A bridge crossing over the Noruko Gorge in Kobe, Japan
SAY ‘KONNICHIWA’ TO KOBE

Cruise to Kobe, Japan

Perched on a hill sloping down to the sea, Kobe is a maritime gateway to one of Japan's most metropolitan cities. Mt. Rokko dominates the skyline — from the summit, you can glimpse one of the best views in all Japan. Of course, Kobe's also famous for breeding Wagyu cows that produce some of the highest-quality beef in the world. The stuff is so delicious that almost every restaurant in the area stocks it. Cruise to Japan and make your visit a full foodie mission and stop off at Osaka to indulge in the local tradition of kuidaore — "eat until you drop."
National Language Japanese
Currency Accepted Japanese Yen (JPY)

Things To Do in Kobe

A Japanese hot spring bath

Kobe, Japan Hot Springs

Get in Hot Water

Get in Hot Water

Onsen — a hot spring bath — is a unique Japanese pastime that will get you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and Arima Onsen is where you go to partake when in Kobe. Baths are filled with naturally occurring hot spring water, which locals claim has medicinal effects. Choose from day, half-day or spa packages, or sample a few different baths.

The Nunobiki Falls in Kobe, Japan

Kobe, Japan Nunobiki Falls

Hike the Heavens

Hike the Heavens

The Nunobiki — or "Divine" — Falls are a natural wonder on the back of Mt. Rokko. A quick 15-minute walk will get you to the first of the four waterfalls — the biggest is a thundering 43 meters high. If walking isn't your thing, take the Shin-Kobe cable lift to the top. It takes you past all four falls and stops at the Nunobiki Herb Garden, where you can experience the colors and aromas of 200 different kinds of herbs and flowers.

An aerial view of the Historic Kitano District in Kobe, Japan

Kobe, Japan Historic Kitano District

Go Mansion-Hunting

Got a taste for classic luxury? Kobe's Kitano-cho district contains more than a dozen ijinkan, historic mansions formerly owned by foreign merchants who settled here. Today, they're open to the public as museums. The England House, France House and Dutch Museum reflect the origins of their former owners, who brought European sensibilities to their new Asian home.

A chef slicing Kobe beef on a grill

Kobe, Japan Kobe Beef on Grill

Local Cuisine

There's only one city to go to if you want serious Kobe beef. Hang out with the locals at Nankingmachi Square, home to street-style Kobe beef a la carte. Want dinner and a show in one? Head to a teppanyaki restaurant, where your chef will cook your meal in front of you. If meat's not your thing, don't worry: Any steakhouse will also serve crunchy Yakiyasai (grilled vegetables) and Agedashi-dofu (crispy tofu with dipping sauce).

A traditional Japanese tea set

Kobe, Japan Traditional Tea Set

Shopping

To sample the freshest seafood Kobe has to offer with your Japan cruise, visit the Uonotana Fish Market, a wholesale marketplace boasting the day's catch. Later in the day, move on to the bustling Sannomiya shopping area, where streets are packed with stores selling everything from the latest fashions to traditional tea sets.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 You don't need to tip in Japan — save some cash (and an awkward moment) and only pay the amount of your bill.
2 It's easy to walk around Kobe, but if you want to speed things up, you can find a reasonably priced taxi rank at every train station.
3 If you find Kobe beef a bit pricey, go to the restaurants at lunchtime, when the meals are often cheaper.

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