Itinerary Guide: Kobe’s Old-World Charm Is Reminiscent of 19th Century Japan

The European and Japanese architecture is awe-inspiring.

is just a stone’s throw away from Osaka with the Kansai Thru Pass. While it’s most famous for its beef, you’ll find that there’s more to this historical port city than meets the eye. From distinctly 19th century European architecture that is still uniquely Japan to quaint cafes and shops, discover a different side to Japan with our one-day itinerary below:

7:30 a.m. Start your day early. 

To get to Kobe, ride the Kintetsu Line from Namba to Sannomiya Station in Kobe using the KTP. The trip will take approximately 40 minutes. Make sure you take the seats located in the middle to the front cars. There are cases when the end car separates and continues its journey towards a different direction.

There are many quaint shops and historical cafes in the Kitano area. ©KOBE TOURISM BUREAU

9:00 a.m. Explore the Kitano Ijinkan Area.

Like the Moegi House, the town is painted in many colors.  ©KOBE TOURISM BUREAU

When you walk uphill from Kitano, you’ll find yourself at
Kobe Kitano Ijinkan, a small town seemingly trapped in 19th century Japan. At that time, the country had just reopened its ports and welcomed trade, and Kitano, which was a settlement surrounding the port, became a residential area for both foreigners and Japanese. The mutual acceptance of both cultures generated a stylish atmosphere, which became the cultural foundation of the city.

Take lots of pictures of the marvelous architecture.
Travel around with the City Loop Bus. ©KOBE TOURISM BUREAU

There are a lot of facilities in the area that accept Kansai Thru Pass coupons.
Check out this list to see which ones capture your interest!

11:30 a.m. Get your fill of Kobe beef.

You cannot leave Kobe without trying their famous Kobe beef. While it does not come cheap, it’s worth the hefty price tag for the process, time, and effort that was dedicated to raise the cows that produced it. However, if you want to save on a bit of money, have it during lunch when meals are a little less expensive.

There are several restaurants that serve amazing Kobe beef. Just two minutes from Sannomiya Station, you’ll find
Kobe Steak Ishida, which serves mouthwatering melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef grilled teppanyaki-style. The course meal is worth every single cent—and calories—and is a must-try for any traveler to Kobe. Don’t worry about the language barrier as English service is available. You can also make reservations online through their website. Another Kobe beef place worth visiting is Steakland Kobe.


Kobe Steak Ishida is located at 1-21-2 Kitanagasadori, Chuo District, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. It’s a 2-minute walk from Sannomiya Station. Lunch is from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., and dinner is from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. daily except on Tuesdays.

1:00 p.m. Take the scenic or shopping route.

In the afternoon, you can split your itinerary between checking out the outdoors and shopping, but if you have enough time and energy, you can also do both!

Scenic Route


From the ropeway, you can watch the beautiful scenery of Kobe as your gondola glides through the sky.  ©

The scenic route starts at
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden. To get there, you have to either hike all the way up or use the ropeway (discounts are available for KTP users) near the Kitano area.

Once there, you’ll be dazzled by the array of flowers available for viewing. There is even a cafe terrace that gives you an incomparable view of the city below. Learn more about the other activities available at the garden when you visit their

Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. depending on the season.

Shopping Route

Motomachi Shopping Street. ©

If you’re looking to buy souvenirs, make your way over to
Motomachi Shopping Street, which is accessible from Minatomachi Station. This arcade is filled with a lot of wonderful Japanese shops offering mostly Japanese fashion brands. With little to none of the usual western brands that are usually found in major shopping areas, this lively street guarantees quite a unique shopping experience. You’ll also find fortune tellers, magicians, and animal cafes along this arcade.

3:30 p.m. Go on a food trip.

This is street food heaven! ©

, which is accessible from Kyukyoryuchi-daimarumae Station, is also known as Kobe’s Chinatown. Here, you’ll find everything from Chinese dumplings, milk tea, fruit desserts, and Kobe beef. It’s the perfect stop after spending an entire afternoon nature-viewing or shopping. 


5:00 p.m. End your day at Harborland.

Spend the rest of the afternoon at Harborland. ©

is accessible from Harborland Station.

End your day at the Kobe port, where you can continue shopping at the port side mall, or enjoy a dinner cruise. You can use the KTP discount coupons for the cruises:
Kobe Bay Cruise or Kobe Sea Bus Fantasy.  


Marvel at the night view of the bay lights. ©

Provided by Karaksa Media Partners (19 February 2019)

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