City Life

Day 1 was all about romanticism and exploring lesser visited spots.
For day 2 we jump in the city life and try to find the lively Kobe.
It doesn’t rain much in the Kansai region, but unfortunately we had some showers.
Well, it is always important to just make the best out of it.

First stop of the day is the Kobe Port tower in the Harbor Land district.
We decided to skip the Mozaic Shopping mall nearby for some shopping later in the city center.
The port tower offers an alternative and refreshing view over the city.
Especially the turning bar is really cool and let’s you enjoy the 360° view while enjoying a coffee to wake up.

Next to the Port Tower is the Kobe Maritime Museum and Kawasaki Good Times Museum.
You can buy a combined ticket for the tower and the museum.
The museum displays the history of and glorifies the in Kobe founded Kawasaki group.
The place is especially fun for kids as there are many interactive things to do.
Overall, the place is perhaps a little corporate branding, but still fun.
The attached Maritime museum mainly showcases model ships.

Time for lunch! From Harbor Land it is a short walk to China Town.
The Kobe China town is one of only 3 officially designated China towns in Japan.
The pedestrian streets give the area a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
There are over a hundred shops and restaurants.
In the middle is a square with a small temple.

Lunch consisted of an assortment of dumplings on the street.
Street food is not very common in Japan and this is one of the few places you can enjoy some food while hanging out on the street.
The accompanying drink was the Taiwanese bubble tea with tasty tapioca balls.
Really unique!

Through the covered shopping streets near the railway me made or way to the next destination.
The numerous shops offer something for everyone!

The next stop in our busy program was the Ikuta Shinto Shrine, which is right in the heart of town next to the main Sannomiya Train Station.
The Shrine has beautiful bright red colors and is perhaps the prettiest one in Kobe.
It is a nice oasis in the middle of the bustling city.
Make sure to go around the back and explore the whole complex.
Definitely worth a visit when in Kobe.

The colorful Ikuta Shrine in the rain.

The little dark alleyways around the station area give an impression of the ‘old Japan’ from just after World War II.
The many small shops and Izakayas (Japanese style Pub) make this area one of my favorite in the city.
Some streets are so dark that it feels night even during day!

Kobe is also home to one of the most prestigious modern art centers in Japan and perhaps in the world.
The last stop before dinner is the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art.
The building, designed by Tadao Ando, is a work of art on it’s own.
Wandering through this modern marvel gives you the Goosebumps!

There is a rotating and permanent collection with much more than just modern art.
The temporary exhibit at the time was an overview of Art Brut artist Adolf Wölfli.
Quite interesting to take a look inside the mind of a mentally ill patient who still produces some amazing art.

After such a long day, we decided to treat ourselves to the famous Kobe Beef!
However, as I am just a student, I decided to opt for a budget friendly version at Kobe Beef Ramen Yazawa.
Here you can get a delicious ramen topped with a little piece of the famous meat for a decent price.

There are three kinds of Ramen at this restaurant.
A salty white soup, a soy sauce based clear soup and my absolute favorite: the spicy ramen!
If you don’t like spicy food, don’t worry, food in Japan is usually not spicy at all and it costs only 830 yen.
In my opinion, it is best enjoyed with a cold beer on the side.
A worthy ending to our 2 day trip in Kobe.

Looking back on the whole trip I can say I found a vibrant and young city, with many different faces.
From the old and quiet sake breweries in Nada ward to the bustling and crazy Sannomiya area.
Kobe is a place where you can find romantic spots and great restaurants.
To say shopaholics will find a paradise is an understatement.
I also found Kobe to be one of the more foreigner friendly places I have been to on these oriental islands.
Conclusion: worth a visit!

Related Tips

Use a transport pass

Writter profile

Sex: Male

Occupation: Student

Nationality: Netherland