Enjoy a full day of sightseeing and a sake-tasting session in the port city of Kobe, with round-trip public transport by rail from Kyoto. Stroll through Kobe’s Kitano district past dozens of historical ‘Ijinkan’ (foreign residences) and, after a buffet lunch, head into Meriken Park. The day ends with a tour of the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, where you’ll learn about the history of Japan’s renowned rice wine and taste a sample.
Meet your guide upon pickup from the New Miyako Hotel in the morning and head to Kyoto station for the train ride to Kobe. When you reach your destination, take the bus to vist the Meriken Park (translated from the word ‘American’) for an exploration of the waterfront park. Here, your guide points out landmarks such as Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum, and leads you to a memorial dedicated to victims of the Great Hanshin earthquake. Later continue on foot to the Kobe Port and enjoy a relaxing cruise to explore more about Kobe for approx. 45 mins. After the cruise, take a walk to the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel for a buffet lunch, where you can indulge in a variety of Japanese and Western dishes. With your appetite sated, your bus will transfer you to the Kitano-Ijinkan District where foreign residences established in 1867 near the Port of Kobe, as your guide offers a glimpse into city’s maritime past. After spending approx. 30 mins in the area, you'll be transferred to Sannomiya Station where you can take a train to Sumiyoshi Station. Upon arrival at Sumiyoshi Station, walk to the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, which details Japan’s age-old tradition of making rice wine. In the company’s converted brewhouse, receive an introduction to the history of sake making and sake-brewing processes via video displays. See life-size dioramas and photographs depicting the various steps involved in traditional sake production and learn about new techniques since Hakutsuru was established in 1743. Before you go, visit a tasting room to sample some sake. Later return to Sumiyoshi Station and take a JR train back to Kyoto (arrive at Kyoto Station around 6:00pm).