Photo of Kobe

About Kobe

On a hillside facing the sea, Kobe nestles in the shadow of the Rokko mountain range. One of the ten largest cities in Japan, and in many ways the most cosmopolitan and picturesque city in the whole country, Kobe is a fascinating place to visit, whether you're on a sightseeing holiday with the family or just want to escape to another world. Teeming with historic attractions, breathtaking natural scenery and gourmet cuisine, you'd be hard pressed finding a more alluring city. Check out our collection of the best places to stay in Kobe to find out why!

Historically, Kobe has been a maritime trading hub. Its scenic harbour is famous, and in spite of the earthquake of 1995 that killed over 5000 people - not to mention shattering thousands of buildings - it still boasts a great many historic sites and museums. The Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum boasts a fantastic display of ancient artefacts, from stone axes to iron tools, and offers an immersive insight into life in pre-modern Japan. The Ikuta Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Japan, dates back to 201 AD and is made entirely out of wood.

Kobe is a city designed for walkers, so be sure to spend some time aimlessly wandering the streets. On your travels, don't miss walking over the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge - the tallest bridge of its kind in Japan - with a floor made entirely out of glass, stretching out across the Akashi Strait. For a clear view of the city, consider walking up the spiralling Kobe Port Tower - 108m in height - boasting a brilliant series of viewing platforms. For something more natural, climb Mount Rokko or take the cable car to the summit. Considered to be one of the three 'Great Views of Japan', it has a scenic rock garden and offers enchanting views of Osaka Bay.

What not to miss

  • Try some of Kobe's infamous beef.
  • Walk across Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and drink in the gorgeous views.
  • Climb Mount Rokko or take the cable car and be enchanted by the views of Osaka Bay.
  • Take a day trip out to the bewitching Nunobiki Falls.
  • Visit one of Japan's oldest shrines, Ikuta Shrine, built in 201 AD entirely out of wood.
  • Immerse yourself in regional history at the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of a Sake (rice wine) brewery, like the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum.
  • Get to the top of the Kobe Port Tower - a local institution - and enjoy the breathtaking views up top.

Kobe is as high-tech and modern as it is beautiful and vibrant. Boasting a brilliant range of historic sites, museums and jaw-dropping natural scenery, it is the ideal place for a city break. Browse through our list of best places to stay in Kobe to start planning your trip.

The best places to stay in Kobe

Value for money

  • Maiko Villa Kobe: an enormous hotel in a coastal location, offering a range of differently styled rooms - from Japanese to Western - as well as a choice of 5 restaurants and a pampering spa. Excellent value for money - ideal for young couples or students.

Classic Japan

  • Hotel Wakamizu: just 5 minutes from the train station, this gorgeously-styled hotel offers a heady mix of Japanese decor and contemporary luxuries - from futon bedding and tatami flooring to spacious bathrooms - and guests can relax in their onsen (hot spring bath) or dine-in at their superb restaurant.

Downtown

  • Kobe Kitano Hotel: in a splendid downtown location, offering rooms styled with classic British interiors. The French restaurant serves up splendid cuisine. An incredibly classy stay!

Pure luxury

  • Oriental Hotel: going for more than 100 years, this is Kobe's oldest hotel. The elegant rooms are reminiscent of a bygone era, but with flourishes of chic decor and outstanding views. Guests have an extensive choice of restaurants. Totally divine!
  • Hotel La Suite: a glamorous white hotel sitting on the waterfront, boasting elegant rooms with chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows. The pampering spa is to-die-for and the two restaurants serve up the very best of local and international cuisine. An outstanding stay.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Tokyo, and get the bullet train to Kobe - a roughly 2.5 hour journey.
  • If you want to rent a car we recommend contacting our partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to travel is during the summer when the temperature ranges between 19 and 32 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Kobe

  • Maiko Villa Kobe Kobe (Tarumi-ku) 248 rooms from £63

    Maiko Villa Kobe enjoys a coastal location a short distance outside Kobe. The property offers both Western and Japanese-style accommodation, whilst each of their 5 restaurants (serving up a variety of cuisine) are worth a visit! Enjoy a massage after a long day. Great value and well located.

    Sights nearby  -  Kobe boasts a number of noteworthy museums and attractions for you to visit
    Great walks  -  Wander along the coast at sunset and take in the splendid ocean views!
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Check prices
  • Kobe Kitano Hotel Kobe (Chuo-ku) 30 rooms from £163

    Kobe Kitano Hotel enjoys a splendid downtown location and features elegant classic British interiors. Get the celebrity treatment as you stay in their luxurious accommodation, whilst the Ash restaurant (specialising in French cuisine) is to die for. A superb, first-class stay!

    Sights nearby  -  Wander through Kobe Chinatown, head over to the waterfront Meriken Park or visit the historic Ikuta Shrine
    Great walks  -  Go hiking up Mount Rokkō and enjoy the gorgeous views
    Local markets  -  Be sure to check out the bustling Akashi fish market!
    Traditional
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
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  • Hotel Wakamizu Kobe (Takarazuka-shi) 44 rooms from £165

    Hotel Wakamizu is located in Takarazuka, just a 5 minute walk from the train station. The property offers both Western and Japanese-style rooms (think tatami woven-straw flooring and futon bedding). Enjoy traditional kaiseki cuisine at the Sumire lounge and relax in the onsen. An unfussy stay!

    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Nakayama-dera Buddhist Shrine, Satsukiyama Zoo or Aramaki rose park
    Great walks  -  Head off hiking up Mount Nakayama
    Traditional
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  • Oriental Hotel Kobe (Hyogo) 116 rooms from £301

    Kōbe'S oldest hotel, in operation for over a century. Effortlessly elegant throughout with both the glamour of an era gone by and touches of contemporary style apparent in the design. A choice selection of exemplary restaurants and spectacular sea views make this a hard property to beat.

    Local exploring  -  Well positioned in the heart of the city with many of its main attractions neaby.
    Sights nearby  -  The Sannomiya Shrine and the Onohachiman Shrine are both a short walk from the property.
    Great walks  -  Climb to the top of Mount Rokko and admire the city views.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
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  • Hotel La Suite Kobe (Chuo-ku) 70 rooms from £428

    A luxurious property situated on the waterfront overlooking the harbour. Elegant rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, chandeliers and soft hues. The two glamorous restaurants serve Japanese and International cuisine and there's a spoiling spa. A chic base for city exploring.

    Local exploring  -  Boasting a central location and excellent transport links.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through the traditionally landscaped Sorakuen Garden.
    Opulent
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
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