Fun things to do in Kobe

  • Kobe Luminarie
    Kobe Luminarie
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  • Kobe Luminarie
    Kobe Luminarie
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  • Sorakuen Garden
    Sorakuen Garden
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Kobe

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    The Kitano Area.

    by IreneMcKay Written May 5, 2014

    Kitano-cho or the Kitano area is located close to Shin Kobe Station. If you were standing in the station facing the sea, this area would be on your right.

    In the second half of the 19th century when the Port of Kobe was first opened up to foreign trade, Kitano was the area where many wealthy foreign merchants and diplomats lived. Many attractive European style mansions have survived in this area and are open to the public nowadays as museums, cafes, or shops. Poorer foreigners lived closer to the port area, but not much of their former dwellings remain.

    I loved the old buildings in this area and I also loved the statues of musicians which were dotted around everywhere. The whole place has a lovely relaxed arty atmoshere about it making it a pleasure to visit.

    Kitano. Kitano. Kitano. Kitano.
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    Kobe City Museum

    by Rabbityama Written Oct 16, 2012

    The Kobe City Museum is a local history museum. The museum houses the largest collection of Namban art (art from the initial days of contact with the West) in Japan. The museum includes ancient artifacts uncovered from Hyogo, including haniwa, dotaku bells, and tools.

    The most interesting exhibits are those of Western contact and how Western influences made their way into Japanese culture and society.

    The museum also has special exhibits. I actually went here when they had the Girl with a Pearl Earring painting so I actually didn't get to see much of the museum's own collection, although some of it was still on display.

    Entrance is 500 yen but the price is more during special exhibits.

    Kobe City Museum
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    Weathercock House

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 10, 2011

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    The Weathercock House is named for the rooster weather vane in the roof. The house is the former residence of G. Thomas and was built in 1909. It is the only brick house in the Ijinkan (foreign residential) area. The house is built and furnished predominantly with German architecture and furnishings. It's very beautiful inside and like most of the Ijinkan, it can be a nice change of pace to see the European items and style for those who spend an extended amount of time in Japan. Along with the furnishings, there is also a doll collection on display. The house was well-preserved, so items are all original and they have attempted to place them all where they were when Thomas lived here.

    Entrance is 500 yen.

    Weathercock House Furniture in Weathercock House Dolls in Weathercock House Furniture in Weathercock House Dining Room in Weathercock House
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    Sorakuen Garden

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 10, 2011

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    Sorakuen took about 30 years to finish with construction beginning in 1885 and not ending until the 1920s. It was owned by the mayor at the time and then made public later. The stable is the only original building left in the garden. The other buildings are historic but they were moved here from the Kitano area and Himeji.

    This is one of the gardens you can walk through, which I like best. After walking past the historic buildings you'll come across the pond with nice bridges and the historic lacquered Funayakata building, said to be the only one of its kind left in existance. Some of Kobe's taller buildings make an interesting backdrop to the otherwise traditional garden. It takes a little less than an hour to walk all the paths and see everything.

    Entrance is 300 yen.

    Sorakuen Garden Sorakuen Garden Hassam House in Sorakuen Stables in Sorakuen Pathway in Sorakuen
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    Ikuta Shrine

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 4, 2011

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    Although Kobe is not particularly famous for its spritual sites, Ikuta Shrine is an exception. The shrine has a long history as it was mentioned in the Nihon-shoki, the first records of Japanese history. The deity is the goddess of birth however, for some the shrine is a place to pray for better times, since the shrine has continued to survive through disasters, such as the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, floods, and the Genpei War of 1184.

    Entrance is free.

    Ikuta Shrine Ikuta Shrine Inside Ikuta Shrine
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    Nofukuji Temple

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 4, 2011

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    Nofukuji Temple is said to be where Tendai Buddhism and the belief in Shaka first arrived in Japan from China. Although the history is interesting, most visitors come to see the giant Buddha statue. The temple is actually nicknamed Hyogo Daibutsu (Hyogo's Big Buddha), because of the statue. The Buddha that you see today was built in 1991, so it is not old at all, but the original Buddha statue was old. Much of the temple was damaged during the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 and was repaired in 1997.

    Entrance to the temple grounds and to see the Buddha is free.

