One Day Trip to Kobe from Kyoto / Osaka -Suggested Itinerary [HIGHLIGHT 7 hours]

Have you heard of Kobe before?
Kobe is the city located in the west part of Japan.You might be familiar with the name like Kobe beef or the basketball player Kobe Bryant. The fun fact is, Kobe Bryant is named after the restaurant “Kobe Steak House” in the U.S. since his parents were impressed by the beef they served at the restaurant very much! Kobe is underrated city in the west but actually it is a good one day trip destination from a big touristic spot like Kyoto or Osaka. 

What’s in Kobe? 

Kobe is one of the largest port cities in Japan along with Yokohama.
It has been an important place for trade since Japan reopened the port in 1868 after the isolation for over 200 years. Because they have this history behind, Kobe has the unique atmosphere which has been influenced by other countries. So you will see western influenced architecture in the city but also you can find Chinatown. Kobe represents a beautiful mixture of foreign and own cultures.

If you like the nature, you will like it here as well.
They have a famous mountain called Rokko and you can enjoy the fantastic ocean view from the observation deck in the mountain. People call it a million dollar view at night.

Do you get some ideas for Kobe now?
Let’s get in our perfect suggested itinerary for 1 day trip to Kobe from Kyoto or Osaka!

Japan Wonder Travel Kobe Private Tours

Japan Wonder Travel Other Kansai Area Tours

How to get to Kobe from Kyoto or Osaka?

You can take either JR line or Hankyu line.
If you are a JR pass holder, we would recommend to take JR line. 
Here we compared with both line for the price and duration. 

From Kyoto 
【 JR Line 】JR Kyoto – JR Kobe station: 1,080 yen and it will take an hour 
【 Hankyu Line 】Kawaramachi – Kosoku Kobe Station: 750 yen and it will take 1h 15mins

From Osaka
【 JR Line 】JR Osaka – JR Kobe station: 410 yen and it will take 26mins
【 Hankyu Line 】Umeda – Kosoku Kobe Station: 450 yen and it will take 37mins

Suggested itinerary 

10:00 @JR Kobe station

You can spend 7-8 hours here in Kobe, so we recommend to get to the station and start the day at 10am!

10:15 @Kobe Harborland Umie Shopping Center 

From Kobe station, head south and move to the port area. 
If you like shopping, you can stop by this shopping center which has many clothing stores, interior decor stores and the restaurants. 

10:30 @Mozaic (Port area) 

You can enjoy the view with Kobe Port Tower and Meriken Park alongside the port here. It is going to be the typical picture of Kobe you can think of. Also, it would be fun to take a ferris wheel to look over the city!
It is a popular place to visit at night for the romantic atmosphere so if you have time, we would recommend you to go there at night too!

11:30 @Choose an activity in Harborland 

Around Harborland area, you can enjoy some activities.
Here are 3 unique activities we would like to recommend to you. 

1 .Kobe Bay Cruising (Fee: 1,300 yen / adult) 
Savor the scenic attractions of the Kobe port on the 40 minutes cruise. You will see Kobe Airport and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in the distance. The spacious deck area and a canteen are fully equipped for your needs.

2. Kawasaki World (Fee: 600 yen/ adult) 
Motorcycle and engine company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group started in Kobe. Kawasaki World is a proud showcase of technological wealth of their past, present and future. The exciting exhibition includes motorcycle gallery which you can experience riding it with simulator, the display of the first Shinkansen and the flight simulator which you can experience taking off and landing at Kobe airport and so on. 

3. Kobe Port Tower (Fee: 700 yen/ adult)
This landmark tower is 108 meters high located in Meriken Park. Another name people love to call is the Steel Tower Beauty because of its look. It is the first building to feature a pipe structure in the world and got an award from Architectural Institute of Japan in 1963.
From the observation deck, you will see the peaks of Mt.Rokko, the overview of the city and port along with Awaji Island, Osaka Bay and Senshu region in the distance. 

12:30 @ Motomachi (Lunch time)

Leave Harborland area and walk to Motomachi area which has Nankinmachi known as Chinatown. This is a good place to eat as it sounds! You can of course get some Chinese foods here but how about tasting Kobe beef steak?

Find this restaurant in the narrow street. You can taste A5 rank Kobe beef here. 

