Special art events will take place in this host city during the World Cup
Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Kobe
Arts and crafts, hot springs and hikes – and, of course, Kobe beef. This Japan 2019 venue has much to offer…
The Culture Vulture
Arima Onsen is the oldest hot spring in Japan and it is rated as one of the top three in the country. It has two kinds of spring, which is very rare. The reddish-brown Kinsen is beneficial for keeping your body hot and healing your back pain, while the transparent sparkling spring, Ginsen, contains a lot of minerals, which is good for beauty.
Just 30 minutes from Kobe city centre, a visit to the onsen also allows you to see a geisha dance display as well as traditional crafts, such as Arima baskets and dolls.
The Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum not only provides plenty of background on Japan’s building and crafts techniques, but you can also try your hand at making things yourself.
Visit the 500-year-old camphor tree in the serene Sorakuen Garden in the city. There is also a café overlooking the Japanese garden if you fancy a pit stop.
The food that always comes to mind when talking about Kobe is, of course, Kobe beef. Only cows which have passed a rigorous examination can be labelled as such and the soft meat, marbled with fat, is loved by both the Japanese and foreigners.
Kobe is not just about the beef, though. Other local delicacies include sobameshi (rice and noodles), dumplings with miso sauce, and bokkake (small cuts of beef and chopped konnyaku with a sweet and spicy sauce).
Kobe’s Nada district is Japan’s top sake-producing region. It has long been famous for its sake due to the availability of high-quality rice, suitable water and favourable weather conditions in the area.
If you want to hike or trek, head to Nunobiki Waterfalls, which are near Shin-Kobe Shinkansen station. Not only will you get to see massive falls – one of Japan’s top three – but you’ll also have a brilliant view of Kobe city. Plus, the hiking pass will take you to the Nunobiki Herb Garden. There are trekking routes on Mount Rokko too.
You can also take a tour of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which offers a panoramic view 300 metres above the sea. You’ll be given information on the bridge’s history and technology with someone who was involved in the construction as your guide.
The Party Animal
Get an insight into Kobe’s bar scene from those who know it best by going on the Night Surfing tour with locals. There are numerous izakayas where you can enjoy local craft beers, as well as the Third Row bar run by former Kobe Steelers player Yasunori Kanemura.
There are also art events during the World Cup. From September to November, enjoy contemporary art on Mount Rokko in the Rokko Meets Art event. The TRANS
project features modern art in the Hyogo Port, Shinkaichi and Shin-Nagata areas.
For more travel information…
How to get there
Kobe is just 12 minutes by bullet train from Osaka or two hours, 40 minutes from Tokyo. You can also fly to Kobe Airport from Tokyo (70min), Sapporo (115min) and