    Hyogo Daibutsu Nofukuji Temple Hyogo Daibutsu Hyogo Daibutsu
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    Yamate Hachibankan

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 3, 2011

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    The Yamate Hachibankan is one of Kobe's Ijinkan, a group of former foreign residences and consulates in the Kitano area. Yamate Hachibankan is a tudor-style mansion with artwork inside from Rodin, Renoir, and Bourdelle. It also has a collection of Buddhist artifacts, like the Thai Buddha head, and African art, namely carvings from the Makonde people of Tanzania. The house is also filled with European furnishings. One of the reasons many people visit this building is to sit on Saturn's Throne. It is said that if you sit in the chair and make a wish, it will come true. There are actually two chairs at opposite sides of the entrance to another room. I don't know if it's true or not, but I was told by one of the employees that the "real" chair is the one on the left (when facing the chairs), so if you want to be sure, I guess it's best to sit in that chair!

    Entrance is 500 yen.

    Entrance to Yamate Hachibankan Inside Yamate Hachibankan Saturn's Throne in Yamate Hachibankan Makonde Art in Yamate Hachibankan Thai Statues in Yamate Hachibankan
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    Shin-Kobe Ropeway

    by hebaemam Written Nov 3, 2010

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    one of Kobe's best scenic views, runs up to the Nunobiki Herb Park.
    on top of the mountain there is a gift shop and a place to have a rest and enjoy the scenery.

    i think its fun to take a the rope way specially if you have kids.

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    Mountain Maya or Maya san

    by cemmari Written Feb 12, 2010

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    I went here on New Year at nite. Not much visitors at that time. But the view from the top of Maya an is great, nite view of Kobe city. Their slogan is "the best nite view in japan". it was so cold at that time, around -2 degrees celcius. I even can stand outside to see the view about 10 minutes then I go back to the house, heat my hand with the heater and go outside again when I get a lil warm. But I think this place is also very romantic, maybe good place for men if you want to propose your girl ;) I saw many couple here also.

    kobe city
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    Kobe Overseas Chinese History Museum

    by Rabbityama Updated Jan 27, 2009

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    The Kobe Overseas Chinese History Museum is a small museum that provides visitors with information about Chinese immigration to Japan, Kobe's Chinese history, which began in 1868 with the opening of Kobe to foreigners. The Chinese initially came to Kobe from Nagasaki and most were servants of the Westerners that arrived. Sun Yat-sen, considered to be the Father of Modern China, visited Kobe in 1913. Calligraphy by him hangs in the museum.

    Discrimination against Chinese during WWII and restrengthening of ties between China and Japan are also displayed along with famous and influential Chinese citizens of Kobe. Although it is a one-room museum, it's very interesting. Exhibits are in Chinese and Japanese however, they have a very informative book in English (Chinese and Japanese, too) about what you see in the museum, so it is well worth the visit. (Ask for the book upon entering to get the most out of the museum).

    The entrance fee is 300 yen (200 yen for college students). It's closed on Wednesdays.

    Monument Outside Chinese History Museum Peace Monument Outside Chinese History Museum
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    Onokoro World Park-Awaji island

    by bebejepang Updated Aug 6, 2008

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    World Park offers miniature world symbol on a scale 1:25.
    There are Spinx, Pissa Tower, Notredame, Taj Mahal, Colosseum, etc.

    Entrance fee 800 yen for adult, you can print the discount ticket (700 yen) from the website.

    miniature arc de triomphe miniature great wall

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    A Unique Statue/Monument

    by freddie18 Written Jul 26, 2007

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    Have you seen this statue in a strategic location in the centre of Kobe? You will find it in a small park-like circle in Sannomiya district leading to a shopping street in the downtown core. Take a close look. Have you figured out what represent this statue? Bodies on top of one another! I am sure there is a reason why it is there. I just did not have a chance to check if there is a marker explaining the relevance of its uniqueness.

    Unique View of the Statue Unique Statue
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    Kobe Shrine

    by freddie18 Updated Jul 26, 2007

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    I posted here the entrance of a shrine in Kobe. You will notice the art which is a homegrown attraction which resembles Japan tradition. Kobe is cosmopolitan and with the shrine in the centre of the city is surely an attraction not to be missed.

    A Shrine in Kobe City A View of the Shrine w/ Mountain in the Background
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    Streets of Kobe

    by freddie18 Written Jul 25, 2007

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    I find Kobe a memorable experience. Streets are busy and the city is between mountains and the oceans. You will see in the pictures I posted the mountains. Looks close to the city. I also posted the streets to give you a picture on how downtown Kobe looks like. Come along with me. Let's take a walk.

    Downtown Kobe Sannomiya District in Kobe Street in Sannomiya District
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    Statue on the Street of Sannomiya

    by freddie18 Written Jul 25, 2007

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    You will notice on many streets along Sannomiya district that there are statues of different images. They were presented in different forms and figures. Very amusing. You will see in the pictures I posted on what I am trying to share with you. Enjoy!

    Woman Figure on the Street Statue Along the Street in Sannomiya Statue on the Street in Sannomiya
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