Kobe is known around the world for its expensive, high-quality beef, but this coastal city has much more to offer. It’s less than an hour from Osaka by train, and it’s surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains and the ocean.
Kobe is a relaxing destination, especially if you allow the sleek decor and welcoming atmosphere of the ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe to set the tone of your trip. Make the most of your visit to Kobe by enjoying the city’s many charming attractions.
View the City from the Top of Rokko Mountain
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Take the Shin-Kobe cable car to the observation deck on top of Rokko mountain, and take in magnificent views of luscious green foliage and the city skyline. While you’re there, don’t miss the Nanobiki waterfalls or the Nanobiki herb gardens. If you’re not in the mood for significant sightseeing or hiking, enjoy just gazing at the mountains.
Discover Sake in the Nada District
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Are you intrigued by the fermented rice beverage served in porcelain cups at your favorite Japanese restaurant back home? Learn about the method and the tradition surrounding sake in the Nada district, just 10 minutes away from the city center.
With plenty of breweries to explore in the district, sake tasting is a must. In between brewery stops, take the time to visit museums or learn about other products that use sake as an ingredient.
Have a Traditional Japanese Onsen Experience
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The Arima Onsen is 30 minutes away from Kobe, but it’s well worth the trip. One of the most ancient onsens, or hot springs, in Japan, Arima offers total relaxation. Whether you choose to soak in the rusty-brown kinsen or in the crystal-clear ginsen, you’ll feel great once you’re done.
Eat Kobe Beef
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We couldn’t write about Kobe and leave the most famous beef in the world out of the picture. Whether or not the cows really receive daily massages or drink the finest craft beers in Japan, there’s a reason for Kobe beef’s popularity. After all, it’s many foodies’ favorite gourmet treat and countless meat eaters’ holy grail.
Whatever you do, avoid overpriced meals and other tourist traps. Instead, ask your hotel concierge for tips on where to go to enjoy the highest quality meal for your budget.
Embrace Tranquil Japanese Culture
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As paradoxical as the Japanese culture might look to Western visitors, there’s a sense of purpose and place in everything. The beautifully arranged Japanese gardens, like the Sorakuen Garden in Kobe, convey a sense of peace and mindfulness without substantial effort.
In a land that frequently feels the effects of natural disasters, like the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, temples like the Ikuta Shrine serve as symbols of hope and resilience. They reveal that the key is to learn to be in sync with the moment.
If you’re seeking a place of wonder in Japan, Kobe’s traditional yet vibrant atmosphere won’t let you down.
This is a post written in collaboration with IHG – InterContinental Hotels Group.