Day in Kobe, Japan

I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a trip to Japan for five days in the month of April, and of those five days, I spent a day in Kobe, Japan! Kobe is the sixth largest city in Japan and is famous for their “Kobe Beef”, the world-renown top-grade beef.

Therefore, when we arrived in Kobe, the first thing we did was get Kobe Beef for lunch! We arrived at Sannomiya Station, and as you leave the station, there is a street of stores, restaurants, and boutiques that line multiple alleyways.

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We then headed to Steakland, which specializes in grilling meat, especially Kobe beef. They have a huge hibachi style grill in front of you, and prepare your meat. They added fried garlic to the butter, cooked the rare (which we asked for), then grilled some vegetables to go with our meat. The lunch set came with miso soup, a salad, pickles, rice, and sauces to go with the meat. The Kobe beef did not disappoint. It was juicy, rich, and melted right in your mouth. We loved it so much that we got it again for dinner!

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After eating our fill, we headed to the Nada area, which had many sake breweries and museums about Sake. We went to Uozaki-Go Sake Brewery Museum. The museum had replicas of how sake was made traditionally, how the rice was cultivated, and fermented, and what kind of water was used, and the rest of the extremely tedious and meticulous process. What was also nice about the museum was that they offered free sake tastings, which was interesting to taste all the different kinds of sake. Entrance to the museum was free and therefore, we didn’t have to worry about wasting any money. Instead, we spent our allowance on sake and cute souvenirs!

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Kobe was one of the first cities to open for trade with the West in the mid nineteenth century, and has since been known to be a cosmopolitan port city. Therefore, there is an area called Kitano, which houses many foreign consulates and brags extremely cute, Western style architecture. It was an adorable area to sit at one of their many cafes for a cup of coffee and to tour the many little boutiques while admiring the beautiful houses.

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The Western architecture contrasted with the traditional Japanese architecture and shrines, like the Kitano Tenman Shrine. The beautiful entrance and stairs up to the shrine led to a temple that was on top of a hill that overlooked the city. Sadly, the temple was closing when we got there and thus, couldn’t take a good look around the temple.

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Afterwards, we headed to Mount Rokko. We took a cable car up the mountain and landed on an amazing view that overlooked all of Kobe. The way up to the observatory deck was cute, lighted with fairy lights. The view from the top was amazing, with a clear view of the port and the city. The pictures definitely do not reflect how beautiful it was.

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We ended our day in Kobe walking the streets near Sannomiya Station, with Higashimon Street being one of the many alleyways we walked. It was a great area to look for food and souvenirs, which we definitely splurged on.

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With the wonderful weather and kind people who helped us around, the day trip to Kobe was amazing.

Some tips traveling in Kobe:

When you get off a station, look for an Information Desk. There is usually a desk with maps and a staff member who are so kind and willing to help. Kobe is a big city, and it is crucial knowing how to work the bus system and railway to get around. We picked up four different maps that showed four different areas of Kobe, and one map of the whole city that was so helpful while touring.

Definitely do some research before you head to Kobe. Know where you want to go, what you want to see, and plan a course. Since the city is pretty big, a lot of time can be wasted on traveling if you don’t plan wisely. Ask the information desk on what they suggest. They gave us amazing tips on where we should start and end to help us preserve time.

Lastly, there is free wifi in Kobe in most stations and touristy spots. Check out http://www.feel-kobe.jp/_en/wi-fi/how/ and follow the necessary steps to get free wifi (which was a lifesaver for us.) It might take about 30 minutes of your time to find a Tourist Information Center that distributes the cards, but it is definitely worth it!

 

Article by Wonmi from the U.S.A.

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