Kobe, the sixth largest city in Japan, is a beautiful and popular spot within easy reaching distance of both Kyoto and Osaka, making it an ideal area to visit. It is well-known for its scenic mountains which frame the harbour and its marbled Kobe beef, as well as one of the oldest Shinto shrines in the country. If you are planning to visit the Kansai area, no doubt you’re thinking of going to Kobe, too! Here are 15 things to do in this beautiful city.
You can’t visit Kobe without visiting one or more of the many breweries of sake, Japan’s famous rice wine. There are thousands of sake brands in Japan and this tour allows you to taste just a few of them. Visit the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum to see old traditional Japanese houses, learn about how sake is made, and taste some different kinds. Afterwards, there is a shop where you can buy some of your own sake if you wish. Sake lovers will not want to miss this!
Booking details: Kobe: Explore the Sake Breweries
See Kobe in style from a boat while chowing down on delicious local food! This two-hour tour includes a cruise around the bay including Hyogonga, where your meal will be served. You get a choice of monjayaki, a delicious pan-fried dish, yakiniku, which is barbequed meat, and wagyu, Japanese beef. An all-you-can-drink option can be added for an extra fee. Sail on the bay with great city views and fill up on delicious food!
Booking details: Try Monjayaki or Yakiniku on a Yakata Boat in Kobe
From Mt. Rokko, the view of Kobe city at night is fantastic. Seeing this famous “million-dollar landscape” is possible on your own, but if it’s your first time in the city or your time frame is small, why not book for an English-speaking guide to guide you there? Ride the cable car up to the observatory and enjoy the stunning night view. You can also have a meal at Rokko Garden Terrace. Hotel pick-up is available on this tour or you can meet at either Shin-Kobe Station or Sannomiya Station in the city centre.
Booking details: Enjoy Rokkosan Night View Tour with English Guide in Kobe!
Those staying in Tokyo might be interested in this two-day trip where you fly from the capital to Kobe, see Himeji Castle and Takeda Castle ruins, have a feast at Chinatown, and take in the view of Kobe from a hot spring on Mt. Rokko. On the second day, you’ll head back to Tokyo. Check out the link below for more information about this guided two-day trip to Kobe.
Booking details: Visit Himeji and Takeda Castles in a 2-Day Tour from Tokyo!
Riding in a helicopter is an amazing experience. You can see gorgeous mountains, the sea, and one of Japan’s most attractive cities from the sky on this exciting and affordable activity. Book a choice of three courses of varying lengths of time and enjoy the magnificent view from the air! Insurance and tax are included in the price.
Booking details: Enjoy the Amazing View from a Helicopter in Kobe!
What better way to get around Kobe than by private car? A professional guide will show you the unmissable spots of Kobe including Himeji Castle, Mount Rokko Observatory, and Kobe Harbourland, a shopping complex with attractions. Grab some souvenirs and miss none of Kobe’s best areas with this fun and professional tour.
Booking details: Shore excursion from Kobe Port (w/ private car and guide)
This exciting boat tour takes you to see Kobe Port, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, and Osaka Bay, all while feasting on a delicious Chinese-Cantonese meal prepared by a world class chef. Listen to a relaxing night performance and take in the magnificent night views this tour has to offer. Check out the link below for further details.
Booking details: Enjoy Romantic Dinner While Cruising Around Kobe
This tour is specifically for Muslims with the consideration that things like sake and pork can’t be included. Explore Kobe’s shopping area, pray at the Kobe Mosque and purchase some halal food. If you visit a restaurant together, the host will help you with ordering food free from pork and alcohol. If you are Muslim and visiting Kobe, consider booking this nice day out with a local.
Booking details: Book an exciting Muslim-friendly tour in Kobe
If you’re only going to be in Kobe for a day and would like to see as much of the city as possible, this private tour might be for you! Explore the highlights of Kobe such as Chinatown, the seaside, Mt. Rokko, and the world’s longest suspension bridge, Akashi Kaikyo. Have a stress-free day guaranteed to cover the best of Kobe in just a few hours. There are two courses you can choose from, so click the link below and check out what’s available.
Booking details: Explore the beautiful port city Kobe with a private guide
Kobe is famous for its high quality and delicious Kobe beef. With this activity, you can explore the Kobe Harbourland with its shops and seaside promenades. In the evening, you will try the delicious beef in a top-class restaurant and then take in the beautiful night view of the harbour on the waterfront. Book this trip for a romantic evening out.
Booking details: Enjoy Kobe beef and a “10-million-dollar night view”!
The city’s attractions aren’t the only place in this area worth seeing. Why not visit Arima Onsen, one of the best hot spring towns in Japan? Visit this interesting place, learn a little about local history, and even dip your feet into hot spring water and feel the health benefits! Explore this interesting town for a day during your stay in Kobe.
Booking details: Walk around the splendid hot spring town Arima Onsen
While in Kobe, you can make your own Japanese candy! Learn from a professional artisan, knead the piece of candy to create a shape you like, and even take it home afterwards. This sweet activity is suitable for any age! Check out the link below for further details.
Booking details: Make handmade Japanese candy
For those who love walking and light hiking, Mt. Rokko can’t be missed on your trip to Kobe! Starting in Sannomiya, you will meet your guide at 8:00am and take you on a route to see Pearl Bridge and a mountain hut where you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast before heading back down, reaching Sannomiya Station again at around noon. Have a fantastic hike with someone who knows what they’re doing and see a lovely morning view of Kobe.
Booking details: Hike and have Breakfast on Mt. Rokko
Around 30 minutes from Kobe city is a charming ranch and some of it is open to the public! Take a break from the city to pet cute animals and even try exciting activities such as milking a cow or riding a horse! Sample handmade cheese or ice cream and feel first-hand the life of a Japanese farmer. This is ideal for families with children and those interested in animals!
Booking details: Explore the Kobe Countryside at a unique Ranch
Kobe might not be the only place you’re interested in seeing. Explore more of the Kansai area such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara by booking and customising one of the tours below. Pick and choose what you’d like to do and relax while the host takes care of everything and makes sure you get to see and do exactly what you want! There are two of these to choose from.
- The half-day tour. See your favourite spots in Kansai in a couple of hours.
- The full-day tour. Have an entire day out and see and explore more.
This is ideal for those who have several places in Kansai in mind but aren’t sure how to get there by themselves. Customise your own perfect day and enjoy Kansai in one day or half a day.
Booking details: Customise and embark on a Private Half Day Tour in Kansai
Kobe is not to be missed during your stay in Japan’s fascinating Kansai area. Whether you’re there to go shopping, take in marvellous views, hike, or try local food, there is something for anyone in this lovely city. Book something to do there and start creating some unforgettable memories!