Shopping Guide to Kobe


Sannomiya © rogerimp/Flickr

Kobe, the fifth largest city in Japan is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and also part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. The city is located located in a very nice area: between the Rokku Mountains and the sea. Not only because of its attractiveness, but also because of its touristic sights, Kobe is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Japan.

As in every city nowadays, shopping is also important in Kobe. This is why the city has dozens of malls, supermarkets, expensive brand stores and cheap flea markets as well. For a tourist, it is always important to know where to go if he/she wants to buy something. This article presents the best shopping places in Kobe and it also serves as a shopping guide to Kobe.


Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)


Nankinmachi, or the Chinatown in Kobe © Marufish/Flickr

The Chinatown in Kobe is a very colorful and vivid area of the city. The district has two main streets, all of them full with restaurants, shops, food stands; all of them selling traditional Chinese food, and even Chinese souvenir objects can be found here.

Nankinmachi is one of the most popular shopping areas in Kobe, it even has its small plaza in the center of the district. The shops are usually open between 11.00 and 19.00, but of course, it varies on each and every shop. The restaurants in this area are usually open from 11.30 to 21.00. Some of them are closed in the afternnons, between 15.00 and 17.00.


Motomachi Shopping Street


Entrance of Motomachi Street in Kobe © motoyen/Flickr

Motomachi is located near the Chinatown and it is one of the best places to shop at in Kobe. It is very similar to the shopping districts of Ginza and Shinsaibashi; you can find all types of shops and stores here. One of the most popular shops of Motomachi is Kaibundo Shoten, a bookstore known all around Japan, which includes thousands of books about the ocean, and sailing.




Mall at Sannomiya © rogerimp/Flickr

Sannomiya is another shopping district in Kobe, consisting of hundreds of shops and stores, but the most famous destination of this area is definitely the Sannomiya, the large shopping arcade. Literally everything can be found here: books, fashion, home electronics, food shops, brand clothes, etc. The address is 1-3 Sannomiya-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe. The opening hours vary at each and every shop.


Higashiyama/ Minatogawa Shopping Mall


Mall performance at Higashiyama Shopping Mall© cogdogblog/Flickr

Higashiyama (or Minatogawa) Shoutengai is a typical Japanese shopping mall. The stores have very low prices; compared to those at Sannomiya or even Motmachi, the things sold here are inexpensive. You can find here foods, clothes, electronics, toys and many other utilities for very affordable prices.


Daiso 100 Yen Shop

100 yen shop

Entrance of a 100 Yen Shop © annainaustin/Flickr

In my opinion, this is the most recommended shopping place for tourists.Not only tourists, but Japanese people also love this place because all the things can be purchased for 100 Yen (almost 1 USD)! Clothes, toys, some electronics can be found here, but for tourists the souvenir department is more interesting. You can find these 100 Yen Shops in every Japanese city, usually close to the train stations. In Kobe, the largest ones are located in Sannomiya and Rokko-michi.

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