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kobe two day itinerary

The Ultimate Two Day Itinerary in Kobe

By Margherita Nov 3, 2022

Kobe, the capital of Hyogo prefecture, is one of Japan’s biggest cities, mostly known for the exquisite quality of beef. The important role of the city in Japan’s history as one of the main ports, the picturesque framing of the port enclosed by mountains, and the production of sake make the city a notable point of interest you cannot miss while visiting Japan.

Two Days in Kobe: Your Door to Hyogo Prefecture

This 2-day itinerary in Kobe is the perfect weekend – or weekday – getaway to discover the beauty of the city, from the cuisine to its culture and history.

Day One

Meriken Park and Kobe Tower

kobe itinerary

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Meriken park is located in front of Kobe port and it is home to Kobe Tower, Kobe Maritime Museum, and the nearby Kobe Earthquake Museum and Memorial.

Kobe Port, being enclosed by Rokko Mountain, has been one of the first ports opened to the rest of the world in Japan (1868) and has remained one of the main and most important ports in the whole country until the 1995 earthquake which destroyed part of the buildings and facilities making Kobe Port step back in the national ranking.

Kobe Tower is currently under renovation, and the reopening date has not been announced yet. For specific updated information, make sure to visit the official website before visiting.

Sannomiya and Chinatown

kobe itinerary stall

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From Meriken park, walk towards Motomachi station and nearby you will stumble upon the vividly colored and lively area of Chinatown, or Nankinmachi, for the locals. The Chinese quarter is not extensive, but the quantity of shops, restaurants and stalls condensed in such a small area makes the district always packed and full of people and action.

If you don’t mind waiting for a while, we recommend heading over to “Roshoki”. Line up in the main square of Nankinmachi district to try some of the freshly steamed pork buns, soft and juicy. Pick up some bao, “goma dango” (sesame balls) from the nearby stalls as you walk around exploring the area.

After Nankinmachi, head east towards Sannomiya station. Sannomiya is the lively heart of the city of Kobe, where most restaurants and bars are located. The area is centered around JR Sannomiya and Hanshin line Kobe-Sannomiya stations, many shopping centers, and “shotengai” shopping streets.

kobe beef image

kobe beef steak

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The night could not be completed without trying the local specialty: Kobe beef. We recommend trying a steak course to enjoy the tenderness of the beef to its fullest. Try the steak course at Kobe Plaisir near Sannomiya station. A course costs from around 10000 to 13000 yen depending on the weight of the steak.

Day 2

Ikuta Shrine

kobe ikuta shrine

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Ikuta Shrine is a quiet shrine complex just 50 meters away from the main street of the Sannomiya district that is bustling with cafes, bars, and restaurants. Ikuta Shrine offers a quiet resting spot from the bustling neighborhood, with a small but quiet “forest” at the back.

The Shinto Shrine has over 1800 years of history and is said to be one of the oldest shrines in the country.

It is dedicated to the goddess Wakahirume-no-Mikoto and therefore it is visited particularly by those who search for good luck in love and marriage.

Nada District and the Sake Breweries

Hyogo Prefecture is one of Japan’s most important sake brewing regions with a history dating back to the 18th century.

In particular, the district of Nada in Kobe is still one of the top sake-producing districts in the country and – of course – in the world, thanks to a combination of high-quality rice and the supply of fresh water coming from the nearby mountains. The neighborhood on the eastern side of Kobe, is home to around 26 sake breweries.

Hakutsuru is one of the oldest breweries in the area, with its foundation dating back to 1743.

The original structure where the production of Hakutsuru signature sake started has been preserved and has been converted into a small, interesting and interactive museum on sake production. In the project mapping room, you can also sit down to watch a short movie about the history-rich brewery which is now one of the strongest sake brands in Japan, with stores not only around Japan but abroad.

After finishing the tour around the museum you can taste three different types of sake for free or purchase a coin to try a sample of the highest quality sake called “junmai dai ginjo” and browse around the shop to bring back home one of your new favorite sake bottles.

Your 2-Day Trip to Kobe Sorted

Now that you have the perfect 2 day itinerary in Kobe planned you have no more excuses not to go – Hyogo prefecture is waiting for you!


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