There is no better starting point than Sorakuen Garden, a beautiful and serene Japanese oasis. From there it’s a short hop to downtown Kobe and its most famous and central Ikuta Shrine. One of the most ancient shrines in Japan, it lent the city the name “Kanbe”, which then evolved into “Kobe” over time. The next stop on the itinerary is the Arima Onsen hot spring resort and the reddish-brown “Kinsen” (“gold spring”) waters of Arima’s Gekkoen Ryokan. From there, ascend 931m to the Mount Rokko summit and enjoy beautiful city views, then get up and close with animals at the Kobe Animal Kingdom petting zoo in Port Island. To round off the day, take in the unforgettable Meriken Park night view, featuring cruise ships, a massive Ferris wheel and the iconic Kobe Port Tower.