Kobe city might be most commonly known for its beef, but there is more to it than just that. People often get the misconception that all parts of Japan is rather similar but if you see it from an insider’s point of view, every prefecture, every city is unique.
Kobe city on its own are known to some for it’s devastating history, The Great Hanshin Earthquake which nearly wiped out half of the city back in 1995. Since then recovery has been made and part of the past can now be seen at Kobe Memorial Park, serving as a reminder of Mother’s nature’s wrath and the unity of people all over Japan during times of need.
Most common mistake tourist often make is not spending the night in Kobe as this city has so much to offer from breathtaking night illumination, to unique hot spring experiences in Arima Onsen and fun snow activities up at Mount Rokko.
For part 1 of the article we would cover the city area first, an itenary suitable for those who would really like to experience a hint of Kobe despite the tight travel schedule.
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
Estimated Time Spent: 30-40 mins
Time: 9.30 am- 4pm daily (except for certain public holidays)
Before heading into the heart of Kobe city, on the way you can stop by one of the oldest sake brewery museum in town. Hakutsuru brand is Japan’s leading sake supplier founded in Nada district which is known for having the freshest and highest quality spring water with the coldest winters making it an ideal enviroment to brew the prefect sake.
Tourist can come here to learn the history of the brand and how sake was made during the olden days with life size displays and artifacts.
After this short museum visit, you’ll definitely give thanks to advance technology we have now because of it now sake is easily available compared to hundreds of years ago.
Before exiting there is a souvenir section where tourists can sample and buy back some sake.
Estimated Time Spent: 15 mins
A holy place that welcomes people of all races, the oldest standing mosque in Japan that survived world war 2 bombings and natural disasters.
Come by to admire the architecture and learn about how Muslims in Japan practice their faith. One of Kobe’s proudest historical sites and walking distance from it you can enjoy some art and craft session at Kitano Meister Garden.
Kitano Meister Garden
stimated Time Spent: 30- 40 mins
Before an artisan market it used to be an elementary school, now it’s classrooms are filled with so many colorful shops where you can shop for unique souvenirs and even enjoy candle making sessions by Warosoku (Japanese traditional candle). It’s children and adult friendly and it only takes about 20-30 minutes each session.
Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park
Estimated Time Spent: 1 hour
The Great Hanshin Earthquake Monument is found here, tourist may come here to offer peace prayers or go for a relaxing stroll/ cycle. Best time to come here is during sunset as the skies are painted with various of sunset shades over the horizon making it a real photo worthy background. Kobe Tower Port Observatory is within walking distance, it offers a great panoramic view of Kobe city.
Kobe Harborland umie Mosaic
Estimated Time Spent: 1 hour
Finally ending the trip with some shopping because no trip would be complete without a trip to the local mall, Kobe Harborland Umie Mosaic is one of the top shopping locations for tourists as it is one of the biggest malls in the city offering a large variety of both branded and local goods. And outside of the mall compound there is a Ferris Wheel to enjoy the amazing night view of Kobe City, it looks like a thousand stars in the galaxy from up there.
There are many spots around Kobe where tourists can get a great view of the city of lights and Kobe harborland is one of them.
Kobe Harborland Umie Mosiac
Writer: Arisa Chow アリサ・チョウ
A girl who left her heart and soul in Japan, with too much thoughts in that little head of hers which she shares frequently on www.arisachow.com