Kobe in Summer
Kobe may be hot and sticky in summer, but visitors and locals alike can draw on its famous mountains and sea to help ward off the heat. Check out Suma Beach, less than 15 minutes by train from Sannomiya, for a family-friendly day or evening on 1.5km of sand, featuring dining, bars, showers and anything else beachgoers could want. Right next to Suma Beach is another Kobe institution, the well-loved Suma Aqualife Park, which opened back in 1957! It has its own convenient JR station minutes away and enough fish, dolphins, seals and live animal performances to keep young and old alike enthralled.
To really cool down, why not take the Rokko Cable up to Mount Rokko, bus it to Rokko Country House and enjoy 100 tons of artificial snow at the Midsummer Snow Festival, which runs from mid-July to the end of August and also offers treasure-hunting games, somen noodles and barbecue facilities!
Remaining on the mountain theme, visitors wishing to enjoy the Nunobiki Herb Garden from daytime until dusk will enjoy the extended cable car opening hours for these attractions, with the last train departing around 8:30 pm. Why not check out the herb garden for a relaxing after-work beer and German sausage – a real European experience in the Kobe mountains?
Finally, early August brings with it one of Kansai’s finest occasions with the Kobe Port Marine Fireworks Festival. Huge crowds gather to admire around 15,000 fireworks launched high over Meriken Park, the most picturesque waterfront setting in Kobe.
A must in summer, this 1.5km stretch of golden sand in western Kobe couldn’t be more accessible, with two JR stations in the vicinity. Dining, sunbathing and swimming can all be enjoyed, with showers and toilets available for your convenience. The kids will also love the neighbouring Suma Aqualife Park, featuring wide-ranging marine life and live animal shows.
Suma Aqualife Park
A Kobe institution since 1957, the pride of this park is the stunning ‘Dolphin Live Show’, always a family favorite. You can also enjoy an oversize aquarium featuring sharks and rays and the Amazon House, home to the world’s largest species of freshwater fish. Visitors in summer can also enjoy special festival events!
Kobe Port Marine Fireworks Festival
Summer in Japan means festivals and fireworks galore! The entire Kobe seafront lights up in a blaze of thrilling colors with over 15,000 fireworks in early August – a must-see!