Kobe is an excellent place to shop, especially if you're short on time since most of its best shopping destinations are clustered in the downtown core and within an easy walking distance. Get off the train at Sannomiya or Motomachi and you'll be met with a bewildering range of shops and goods – everything from the latest gadgets to fashionable clothing to antiques and oddities. Just wandering and window-shopping in this frenetic place is an experience not to be missed.

    Elsewhere in the city, you'll find a good range of things to buy in the lovely harbourfront shopping arcades at Kobe Harborland, which also has a fantastic range of entertainment and dining choices for families who want to make a day of it. Streets in and around the old foreign settlements have been refurbished and repurposed into classy boutique avenues, where seekers of the latest brand-name goods can find a luxe handbags, accessories and clothing.



    Sannomiya is literally the hub of activity in Kobe, being the main connection point for nearly all the subway lines in the city. Its crowded streets are lined with department stores and shopping arcades, while the area under the elevated rail tracks connecting Sannomiya Station to Motomachi has two shopping arcades with a number of used-goods shops and stores geared towards the young and trendy.

    Heading south from Sannomiya Station, you'll find Flower Road, an attractive tree-lined street. Connecting Flower Road with Motomachi is Sannomiya Center Street, an arcade packed with boutiques, snack food shops and restaurants. Along Motomachi shopping street and in Motoko Town are some antique and souvenir shops stocked with traditional Japanese dolls and lacquerware.


    photo by Aapo Haapanen (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Kyu-kyoryuchi (Old Foreign Settlement)

    This is a high-end fashion shopping area featuring boutiques and luxury shops selling brans like Prada, Fendi and Louis Vuitton housed in converted 19th century buildings. The area was once the centre of foreign consulates and trading companies, but now it's the place to spend your hard-earned yen on top-quality brands and in upscale dining spots.


    photo by 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Mitsui Outlet Park Marine Pia Kobe

    Mitsui Outlet Park Marine Pia Kobe is part of the Japanese Mitsui Outlet chain. This Kobe branch is set on the waterfront with great views out across the bay to the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. There are about 70 shops selling brand-name designer clothes and other trendy items at discount prices. Some 12 restaurants offer a pleasant meal and a break from shopping in a marina setting. To reach the outlet mall, take the train to Tarumi Station on the JR line.

    Location: 12-6 Kaigandori, Tarumi Ward, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture 655-0036, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)78 709 4466


    photo by othree (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Kobe Harborland

    Kobe Harborland district offers some of the best and most diverse shopping in Kobe outside of the Sannomiya area. Shopping centres including Harbor Circus, Culmeni, and Kobe Hankyu department store are located here, as well as a host of superstores and specialty shops. The Mosaic complex has some unique shops to browse amid its attractive Mediterranean-style settings. After a day of shopping enjoy the promenade walkways, the cinemas, cafes and amusement parks.

    Location: 1, Higashi Kawasaki-cho, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0044, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)78 360 3639

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveller

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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