2. Kisshokichi 
It is a food stand located in the center of Nankinmachi. You can try Kobe beef casually with hamburger or steak bowl. 

15:00 Finish @Nunoboki Herb Garden and Ropeway 

It is easy access from the city but you will find yourself in the beautiful nature. Take the bus or train and head to JR Shin-Kobe station. And then find Shin-Kobe Ropeway station.
Get the ticket (1,500 yen/ adult) for a round trip with ropeway which includes the admission for the garden.  
While riding on a ropeway, you can see the wonderful view of the city and the mountain itself.

It is only 10 minutes ride but you will enjoy the sight of the waterfall and Seto Inland Sea along with the lush forests. Further up, the Inland Sea opens up in front of your very eyes. It is such a lovely view during the day time but climbing up for the sunset would be recommended too! 

If you have more time 

Here we share the other recommended spots if you have more time in Kobe. 

Nada Sake District 
If you like Japanese Sake, this is the place you should definitely go! 
Nada District is the  top Sake producing region in Japan. They have great sources to make delicious Sake because of the availability of high quality rice, suitable water and favorable weather conditions in this area. 
There are many Sake breweries operating in this district but Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum is our recommendation if you have limited time. It is well presented about the process of making Sake at the exhibition and of course, you can try freshly brewed Sake at the tasting area. 

Rokko Garden Terrace 
If you wish to see the best night view, this is the place. 
It is quite complicated to get there so check this website to find out how to get there(
You can also take a private taxi from Sannomiya central area and it takes 2 hours and the cost will be around 15,000 yen. 


Our Recommended Tours 

Do you want to know more histories of the city?
Do you want to know the best restaurant?
Do you want to know how to enjoy the city like the locals would do?

If so, here are some recommended tours you can join in Kansai area including Kobe. The local English speaking guide will show you around the best spots with great knowledge!

Nada Sake districtVisit Nada Sake Brewery from Kobe
Private Tour/Guide TourKobe Customize Private Walking Tour
Highlight TourKobe 1 Day Highlights Private Walking Tour
ActivityTraditional Drum Taiko Experience in Kobe
Photo Tour with VanPrivate Photo Tour of Kobe including Luxury Van

We hope you have a wonderful time in Kobe.

Recommended Hotels 

If you would like to stay in Kobe, we recommend hotels below.
The night view from Mt. Rokko is one of the highlights of Kobe. So we strongly recommend staying 1 night in Kobe.

Hotel nameDescription
[Luxuryl]Hotel La Suite Kobe HarborlandBayfront area, Ocean view hotel.
Member of SLH (Small luxury hotels of the world)
[Luxury]Oriental HotelNear from Sannomiya station.
Founded in 1870.
[Luxury Ryokan]Minato Onsen RenBayfront area, Ocean view.
A group of Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland
They have a private open-air bath in room.
[Hotel]ANA Crowne Plaza KobeNear from JR Shinkobe station
[Ryokan]Hotel Isago KobeNear from JR Shinkobe station, Onsen Ryokan style
[Hostel]Galo Hostel KobeNear from JR Shinkobe station
[Hostel]Kobe Guesthouse MAYANear from JR Nada station.

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  1. Great itinerary, includes all my ‘must to go’ list in Kobe..

    I want to ask you something, the night view from (11), is it from Rokko Garden Terrace or Mount Maya? In other reference, I saw that view is taken from Mount Maya, but many other references say that view is taken from Mount Rokko, I really want see that view, thanks in advance..

    • Hi!
      I am Japanese and I live in Kobe. Rokko mountainrange is very long. So there are many place to see night view. Both of them,Rokko Garden Terrace and Mount Maya,are very famous place to see it.and these mountains is next to each other.
      It is little difficult for visiter to know ,there are many mountains in Rokko mountain range ,and Mount Maya and Rokko are one of them. Inside that Rokko mount is the highest in this mountainrange,so this mountainrange is named “Rokko mountain range” . So Rokko Garden Terrace is in mount Rokko. Please don’t misunderstand Rokko mountainrange and mount Rokko.

  2. Hello Sasti-san,

    Sorry for slow reply.
    This was taken from Rokko Garden Terrace!

    Hope you enjoyed Kobe!

  3. Hi,

    For the night view from Rokko Garden Terrace, will it be freezing there? I am planning for day trip to Kobe from Osaka and believe sunset is early now, before 5pm?

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