Kobe is a nice city in the Kansai area close to Kyoto and Osaka. It’s a nice day trip destination. It’s the sixth largest city in Japan with a population of about 1.5 million people.

Kobe tower

Kobe Tower

Perhaps Kobe’s most famous landmark, this tower has a height of 108 meters. You can go up to the top for a panoramic view of the city. In the immediate area of Kobe tower is a museum about model boats and a Kawasaki showroom. We skipped both but took a closer look at a strange blast-from-the-past boat stationed near the tower. Upon closer inspection it appeared a homeless man decide it would make a good roof. So look underneath the boat and see if you can spot the resident!

Earthquake memorial

In 1995 a disastrous earthquake struck Kobe city, killing over 60 000 (factcheck) people and turning many parts of the city into rubbkle. At this little site near the water you can view some of the damage that the earthquake did to a pier, and view photo and video material to learn more about this terrible disaster.

Food: Kobe beef

Kobe’s claim to fame is its beef — throughout Kobe you will find many beef restaurants. Be aware that this is a pricy delicacy that can cost you thousands of yens. A common budget strategy is to opt for a lunch instead of a diner. You’ll be served the same food but usually for a much reduced price. I was travelling with a Dutch guy and we opted for the extreme budget option - we bought some Kobe beef in the supermarket and made our own dish at the hostel.

Steak Land kobe

This place was recommended to go but I never visited myself, so YMMV.

Accomodation: Yume Nomad Kobe

This hostel in Kobe comes with a little history: it used to be a brothel. The friendly owner inherited the place from her “pimp” aunt and after a visit to New York she decided to convert the building to a friendly hostel. From the gaudy interior you might be able to tell that the building used so be something else, but honestly, if I wouldn’t have read it I would never have known. What might be telling is the neighborhood this hostel is in. Walk one street and all you will see is hostess bars with suited patrons outside urging you to come in and have “a good time”.


Kobe Chinatown is a small area located right next to the main shopping arcade. Drop in to sample some street food. We opted for the delicious Kobe beef croquette, but surely there are some more adventurous foods on offer.

Arima onsen

Close to Kobe, there is the Arima area which contains a lot of onsen.

We opted to go to a place called Taiko-no-yu. A ¥2400 entry price gives you access to 24 baths including super hot and super cold ones.