Skip Navigation
A photo of a historical building in Kobe's Old Foreign Settlement Area. A photo of the Harbor Walk scenery.

Here you'll find information about life in Kobe as an international student. Find information to help you solve issues in your daily living, and any problems you might have with the various official procedures required after coming to Kobe.

Before Coming to Japan

Paperwork & Preparation

Learn more about the procedures necessary before coming to Japan, including your entrance exams and visa application.

Study Abroad Procedures

About Temporary Housing

It's possible to start living in a student dormitory right after coming to Japan, but until you can find a place to live in Kobe, you may need to secure temporary housing.


There is also a system that can help you lease a place to live in Kobe from overseas, skipping a stay in temporary housing.

Apartment Japan別ウィンドウ How to browse & book online別ウィンドウ

Getting to Kobe

A map showing the route to Kobe. It takes approximately 2 hours 40 minutes from Tokyo Station to Shin-Kobe Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen. You will pass through Nagoya, Kyoto, and Shin-Osaka on the way. If you change trains at Shin-Kobe Station you can get to Kobe's central Sannomiya area in approximately 2 minutes.

From Tokyo

*The center of Kobe is the area around Sannomiya Station

A map showing routes to Sannomiya Station. From Tokyo's Haneda Airport it's about 1 hour 15 minutes by plane to Kobe Airport, then about 18 minutes to Sannomiya Station on the Portliner Train.
		From Tokyo's Haneda Airport, it's about 1 hour 30 minutes to Osaka International Itami Airport, then about 40 minutes by express bus.
		From Tokyo Station, it's about 2 hours 40 minutes on the

From Osaka

A map showing routes from Osaka. From Osaka Station, it's about 21 minutes on the JR Kobe Line Special Rapid Service Train to Sannomiya Station.
		From Osaka Umeda Station, it's about 27 minutes on the Hankyu Kobe Line Limited Express train, or about 30 minutes on the Hanshin Main Line Limited Express to Kobe Sannomiya Station.

From Kansai Airport

A map showing routes from Kansai International Airport. From Kansai International Airport, it's about 1 hour 5 minutes by limousine bus to Kobe Sannomiya Station.
		From Kansai International Airport it's about 48 minutes to Shin-Osaka Station on the JR Line Airport Limited Express

From Kyoto

A map showing routes from Kyoto. Sannomiya Station can be reached from Kyoto Station in about 51 minutes on the JR Kyoto Line/Kobe Line Special Rapid Service.
		From Kyoto Kawaramachi Station, it's about 38 minutes to Juso Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line Limited Express, and then about 24 minutes on the Hankyu Kobe Line Limited Express to Kobe Sannomiya Station.

Access Within Kobe City

Map of Train Lines within Central Kobe City

A map of the railway lines and stations nearest to universities in Kobe City. The closest station to the University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences and the University of Hyogo is Kyoto Municipal Subway's Gakuentoshi Station.
		Kobe Shinwa Womens University is closest to Suzurandai Station on the Kobe Electric Railway.
		The Kobe Institute of Computing/Graduate School of Information Technology and the Japan University of Economics are closest to West Japan Railway Company's Sannomiya Station, and Hankyu Railway, Hanshin Electric Railway, and Kobe Municipal Subway's Kobe Sannomiya Station.
		Kobe Gakuin University is closest to Minatojima Station on the Kobe New Transit Port Liner. Kobe International Universty is closest to Marine Park Station on the Kobe New Transit Port Liner.

Your First Week in Kobe

Finding housing in Kobe

When searching for an apartment in Japan, it's typical to visit real estate agents, look at housing information and gather various information. Japan has a unique system, so here are some explanations.

See information about "Renting an apartment in Japan"別ウィンドウ

There is also a system that can help you lease a place to live in Kobe from overseas.

Apartment Japan別ウィンドウ How to browse & book online別ウィンドウ

For information about university dorms, please refer to each university's website.

Getting a residence card

This permit is issued to non-Japanese whose time in Japan will exceed 3 months, who have landing permission, permission to change their status of residence, and permission to renew their period of stay. You will be issued a residence card at immigration screening at Kansai Airport or Narita Airport, but should you end up receiving your residence card at a later date, it will be sent through registered mail to the address registered with your municipality after entering Japan.Once you've decided where to live, you will be required to bring your residence card to the office of your local municipality to be registered within 14 days.

See more about getting a residence card別ウィンドウ

Sign up for National Health Insurance

National Health Insurance is a system in which members pay insurance premiums to help one another so that they can receive medical care with peace of mind when they get sick or injured. Foreign nationals under the age of 74 who have been registered as Kobe residents for more than three months and do not have a public health insurance plan in Japan must apply for National Health Insurance.

See more about signing up for National Health Insurance別ウィンドウ

Opening a bank account

Take your residence card to a bank or post office (Yucho Ginko) near your school or residence, and open a bank account.

●Things you'll need to set up a bank account

  1. Residence card
  2. Health insurance card
  3. Student ID (For students only)
  4. Personal seal, or hanko (depending on the bank, a signature may be acceptable)
  5. Money to deposit (More than 1 yen, may not be required depending on the bank)

Getting a cell phone

In addition to cell phone company stores and electronics stores, cell phones can be purchased and their contracts signed online. Pricing systems and plan will vary depending on the cell phone company, so please be sure before signing a contract.

●Things you'll need for your apartment contract

  1. Residence card
  2. Passport
  3. Credit card *Should you elect to pay by credit card
  4. Your Japanese bank account (Bank card/bank book) *Should you elect to pay by bank account withdrawal
  5. National Health Insurance Card
  6. Parental consent form *For minors
  7. A copy of your parent's ID *For minors

*Some people do not buy cell phones, and instead buy only a SIM card to use with the phone they used outside of Japan. (For details, please inquire with each cell phone company)

A photo of three international students talking alongside a monument of the words

Once you've finished the paperwork,
it's time to enjoy Kobe!

A photo of three international students sitting on some steps outside and talking.
A photo of three international students chatting while they walk.
A photo of four international students taking a selfie together.
A photo of two international students sitting and listening to a man talk.