Fun things to do in Kobe

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

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    Orix Buffaloes Baseball

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 18, 2014

    The Orix Bufflaoes, of the Nippon Professional Baseball league, began play in 2005 after the Orix BlueWave of Kobe merged with the Kintetsu Buffaloes of Osaka. The team continues to play home games in both Kobe and Osaka.

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    Mount Ikari's Anchor

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 18, 2014

    The anchor on Mount Ikari is a landmark of the city of Kobe, both day and night. It was originally crafted of pine trees planted in 1903 to commemorate the Emperor Meiji's royal visit and review of the Japan naval forces. In 1966, the anchor was replanted with holm oak trees, and it was illuminated in 1981.

    The anchor design is 269 meters above sea level and illuminated with 368 individual 20 Watt light bulbs, however, only half are typically used on any given night (half are white and half are blue). The design is measures 51 meters wide and 60 meters tall.

    Kobe has two other illuminated designs on the Rokko Mountains, one shows the Kobe city emblem and the other displays a merchant ship.

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    Kobe Beef

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 18, 2014

    Kobe beef is perhaps the most famous meet in the world. This expensive meet is from the wagyu breed of cattle, and are raised in Hyogyo Prefecture around the city of Kobe. The Kobe beef is known for its uniquely mild flavor, deep marbling, tenderness, and low melting point of the fat. To meet the strict standards of Kobe beef, the cattle must be born and farm-raised in Hyogyo Prefecture, the meat butchered and processed in Hyogyo, and it must be of exceptionally high quality and marbling. It is said that some Kobe beer is hand massaged and beer or sake fed, but this is not a requirement.

    Of course visitors to Kobe want to try kobe beef. We only had a few hours in the city, and we wanted to see the Chinatown area called Nankinmachi, so we were happy to find a kobe beef restaurant in the center of this Chinatown. The restaurant, simple called Kobe Beef, is a small stand with a counter for customers to eat, so it's nothing spectacular. Down the street, on the western end of Chinatown, is another restaurant with the same name and look and it has seats, so it's probably the same owner.

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    Higashiyuenchi Park

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 17, 2014

    Higashi-yuenchi Park is located next to Kobe City Hall, near Sannomiya Station, and next to the foreigners' settlement area. This was originally part of the foreigners settlement, and it was the grounds for many international sports, including Japan's first marathon in 1909. Each year in November and December the annual Luminarie Festival is held in this park to commemorate those lost n the 1995 earthquake which killed over 6,000 people, mostly in Kobe. This area is also home to Flower Road, a uniquely named street lined with flowers, sculptures and Japan's first flower clock.

    Japan's First Marathon, 1909

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    Side Trip to Himeji

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 16, 2014

    Himeji Castle was originally constructed in 1581 by Hashiba Hideyoshi, as a three story structure. From 1601 to 1609, Ikeda Terumasa constructed the castle in much the form that remains today. The West Bailey was built in 1618 to reinforce the castle defenses to the west.

    The impressive Main Keep structure stands 31.5 meters, on top of a 14.8 meter base and it is surrounded by an impressive array of walls, gates, moats, and gardens.

    The castle is under construction through early 2015, but the impressive grounds are worth the admission. For 400 Yen per adult and 100 Yen per child, you can explore the grounds and outer buildings. Tickets are sold from 9am to 4pm all year, except summer, when they are available from 9am to 5pm. The castle grounds close one hour after the ticket stand closes.

    We walked into the castle grounds at about 3:55pm, and we were the last people to enter the castle for the day. We explored for about and hour, which was plenty of time since the main keep was closed for construction.

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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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