Kobe, Japan

Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately 500 km (310.69 mi) west of Tokyo. Kobe is a prominent port city located in the Kansai region of Japan.

Kobe is most famous for its Kobe beef and Arima Onsen (or "hot springs"). Notable buildings include the Ikuta Shrine as well as the Kobe Port Tower. It is well known for the night view of the city, from mountains such as Mount Rokkō, and Mount Maya as well as the coast.

Kobe also features many serene gardens, ponds and ancient shrines. Historical museums house myriad ceramics, artifacts and Namban - a collection of barbarian art. Kobe also hosts many festivals amidst a labyrinth of futuristic towers, skyscrapers, trendy restaurants, shopping outlets and the Akashi Kaiyo - the world's longest suspension bridge.

Things to See & Do

* Western style houses
* Sake breweries
* Mt Rokko and its rock garden
* Waterfront area
* Kobe Port tower

General information

Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – Yen (JPY)
Language – Japanese
Population – 1,600,000 approx
Land Area – 552.8 km2
Electricity – 2 perpendicular flat pins USA style or with a round pin below
Time - GMT plus hours nine hours
International Country Telephone Code – 81

Port Location – The Port of Kobe passenger terminal is located on Shinko Pier No. 4. It is within easy walking distance to downtown Kobe. There is also a Port Liner, subway, railways, a bullet train and expressway.

Travel Links – The nearest international airport is Kansai International Airport. The fastest way to get there is on the Kaijo Access high-speed ferry from Kobe Airport, which runs every 45 minutes or so, taking 29 minutes one-way. Kobe airport offers only domestic flights.

The nearest station on Japan's high-speed shinkansen network is at Shin-Kobe station. From Tokyo station, Shin-Kobe is 2 hours, 50 minutes away via Nozomi 3 hours and 20 minutes via Hikari.

The JR Bus Group is a major operator of the routes from the Tokyo area to Kansai. Buses operate via the Tomei Expressway (to/from Tokyo Station) or the Chuo Expressway (to/from Shinjuku Station). Other bus companies offer trips between Tokyo and Kobe. There are both daytime and overnight bus services available to and from Kobe.

A number of ferry services are available from Kobe, including routes to Takamatsu: Jumbo Ferry, Kitakyushu: Hankyu Ferry, Oita: Diamond Ferry, Also stops at Matsuyama. Beppu: Kansai Kisen, Also stops at Matsuyama. Okinawa: Maruei Ferry, Also stops at Miyazaki. Shanghai: Japan-China Ferry and Tianjin, China Express line.