It may be hugged by a beautiful bay and misty mountains, but Kobe's roots run a lot deeper than its natural good looks. Japan's busy harbour town first opened its doors to the international trade world in 1868. As a result, the city is teeming with multicultural charm and one-of-a-kind urban experiences. Today you can snack on dumplings in Chinatown. Practice your swing on the greens of Japan's first golf course. Admire the amazing beauty of a mosque. Unwind in an authentic Japanese hot spring (onsen). And, no doubt, dine in some of the most amazingly diverse restaurants in the country. Also, if you visit in the springtime, you'll get an extra bonus – cherry blossoms!Find Cruises Sailing to This Port
The concept of culture sharing is everywhere in this busy coastal town, as you'll see when you wander into The Kobe City Museum. The place is packed with ancient artefacts, paintings, copper etchings, historical documents, including an enormous collection of antique maps and other artistic masterpieces all brought together under the theme of 'International Cultural Exchange'. A haven for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike.
Exploring Kobe on foot is one great way to work up a sweat. But when you're ready to take a breather from the crowds and the concrete, you'll be glad to know you won't have to travel very far. In fact, you'll find hours of hiking trails that will take you up to the amazing Nunobiki Waterfalls and other natural attractions – surprisingly close to the city.
Get ready to spend the souvenir budget! There is no shortage of shopping venues in Kobe, that's for certain. Fashionistas will be pleased with the stylish selection on Tor Road. Japanese designers have set up shop here, with a bevy of trendy boutiques. Are gems and jewels more your thing? Bargain for pearls at Tasaki Shinju on Port Island. And then, of course, there's the historic Moto-Machi district that sells, well, everything.
If there was ever a place to splurge on a mouth-watering cut of Kobe Beef – this is it. The world's most flavourful steak is said to get its tender texture from a rich diet of beer and, yes, regular massages! So go ahead and splurge. And make sure to cap it off with a little after-dinner sake.
Japan's currency is the yen. Cash machines are plentiful and major credit cards are usually accepted.
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Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.