KOBE – A miniature city of Europe in Asia

Author: | Posted in Japanese Travel No comments


Referring to Japan, you’ve surely heard about the famous Kobe beef. Today, we will visit the hometown of this delicious dish, Kobe.

Kobe is one of ten biggest cities of Japan on Honshu island. It is the capital of Hyugo province and is one of the main seaports in Japan, along with Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata (Fukuoka) and Tokyo. Situated between the coast and Rokko mountain, the city is very long and narrow.

Kobe is one of the first cities to expand trade with the West since 1868. This international seaport city is the home to 45,500 foreign residents from nearly 100 countries in the world.

One noticable point of its history is that in January 17, 1995, a 7.2 richter earthquake occurred closely to the city and killed 4600 people, made 300,000 people homeless, destroyed most of the port and many parts of the city. It was the worst natural disaster in the modern history of Kobe. However, that was also the opportunity for Kobe to prove its resilience. After the disaster, the city recoverd and was rebuilt quickly.

Later, Kobe became a very modern city that imprints the West’s features with commercial counselor offices, consulates, houses, shops, churches, even Western castles and cathedrals. Setting foot in here, visitors may feel like being in Europe in miniature.

Here is some best places to visit in Kobe:

Kitano Ijinkan Town


In Kitano of Kobe, a lot of buildings impacted Western style was built after Bakumatsu era, Meiji. Among them, the Ijinkan Town today is openly developed into tourist resorts. The entire town is pleasant to walk through and offers a variety of cafes, restaurants and boutiques, making it a favorite for young Japanese couples.



The town owns many interesting and beautiful architecture style such as:

  • Kazamidori House (Old Thomas house)
  • England House
  • Kitano Foreigners Association
  • Dutch Museum and Fragrance House
  • Platon Decorative Arts Museum (Italian House)
  • Ben’s House
  • Yokan Nagaya (France House)
  • Uroko house, Bảo tàng mỹ thuật Uroko …

Arima Onsen hot spring



Arima Onsen is one of the oldest Onsen hot springs in Japan, located in Kita, Kobe. Arima Onsen is a natural underground hot spring which spray to the surface without using drilling technology. Hot spring water quality is tested by the Ministry of the Environment as containing 7 minerals is beneficial for health recovery. Arima Onsen is famous for two categories: Onsen contains gold and iron salts, and Onsen contains transparent silver.



Earthquake Museum


The museum was opened in early 2002 as part of the Institute of human reconstruction and disaster prevention, launched to commemorate the day 01/17/1995 when the catastrophic event occurred in Kobe.

zzzzzzzzzz 3

Kobe Harborland


Kobe Harborland is a shopping mall near the sea, bordering the Gulf of Osaka. It has many diverse and modern facilities such as “Umie” and “Umie MOSAIC”, “Renga Soko Kobe”, with shopping centers and entertainment, wedding restaurants, hotels.



When the night comes, the giant ferris wheel at “Umie MOSAIC” with panoramic view is lit by thousands of sparkling lights making up an extremely romantic night scene: A suitable location for sweet proposals. Therefore, people called this place “Valentine Holy Land.”

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge


A suspension bridge has the world’s longest central span with 1.991m. Connecting Honshu and Shikoku, the bridge was inaugurated in 1998, nearly 4 kilometers long, with design against earthquakes, storms and waves. It’s estimated that the total length of each small steel wire equivalents to an earth’s perimeter. The cost to complete the giant cable-stayed bridge at the time of inauguration was $5 billion.

Meriken Park


Meriken is located in the port of Kobe, the national park was built in 1987. Inside and around the park, there are several buildings with a unique appearance, Kobe Port Tower is a symbol. Also exist many different scenes such as huge carp “Fish Dance”, “Museum Kobekaiyo” with appearance like a sailboat… There are also gorgeous hotels as “Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel” looks like white waves at the harbor Nakatottei, hotel “Okura Hotel” next to Kobe Port Tower.


The scenery on the opposite bank of Meriken Park is also very beautiful, this is also place for those who like to shoot.

Kobe Chinatown


Nankin-machi is one of three largest Chinatowns in Japan, it is on par with China city of Yokohama, and Tsukiji China in Nagasaki City. In the narrow range of about 270 m east-west, 100 m north-south, it has about 100 trading stores queuing up.

Rokko Ropeway


Ropeway running from the beginning station to the end takes about 10 minutes, 493.3m height difference, with a length of about 1.7 kilometers. It is not only climb Mount Rokko cable car, but also known as a popular tourist destination.


When reach the Rokko mountain station, you’ll have a chance to see considerable scenes here, you can see Kansai International Airport and Osaka Plain.

Sorakuen Garden


Sorakuen is a traditional Japanese landscape garden in the center of Kobe. All the buildings, which had originally stood in the garden, were destroyed in the war, except for a stable.