Riding the Bullet - Shinkansen to Kobe
Japan has one of the most extensive and advanced rail systems in the world with numerous private and municipal companies providing service local and long distance, usually at reasonable prices compared to other forms of transportation. One of the most outstanding examples of Japan's trains is the Shinkansen, which literally means "new trunk line." This train can travel at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, and extends from the south of Kyushu to the north of Honshu, with an extension under construction to connect Hokkaido to the far north. The first Shinkansen route, the Tokaido Line, was constructed between Tokyo and Osaka in 1964, and the system has since expanded to almost 1,500 miles of track.
The Shinkansen is expensive and the tickets are somewhat complex. Tickets are comparable to airline rates, about 12,000 Yen each way between Yokohama and Kyoto, for a two-hour journey. You might be able to save using a Japan Rail Pass, but be aware that you cannot use a rail pass on the fastest Nozomi Trains. Some Shinkansen trains require two tickets for a single journey (like our Shin-Yokohama to Shin-Osaka trip), but others only need one ticket (Kyoto to Shin-Yokohama), with the first ticket used for the Shinkansen itself and the second for the regular connecting trains if applicable.
The Shinkansen is great for its frequency, timeliness, and convenience. Trains on the busiest routes run every 10-15 minutes, and they are almost always on time. Unlike air travel, ticket prices don't change every day, and there is minimal security or other hassles. You can walk up to the Shinkansen station 5-10 minutes before the next train departs, and you can usually get a non-reserved seat without problems, and be on board in no time. Nothing is easier!
In Kobe, the Shinkansen trains stop at Shin-Kobe Station, which is kind of inconvenient for transfers around Kobe, other than a single city subway connection. This station, at the foot of Mount Rokko, opened in 1972with the establishment of the Sanyō Shinkansen line.
Get Off at Sannomiya Train Station
If you are visiting Kobe, I would recommend you take the JR Subway train. Subway system in Japan and Kobe in particular is very convenient. If you are coming from either Osaka or Himeji, you have to get off at Sannomiya Station. This is the commuter hub in Kobe serving as the transfer point for the three major intercity rail lines, the JR Kobe Line, the Hankyu Kobe Line, and the Hanshin Main Line.
Sannomiya is a district of Kobe, Japan and the biggest downtown in the city. You will enjoy shopping at the department stores just right in front of the Sannomiya Railway Station.
- Road Trip
- Castles and Palaces
JR stations in Kobe
To get to Kobe from Osaka is very easy. There are 3 JR stations in Kobe - JR Kobe, JR Motomachi and JR Sannomiya. There are frequent departures from JR Osaka station. If you are going to the harbour front, get off at JR Kobe. However, if you want to go to Nankinmachi or the departmental stores like Daimaru or Sogo, get off at JR Sannomiya.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
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JR sannomiya station
Getting around kobe is easy. Most of the tourist attractions are near the few main stations like Sannomiya station.
Kobe can be done as a day trip from the surrounding cities. It takes only 40min from Kobe to Himeji by JR rapid trains and cost 950yen. Kobe to Osaka will take 30min by JR Rapid trains and one hour to Kyoto (1450yen) by JR rapid trains.
TRAIN TRAVEL IN JAPAN
The Shinkansen is by far the most convenient way to travel around Japan. Unfortunately it isn't very cheap! Luckily there is a Japan JR Rail Pass available to foreign travellers. See the JR East website for details:
It must be bought abroad and stamped in Japan before you can use it. There are several options including one week (unlimited JR travel except for the super fast Nozomi service), two week, JR East and JR West passes. Check with your local travel agent for the best option or click on the link to see for yourself!
Shin Kobe Station is the main Shinkansen station serving Kobe. It is located on the main route between Osaka and Tokyo.
Here is a link to a very cool page that lets you see the routing between cities/stations/ports within Japan. It will tell you the route and includes the cost and time. http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/norikae/.
Kobe is a major port for Japan and has a ferry service to different cities around Japan. I came on the Shin-Moji (Kyushu) - Kobe Ferry which was an overnight journey. We left the Port of Shin-Moji at 6.30pm and arrived Kobe the next day at 5.30am.
The ferry has communal baths (split for men and women) to relax in, a bar, a restaurant, games and karaoke rooms and offers both first and second class sleeping rooms. Pictured is the second class room where you are given a 'pillow' and blankets and you sleep on the floor with about 10 people to a room. First class has small cabins with bunk beds.
The trip cost 6000 Yen one way which is a very reasonable way to get between Honshu and Kyushu.
- Budget Travel
The JR line is a very convenient way to get around Kobe. It is quick and cheap. I never had to wait more than three minutes for a train to come by.
Link to route and pricing. Also checkout the link to "Sounds on the Subway", that brought back memories to me.
WEAR YOUR SNEAKERS
The best way to see Kobe/Sannomiya is to walk around. This way you can see more & not miss off the beaten track sites. Kobe/Sannomiya is not so far apart so walking is not a problem. If you walk on the shopping streets it won`t seem so long! Ha ha!
Shinkansen Vs Local Train.
Note that there's a stop for Kobe on the Shinkansen line called "Shin-Kobe", which is situated north of the city center / harbour.
I think the best bet is to take the local line from JR Osaka to JR Kobe, or JR Sannomiya. JR Sannomiya station is where the vibrant nightlife is. The chinatown is within walking distance too.
Note that "Shin-Kobe" and "Kobe" stop are different, and quite a distance between the two.
u have to use air transport it...
u have to use air transport it depends where u are coming from, then when u reach either horishma o tokyo then u may use what transport u wish or train , road or plane all are available bravo to the japanese.
loop bus of kobe
the picture i Involved include everthing
this bus goes aroud the most important touristic sites in kobe and its quit affordable.
i recommend it for tourist if they are exhausted from walking.....
- Historical Travel
Take the train
Shinkansen trains from Tokyo take around 3 1/2 hours to reach Shin-Kobe station. Local trains or metro take you into the city.