Skip Navigation

A Look at the Best Parts of Studying Abroad in Kobe! 6 Points to Know About Kobe

Kobe, the Kansai area’s second largest city, is a cosmopolitan city where you’ll find a harmony between nature and its urban settings. Many international students have selected Kobe as their study abroad destination. Let’s take a look at what’s so great about studying abroad in this metropolis of 1,504,000 people from 6 different perspectives!

The Best of Kobe 1: Being able to enjoy both nature and the city
Kobe is a bustling city where you can enjoy shopping and entertainment with ease, especially in the Sannomiya area, with its cluster of restaurants and shops. But even while you can enjoy this kind of big city fun, the city is also home to some beautiful nature, with the Rokko mountain range spreading behind it, and Osaka Bay before it. Whether you’re a nature lover or a city lover, Kobe is the perfect place for you.

The Best of Kobe 2: An environment that’s welcoming to other cultures
Kobe originally developed as an international port city, and has long been the recipient of various cultures from overseas. Because of this historical background, Kobe has grown into a city that is inclusive and respectful of diverse cultures, making it a comfortable place for foreigners to live. Currently (as of March 2023), Kobe is home to approximately 51,000 foreign residents from 145 countries.

The Best of Kobe 3: Easy accessibility
Kobe has an extensive network of public transportation, including trains and buses, making for convenient access not only within the city but also to other parts of Japan. It is also only a 30-minute train ride to Osaka, the center of the Kansai region. Whether for business travel or a vacation, Kobe’s convenient transportation network allows you to travel smoothly to a variety of destinations.

The Best of Kobe 4: So many ways to enjoy yourself everyday
Kobe is home to many events and sightseeing attractions, so there’s always something fun throughout the year. On their days off, people enjoy going to Meriken Park or to enjoy the ocean scenery, or to relax at a stylish cafe in the Kitano area, with its Western-style architecture. At night, be sure not to miss Mt. Rokko’s “million dollar nightscape!” If you’re an international student, you can also take advantage of the Happy Memory Pass KOBE to get free entry to the city’s cultural and educational facilities.

The Best of Kobe 5: A safe city to live in
According to MERCER’s 2019 rankings for the city with the best quality of life, Kobe was number one in Japan, and number two in Asia! It was highly ranked for the ease-of-access of its central area, the natural surroundings of the Rokko mountains and the beautiful port, as well as its health, education, and transportation facilities. Kobe is also a very safe city, with many areas where you can safely walk around at night. The city has also put a lot of effort into disaster prevention since its experience with the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. International students can also enjoy a safe and comfortable living experience here.

The Best of Kobe 6: So many fields in which to study
There are many universities, junior colleges, and vocational schools in Kobe, and many of them are proactive about admitting international students. Aside from Kobe University, there are many universities and research institutions offering a high level educational environment. One of the city’s appeals is students’ ability to gain knowledge and skills in a variety of subjects, from the latest research to economics, to the arts. It’s also one of a few locations worldwide to feature the latest research bases, of which biological research in particular is making strides. International students in Kobe can align their interests and paths to find the perfect location for learning.

Let’s hear from other former international students in Kobe

“I like the nature in Kobe and the feel of the city. Kobe has both mountains and the sea, and it’s a good place to live. There’s also a familial sense of warmth in the city – on my morning commute, the people I pass exchange “hello”s with me – and it makes me want to always live in Kobe.”
 – Kou Shi Zei, Kobe University, “Interviews with Current Students : I want to use my student experiences to improve the working conditions for women

“I like that the climate isn’t too cool or too hot…. I also think the city has really good air quality. I went to a Japanese language school in Tokyo for two years, but I don’t see the kind of packed rush hour trains or garbage that I used to see here in Kobe. Public transportation is great, and I also like that it’s easy to get places.”
 – Zhang Bo Wen, Konan University, “Interviews with Current Students : Mastering Cutting-Edge AI Technology in Kobe

“The mountains and the sea are nearby, and the scenery is beautiful. It’s an international city, so I think it’s a good environment for non-Japanese people. I like going to stylish cafés and coffee shops on Kitano Hall on my days off. When I want to enjoy the ocean scenery, umie Harborland is the perfect place!”
 – Fang Min Rui, Kobe Gakuin University, “Graduate Interviews : Connecting Japan and China Through Chinese Medicine-Based Cosmetics

“There are famous tourist spots, too, but they’re not overcrowded, and just right in my opinion. The shinkansen and the airport are also nearby, making it a convenient city for both domestic and international travel. I think there are many young people and many kind people here. Kobe City also offers extensive child-rearing support, which personally has been very helpful.”
 – Vuong Thi Ngoc Anh, Japan University of Economics, “Graduate Interviews : Working and Raising a Child in My Second Hometown of Kobe

See here for more from other alumni!
Interviews with Current Students
Graduate Interviews

Here we put together 6 of the best elements of studying abroad in Kobe, but even these are just a few out of many. Studying abroad in Kobe isn’t just about the book work, but the many experiences you can only find in this unique and wonderful city. Come start your own exciting life adventure here in Kobe.