu Sannomiya Station

So there you have it, I hope this post can be helpful in your future travels to Kobe. Feel free to ask any questions or give more insights about Kobe. :D

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  1. you must be concise every time you write posts that will keep visitors stay in your blogsite. anyways, nice and lakwatsero

  2. @Twoheadsrbetterthanone hi! thanks for the advice

  3. Hey

    nice blog, keep it up...

    nice photos... do post more

  4. Kyoto is the place to go. It is genuinely unique and glorious. Kobe is a effective, innovative city but it's not very catchy for the visitor.

  5. @travel job thanks for dropping by. They have their respective beauty and charm but if you don't have enough time, I recommend going to Kyoto first as well :D

  6. Thanks for sharing this wonderfull information of Kobe.It's great help for travellers.