Getting there & away
JR Sannomiya station is on the JR Tōkaidō line as well as the private Hankyū and Hanshin lines (both of which run to/from Osaka).
The Hankyū line is the more convenient of the two private lines, running between Kōbe’s Hankyū Sannomiya station and Osaka’s Hankyū Umeda station. Osaka has connections to/from Kyoto on the Hankyū line. Fares and times are as follows: Osaka – tokkyū, ¥310, 27 minutes; Kyoto – tokkyū, ¥600, 63 minutes, change at Jūsō or Umeda.
Note that there are several discount ticket shops near Hankyū Sannomiya station.
China Express Line (in Japan 078-321-5791, in China 022-2420-5777; www.celkobe.co.jp in Japanese) operates a ferry (2nd-class ¥23, 000, around 48 hours) between Kōbe and Tientsin. It departs Kōbe every Friday at 11.30am.
There are regular ferries between Kōbe and Shikoku (Imabari and Matsuyama) and Kyūshū (Ōita). Most ferries depart from Rokkō Island and are operated by Diamond Ferry Company (857-9525; www.diamond-ferry.co.jp in Japanese). The cheapest fares are as follows: Imabari ¥5400, Matsuyama ¥6300 and Ōita ¥8800.