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Where to stay in Kobe

Kobe Hotels

Cosmopolitan, compact, and full of unexpected sights, Kobe is a pure gem of a travel destination. Situated on the north shore of Osaka Bay, and overlooked by majestic Mount Rokko, this laid-back port city is something of a natural stunner. As home to one of 19th century Japan’s first foreign communities, it’s dotted with incongruous European-style architecture that draws hordes of visitors from all over the country. It’s also a must see for food and drink enthusiasts, as a major centre for sake production, and home of the exquisite, world-renowned Kobe beef.

Things to see

To get your bearings in the most spectacular manner imaginable, take the Shin-Kobe Ropeway cable-car straight up Mount Rokko or its neighbour Mount Maya. From the observation decks you can see Kobe and shimmering Osaka Bay in all its glory. On a clear day you may even be able to see as far as Osaka itself. On the lush, forested slopes of Rokko you’ll also find Nunobiki Falls, the awe-inspiring beauty of which has inspired Japanese writers and artists since the 10th century. As you admire each of the 4 separate cascading falls and take in the tranquil surroundings, you’ll find it increasingly hard to believe that you’re mere minutes away from bustling Shin-Kobe Station. Back in the city centre, there’s a wealth of quirky and distinctive attractions to explore. The Sawa-no-Tsuru Museum offers insight into the ancient art of sake production, while the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum sheds light on the incredible craftsmanship that goes into the construction of Japanese temples and tea houses.

Hotels in Kobe

There are fantastic hotels in Kobe catering to every budget and preference. You’ll find exquisite luxury hotels occupying prime waterfront locations, where you can indulge in a soothing massage in an opulent health spa, or enjoy a gourmet meal in a destination restaurant. There’s an abundance of competitively priced mid-range Kobe hotels such as the b kobe, offering tempting perks like premium bedding, deep soaking bath tubs, and a lavish hotel buffet to lure you out of bed each morning. If you’re travelling on a tight budget, there are also plenty of more basic hotels such as Hostel Yume-Nomad, which offer home comforts like flat-screen TVs, laundry services, and free WiFi.

Where to stay

Kobe is easy to explore by foot or public transport, so there’s no need to worry about picking a bad location. Shopaholics may want to consider basing themselves in the Sannomiya area. Here you’ll find the perennially popular Center-Gai shopping street, a sprawling covered arcade packed to bursting with cutting-edge local fashion, the latest consumer electronics, chic homeware, and an abundance of tempting eateries. Speaking of food, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample the city’s most famous delicacy, melt-in-the-mouth Kobe beef, grilled to your liking in an elegant steakhouse. If that breaks the bank, you can always spend the rest of your trip feasting on Sobameshi, a cheap, cheerful and thoroughly tasty local dish concocted from fried noodles, rice, pork and kimchi.

How to get to Kobe

Kobe Airport is a domestic transport hub served by flights from Tokyo, Sapporo, and other major Japanese destinations. From here, the Portliner train service will take you to Kobe-Sannomiya station in under 20 minutes. A taxi should take around the same amount of time. The nearest international airport is Kansai International Airport in Osaka. From here, you can take the Kansaikuko line to Osaka station, then the Tokaido-Sanyo line to Sannomiya. This should take 90-110 minutes, while a taxi should take between 60 and 80 minutes.

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