Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture, has a long history of welcoming outsiders to its shores – it was one of the first ports in Japan to open to trade in 1868 after two centuries of isolation. The results of this open-door policy remain today in its historic foreign settlement area that was once home to European traders, with many of the old mansions lovingly restored and serving as mini-museums or shops.

A diverse city, Kobe has one of Japan’s largest foreign populations, a bustling Chinatown, and numerous restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. Kobe's charms are both in its natural surroundings – backed by the beautiful Mount Rokko range – and a host of manmade wonders. The Kobe Port Tower, Port and Rokko islands were built up in major land reclamation projects, and the Akashi Kaikyo is the world's longest suspension bridge.

What to see & do in Kobe

Featured stories & fun stuff

Kobe has a sparse yet beautiful skyline – it overlooks Osaka Bay with Mount Rokko as a backdrop. Among high-rise buildings and neon lights, you’ll find bits of the city’s past in Shinto shrines like Ikuta, which is one of the oldest in Japan. Go up Mount Rokko for panoramic lookouts or find hidden treasures like a tranquil onsen (hot spring) behind it. Explore sights and flavours in Nankinmachi, Kobe’s colourful...

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Where & what to eat in Kobe

  • 10 Great Restaurants in Kobe

    Dining in Kobe is a treat as you can find a little bit of everything here. There's certainly no shortage of variety or style among its restaurants, but that can make it hard to select where to eat next. With a sizeable expat population, eating out in Kobe has more of a cosmopolitan feel than other cities of a similar size. From street-side noodle...

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Where to shop & what to buy in Kobe

  • 10 Best Places to Go Shopping in Kobe

    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...

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Where to go & what to do at night in Kobe

  • 10 Best Things to Do After Dinner in Kobe

    If you want to enjoy a night out in Kobe, there's everything from hole-in-the-wall bars to karaoke clubs, English pubs to pumping dance clubs. You can have a quiet drink or 2, shoot some pool, or dance all night, the choice is yours. If you're not sure what suits your fancy, just step off the train at Sannomiya Station and...

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Useful information

  • Kobe Travel Essentials

    Before you travel to Kobe, it's a good idea to brush up on some of the travel essentials. Choosing when to travel is a decision best made after the attractions, events and seasons of Kobe. You can save time by preparing in advance how you're going to get around the city to see the sights. Transport options vary depending on how...

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Where to stay in Kobe

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