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A One-Day, Two-Night Trip in Kobe

The city of Kobe is filled with locations for not just tourists, but for locals to enjoy, too! We recommend this article for those who are coming to Kobe for the first time, or for those who’ve just moved to the city. Enjoy a day and two nights out in Kobe!


Day One Route


The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge: the Longest Suspension Bridge in the World!
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel, let’s start the trip at Maiko Park, to the west of Kobe! Maiko Park marks the edge of Akashi City, and is also the point from which Akashi Kaikyo, the world’s longest suspension bridge, rises to connect the main Japanese island of Honshu with Awaji Island. You can even enjoy the scenery from Maiko Marine Promenade, an observation deck on the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. The promenade has a hair-raising glass floor – do you think you can handle walking across it?

Also be sure to check out the museums and homes of historical figures in Maiko Park!

Location: 2051 Maiko-cho, Tarumi-ku, Kobe City 655-0047
Web/Tel: Maiko Park Website, 078-785-5090

A Meal at Suma-dera Temple
Let’s take a walk along the sea and go take a look at the city. From Maiko Koen Station on the Sanyo Electric Railway, take the train towards Kobe Sannomiya and get off at Suma-dera Station. From the train window, you’ll be able to look out at the sparkling waters of the sea.

If you’re feeling a little hungry, once you get off the train, you’ll find many tasty Japanese and Western-style restaurants and cafes on the road leading to the temple, so you can take your time enjoying a meal.

Suma-dera Temple was built during the Heian period (794 – 1185), and is connected to the history of the Genpei War. Treasures related to this war, and the temple’s historical treasures are displayed throughout, and there is also a lovely pond with turtles and carp. There are also 30 or so haiku about the temple, inscribed here on stone monuments. Can you find them all?

Location: 4-6-8 Sumadera-cho, Suma-ku, Kobe City 654-0071
Web/Tel: Suma-dera Temple Website, 078-731-0416

Suma Rikyu Park
Next, from Suma-dera Temple walk about 10 minutes to Suma Rikyu Park. Known for its large botanical gardens, this park is very popular. You won’t even notice how quickly the time goes by enjoying Japanese sweets and tea while taking in the garden’s maple trees!

Location: 1-1 Higashi-suma, Suma-ku, Kobe City 654-0018
Web/Tel: Suma Rikyu Park Website, 078-732-6688 

Meriken Park
You’ll find a lot of young people in Meriken Park as evening comes. As you’d expect! Meriken Park is located in the center of Kobe, and is just the postcard picture of Kobe. The lights of Kobe Port Tower can be seen here up close, and you can dine on a multi-storied boat…and it’s here that we’ll end our first fun day in Kobe!

Location: 2-2 Hatoba-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe City 650-0042
Web/Tel: Kobe Port Tower Website, 078-391-6751

Day Two Route

Ikuta-jinja Shrine
Let’s begin day two where we left off, in the center of Kobe. First, why don’t we head to an area in the center of Kobe, Ikuta-jinja Shrine? Constructed in 201, it’s even said to be the oldest shrine in Japan. It’s located near Sannomiya, a ten minute walk from JR Sannomiya Station.

At Ikuta-jinja Shrine, why not get your fortune told with an “omikuji” paper that reveals its text when you place it on water, or walk in the quiet beneath the branches of the trees? What kind of history must those trees have seen?

Location: 1-2-1 Shimoyamate-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe City 650-001
Web/Tel: Ikuta-jinja Shrine Website, 078-321-3851

After a meal, let’s learn about Kobe’s history with the West
The “Ijinkan-gai” is a place that everyone in Kobe knows. The Kitano Ijinkai-gai was a foreign settlement populated by those who came to live in Kobe during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), and with a visit here, you can discover what kind of lifestyle foreigners in Japan led during the 19th century, what kind of clothes they wore, and what sort of homes they lived in.

Web: Kitano Ijinkan-gai Website

Night scenery as seen from City Hall
Finally, let’s say “sayonara” to Kobe with a look at some beautiful night scenery! To see it, we recommend heading to the observation deck on the 24th floor of Kobe City Hall. You can even eat dinner on the same floor, so it’s a convenient spot!

  *This location has been converted into a vaccination site for the COVID-19 vaccine as of August 10, 2021. While this location is being used as a vaccination site (closing time yet to be determined), entry is restricted to those seeking vaccination only, so please be aware.

Location: Kobe City Hall Building No. 1 Floor 13, 6-5-1 Kano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture 650-8570
Web/Tel: Kobe City Hall Building No.1, 24th Floor, 078-333-3330

Aside from the places we’ve mentioned here, Kobe is full of must visit spots, so be sure to visit Kobe again! For an introduction to more interesting places or fun ways to spend your time, be sure to take a look at our series of articles on “A Side of Kobe You Didn’t Know”!