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Original photo by Ellie Eshima

7 Must-Visit Places in Kobe

Are you trying to choose a destination to visit using the Go To travel campaign? How about Kobe? In this article, I’ll be introducing my favourite places in Kobe!

Meriken Park

A must-see spot for any trip to Kobe is Meriken Park, famous for the “BE KOBE” sculpture and Port Tower. “BE KOBE” is a trademark of Kobe but is actually a very new monument that was just set up in 2017 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of Kobe Port. On a day with good weather, you can enjoy a picnic here!

Motomachi~Sakaemachi area

This area is the best for those who like exploring cafes and small shops. Just by walking around as you like, you might come across your new favourite shop.

Nankinmachi (Chinatown)

If you leave Motomachi Station and walk toward the sea, you will see Nankinmachi aka Chinatown. In Nankinmachi, you can find all of the delicious foods you could possibly ask for. You’ll definitely be able to fill both your soul and your stomach.

Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-gai

Kitano Ijinkan has a distinct western atmosphere. All the Western-style buildings lined up are beautiful, but it costs a lot of money to go into all of them. So, I recommend choosing just one or two buildings to enter for those who want to see the inside of the buildings. My personal favorite is the “Uroko House”. It’s an art museum, and because it is on a hill in Kitano you can enjoy the scenery from inside as well. I also recommend the “Kobe Mysterious Consulate of Trick Art” which is also a fun spot. There are lots of trick art works here and you can be sure to have a good time taking photos with friends! 

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

This museum is famous for its design by  the architect, Tadao Ando. Not only can you enjoy the exhibitions, you can also enjoy the modern and cool interior of the museum. It is located right in front of the sea, so it’s a perfect place to take a walk if the weather is good.

Arima Onsen

Arima is said to be the oldest hot spring area in Japan, even loved by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. You can also enjoy the hot springs even just for a day-trip. Speaking of Arima, tansan-senbei (carbonic rice crackers) are a must-have. At the shop, you can see the craftsmen working right in front of you. Also, in Arima, there is a gelato shop “Arima Gelateria Stagione”, that won the “Gelato World Tour 2019 Japan Tournament”. If you like gelato, you can’t miss it!

 Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world, connecting Kobe and Awaji Island. Though it’s nice to look at in the daytime, the view of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is most beautiful with the sunset. It is also illuminated at night. This photo is a view from Maiko Park, but the Awaji Service Area is also recommended for a panoramic view of the bridge.

Did you find anything you might be interested in? This article introduced the staples for any trip to Kobe, but there are many other attractive spots in Kobe too. Please come and visit!

Ellie Eshima

ICU Japan '21

Ellie is currently a senior at International Christian University, majoring in Psychology.