Kobe is known for its unique scenery, which brings the ocean, city and mountains together; the best vantage points are from one of several public parks around the bay area. Take in the unbroken views of the area’s distinctive buildings, including Kobe Port Tower, the Kobe Maritime Museum and the local hotels, quite charming at night as well. Kobe is not just known for its sweeping nightscapes overlooking the city, but night views of the mountain from the bay area too.
One recommended viewing spot is Port Island Kita Park, which is conveniently located only a 15 minute journey on train and foot from Sannomiya (the central station of Kobe) on the Port Island Line. The red Kobe Great Bridge has a pedestrian footbridge: perfect for a seaside stroll. To the west spans the 864 meter Poaishiosai Park waterfront, which offers a different angle on the spectacle.
Kobe’s geographical features
Enjoy the view and local water
Known as a port city, Kobe is strongly associated with the ocean, but it’s also in close proximity to the mountains. With its summit at 931 meters, Mt. Rokko lies only 7km from the coast; the city of Kobe is nestled on the steep terrain which lies between. Since the port opened in 1868 for international trade, its rare geographical features have fascinated sailors from around the world. Docking at Kobe harbour gives the impression of being surrounded by mountains.
Visiting sailors have also been known to praise its drinking water. International ships harbouring in Kobe always load their tanks with Kobe’s water. It’s said that the water from Kobe stays fresh, even after crossing the equator. The layers of granite rock under Mt. Rokko filter the water, infusing it with antioxidants and great mineral balance. Athletes also enjoy it for its abundance in oxygen.
A great spot to relax
Visitors can find Kobe Harbourland and Meriken Park within walking distance of the city centre. Harbourland is the biggest complex in Kobe, with a shopping mall, cinema and restaurants, while Meriken Park offers spacious open areas with lawns, benches, and the Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park. Here you’ll find part of the remains of the Meriken wharf quay wall (approximately 60m) and photographic panels detailing the subsequent restoration following the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, the second-worst earthquake in the 20th century which devastated the city. Escape the crowds and enjoy the quiet at this seaside spot.