Top things to do in Kōbe

Area in Kōbe

Kitano-chō

For generations of Japanese tourists, this pleasant, hilly neighbourhood is Kōbe, thanks to the dozen or so well-preserved homes of (mostly) Western trading families and diplomats who settled here during the Meiji p…
Waterfall in Kōbe

Nunobiki Falls

You'd never guess that such a beautiful natural sanctuary could sit so close to the city. This revered waterfall in four sections (the longest is 43m tall) has been the subject of art, poetry and worship for centuri…
Brewery in Kōbe

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum

Hakutsuru is a major sake brewer in Kōbe's Nada-gogō district, a major sake-brewing centre. The self-guided tour through the old wooden brewery (the current, modern brewery is behind it) is a fascinating look at tra…
Steak in Kōbe

Kōbe Plaisir

This is a great place to try Kōbe beef prepared in a variety of styles, including teppanyaki or shabu-shabu (thinly sliced beef cooked with vegetables in boiling water and then dipped in sauce). It's managed directl…
Shokudo in Kōbe

Mikami

Mikami is a beacon of good food in the otherwise forlorn zone between Shin-Kōbe Station and Sannomiya. For both lunch and dinner it does excellent teishoku (set meals); the 'katsu' (crumbed and fried) dishes are esp…
Bakery in Kōbe

Isuzu Bakery

The most famous of Kōbe's bakeries, Isuzu is particularly famous for its crisp, fluffy 'curry pan' (¥160; カレーパン ), a deep-fried doughnut stuffed with beef curry. There's a huge variety of sweet and savoury options (…
Monument in Kōbe

Port of Kōbe Earthquake Memorial Park

At 5.46am on 17 January 1995 the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck this region. It was Japan's strongest since the Great Kantō Quake of 1923 devastated Tokyo. Kōbe bore the brunt of the damage – 6000 killed, over 30,0…
Bar in Kōbe

Sake Yashiro

This standing bar has a daunting selection of 90 kinds of sake, including about 50 from local brewers, on its (Japanese-only) menu. Anticipating your needs, staff have made a cheat sheet in English of their top five…
International in Kōbe

Grill Jūjiya

In a city thick with east–west heritage, this old-fashioned charmer specialises in yōshoku, early Japanese takes on Western cooking, like hayashi rice (beef hash served with onions and demi-glace sauce over rice). I…
Cafe in Kōbe

Starbucks Ijinkan

A big chain wouldn't normally be worth listing, but this Starbucks is different: it's housed in a beautifully preserved former ijinkan (foreigners' house), c 1907, in the Kitano-chō neighbourhood . Buy a cuppa and e…