Getting Around in Kobe

Kobe train

Train in the city of Kobe ©Javi Motomachi/Flickr

Kobe, the fifth largest city in Japan is a very important  port town, located on the shore of Osaka Bay. With 1.5 million inhabitants and hundreds of daily visitors, the city has to put a lot of effort into the transportation and the infrastructure.

The highways, railways and the expressways around the city help people approach the city as easy as possible. Kobe Airport, located on an artificial island is a major node for the city’s traffic. The city has two islands as well: Port Island, the home of the airport and Rokko Island, including several museums. This article includes a description of the city’s major districts, some advice about the public transportation and useful tips for getting around in Kobe.

Major Districts

Sight on Kobe

Sight of the city from Kobe University ©Hyougushi/Flickr

Central Kobe is undoubtedly the most significant part of the city. Not only because it includes the most beautiful sights, but its substantial size also emphasizes the importance of Central Kobe. Tourist attractions, such as Sorakuen Garden, Kitano-cho, Kobe City Museum, Kobe Harborland, Meriken Park or the Historic Chinatown are all located here.

Other important districts are Nada, the most important sake producing area, located on the Southwestern part of the city, North from Rokko Island. Arima Onsen district is located on the North-western part of Kobe, behind Mt. Rokko and it is famous for its outstanding hot springs. HAT, a recently developed district is important part of the city as well. It is located on the Eastern part of the city, including touristic sights, such as  Earthquake Memorial Museum or Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art.



Kobe train

Train in the city of Kobe ©Javi Motomachi/Flickr

JR Sanyo Shinkansen is the most important line of the city. On this line, you cant travel both to Himeji, Fukuoka, Osaka and Tokyo. The two islands have separate lines, Port Liner goes to Port Island and to the airport, and Rokko line takes you to Rokko island. Sanyo Railways and Japan Railways can be used to travel to Himeji and Osaka as well. Kobe Railways connect the city’s downtown with Arima Onsen.

The city has its own subway system as well, providing connections between the central part of the city, Meriken Park and Tanigami. The subway has two lines: green and blue. Yamate, Seishin and Seishin-enshin Lines belong to the green ‘group’, while Kaigan line is marked with blue.


Other Means of Transport

Kobe bus

Bus stop at the top of Mount Rokku ©Jephso/Flickr

 The bus system of the city is quite confusing, therefore it is advisable to take the loop bus for tourists. Kitano-cho, Meriken Park, the Harbor land and Nankinmachi are connected by this line to Shin-Kobe and Sannomiya Stations. A ride costs 205 Yen and a daily ticket 650 Yen.

If you like to walk on foot and you are not lazy, you can visit the most important sights of the city on foot, because they are close to each other, in Central Kobe. Taxis are popular in Kobe as well, even though they cost 660 Yen/km.





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