Kobe may be famed for Kobe beef but it is also Japan’s 7th largest city and is often considered one of Japan’s most attractive. Kobe in Japan is often remembered for the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995 however the city has been rebuilt and definitely worth a day trip if you are staying in Kyoto or Osaka. Travelling to Shin-Kobe Station from outside of the city is the best way to start. Walking distance from Shin-Kobe Station is the Shin-Kobe Ropeway which will take you up the southern chain of Rokko mountain and to the entrance of the Nunobiki Herb Garden which makes for a beautiful escape from busy city life. From the Nunobiki Herb Garden there are several observation areas where you have a wonderful view of the city of Kobe and parts of Osaka.
From the Nunobiki Herb Garden you can walk back down to the mountain or return by cable cart to the foot of the Rokko mountain where you can walk to the city district of Kitano. Here you will find many public museums which were former mansions that belonged to foreign merchants and diplomats in the 19th century. Here you will also find a special Starbucks which was originally one of these former homes but has since been converted into a Starbucks while keeping the original style of the building.
Another option when travelling to Kobe is travelling straight to Kobe Station to visit Kobe Harbourland which is a shopping and entertainment district. From Kobe Harbourland you can walk to Meriken Park which is home to Kobe’s iconic port tower and Kobe Maritime Museum. Here you will also find a memorial to the tragic 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.