Kobe Japan has the distinction of being one of the country's most beautiful cities. The many special events in Kobe Japan illustrate the pride city inhabitants take in the appearance of their home. Kobe is the capital city of the Hyogo Prefecture and listed as one of the ten largest cities. The unique geographical location of the city set between the Rokko Mountains and the sea is another reason to visit. Though smaller than the massive port in Nagoya, the Kobe port is another significant one in Japan and one of the first to open to foreign trading during the later part of the Edo Period.
Kobe's history includes one major natural disaster; the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. The Kobe earthquake took more than 5,000 lives and ravaged tens upon thousands of buildings throughout the city. The Japanese, known for their organization and efficient ways, have rebuilt the city in little over ten years, with few reminders of the tragic events in Kobe Japan in 1995.
Cosmopolitan, vibrant, and refreshing, the many things to do in Kobe keep visitors at least a few days. The city is part of the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto metropolitan region, which means great access to other Japanese cities of interest via public transportation. There are stunning Kobe shrines open for tours all over the city, the most popular of the twenty being the Minatogawa Shrine and Ikuta Jinga Shrine. Exploring Kobe Harborland is another of the best things to do in Kobe and a place where entertainment and shopping seem endless.
Kitano-cho is a Kobe Japan district sitting at the base of Rokko Mountain. The area is home to Western business expats who settled there in the later part of the nineteenth century after foreign trade became regulated. The mountainous backdrop makes this location an especially pleasant one for walking tours. The former estates of some Western Kobe residents are open for tours for a nominal fee. Other things to do in Kobe Japan in Kitano-cho include dining, shopping, and people-watching from the small street side cafes.
There are plenty more things to do in Kobe Japan, including touring the many Kobe shrines, Sorkuen Gardens, the Arima Onsen, and the Earthquake Museum. Onsens and gardens are a great way to dig deeper into the Japanese culture. Both illustrate historical Japanese practices. The Arima Onsen is a hot spring resort located directly within the city and a great place to experience this time-honored tradition. A trip up to the apex of Mount Rokko is awarded with spectacular views of both Osaka and Kobe.
During any major events in Kobe Japan, such as Arima Hot Springs Irizome Shiki (the festival thanking the springs for the area's prosperity), visitors should book Kobe hotels well in advance. Osaka hotels are another option, and a good base from which to explore Kobe further. Don't miss the incredible ice sculptures at the Rokkosan Ice Festival at the end of January, one of the most famous events in Kobe Japan.