Things to do in Kobe, Japan
The city of Kobe is in the Hyogo prefecture. It is the 4th most populous city in Japan. Kobe has gained fame for many things. Many people might remember the Kobe earthquake of 1995 that devastated the region. Others might be aware of the Kobe beef that is said to be the tastiest cut of meat available. The cows that create this beef receive special treatment that is designed to enhance the flavor of the meat. The only way to get Kobe beef is to get it from cows bred in this region. Anything else is not the same. Visitors to Kobe still have plenty of things to see and do. It can take a while to see all of the sites in the area, but there are some that should not be missed.
1. Sorakuen Garden
The lush botanical scenery of Japan is on full display in this garden. The garden was first opened to the public in 1941. Unfortunately, the buildings that were in the garden were destroyed during the war. A stable is the only building that still remains. This traditional Japanese garden is open to visitors from 9:00 am to 5:00 PM and there is a charge for admission.
2. Meriken Park
This waterfront park is located in the port area of Kobe. The visitors can see many examples of the architecture that has been used to build this area up. The Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum are examples of the contemporary look and feel that this area offers visitors. While the park was heavily damaged in the earthquake in 1995, it has come back stronger. The park has a small area dedicated to the victims of that disaster. The maritime museum is a favorite destination in the park and offers its visitors a history of the port and a look at exhibits of modern shipping.
3. Shin-Kobe Ropeway
If a visitor wants to get the best view of Kobe, the Shin-Kobe Ropeway is the best way to do it. It departs from the Shin-Kobe station and takes people past the Nunobiki Waterfall and the Nunobiki Herb garden. The view from the sky offers visitors a unique perspective on these natural sites. The top station of the ropeway allows people to see the area in the best possible way. Most tour guides suggest taking in this view at night when it is the most spectacular. There is also a hiking trail that visitors can take to get to this top station.
The Chinese community is recognized in this portion of Kobe. It was developed in the mid – 1800’s by the Chinese merchants that used the port of Kobe. The area is full of shops, restaurants, and food stands that attract many tourists on a regular basis. The area allows visitors to see and experience the mixture that has resulted from the combination of the Japanese and the Chinese cultures. The shops are typically open from 10:30 am to 7:00 pm and many are open every day of the year.