2013 Japanese Spring – Day 6 : Kobe

Activated our 4-day Sanyo Area Pass today.  The pass cost ¥20,000 per person – we saved a total of ¥14,000 in the 4 days that we used the pass.  The pass allows for unlimited rides on all JR lines and Shinkansen.

Took JR Kobe Line from Umeda station to JR Sannomiya station.  It took about 45 minutes to reach Kobe from Osaka.

From the station, we walked to Kitano-cho.  Kitano-cho is a district notable for its western-style architectures that was established in the late 19th century by foreigners who settled in Kobe.  Spent our time just walking around the area taking in the different European  and colonial style buildings.  Holding wedding receptions are quite popular here – we witnessed a wedding reception in one of the restaurants while we were there.

Visited one of the Ijinkans (western style residence for foreign settlers), The Kitano Foreigners Association.  This was a members only social club frequented by the foreign residents who moved to Kobe.

The coach house which still houses the coach at the association building

A row of Ijinkans open to public with an admission fees.

If you do not want to walk to the sites, you can take the Kobe City Loop bus.  The bus has a stop at Sannomiya train station.  A single ride cost ¥250 while a 1-Day Pass cost only ¥650.

We also saw this precariously parked roadside mobile cafe with a VW theme.

You can also take a break and have a cup of coffee at this old colonial house turned into Starbucks cafe.

Lunchtime was approaching – a reservation at Wakkoqu Kobe Beef Steak, Hillside Terrace outlet was made before we left Malaysia. The time has come to experience what the famous Kobe beef was like :).

The Kobe beef lunch was the main highlight of our day in Kobe.  We were not disappointed at all, the beef was really tender, juicy, very tasty and they just melt in the mouth.  Read the full story here.

After a heavenly lunch, the heavens opened up.  Instead of walking to Nankinmachi (Chinatown), we took the train instead from JR Sannomiya station to Motomachi station.  Walking has its advantages – we get to see things like these :

Fire hydrant cover

Manhole with special design

This pot of flowers is placed on the roadside advertising a florist nearby

As the rain was quite heavy when we reached Nankinmachi, we went shopping in Daimaru, a shopping mall nearby.

You can get customised hand made leather goods in Daimaru.

As rain still persist, we continued our shopping to Motomachi shopping street.

This covered shopping street has various shops and eateries.

There is even a 100 Yen shop :).

We continued to Nankinmachi once the rain stopped.  This Chinatown is not as big as the one in Yokohama.

There were many stalls selling all sorts of finger food, a good place to be when one is hungry.

This eatery also sells the famous Kobe Beef

There was a singer performing near the pavilion at the center of Chinatown, so we stayed a while to watch the performance.

From Nankinmachi, we walked to Meriken Park.  Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park is housed in this park.

It’s a nice place to have an evening stroll and just sit and relax.

We then continued our way to Harborland for dinner.  On our way we passed by Oriental Hotel and a cruise ship docking nearby.

As we reached Harborland, we saw the Kobe Tower all lighted up.

View of Kobe Port from Harborland

We had dinner in Mosaic, a shopping complex park in Kobe Harborland.  They have 90 stores, restaurants, theater and a small amusement park on the waterfront.

After dinner, we made our way back to Osaka from the nearby JR Kobe station.  We caught the Ltd Express Hamakaze train (a diesel multiple unit) which only ran once per day.  Lucky to be able to try out the different JR West rolling stock! :).

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12 responses to “2013 Japanese Spring – Day 6 : Kobe

  1. Hi, may i ask advice on area around Ijinkan ?
    I heard there are slopes there, i plan to take the bus to Kitanocho, and after getting down there, do i still need to walk on slopes to ijinkan?
    I’ll be going with parents, i’m a bit worried as it’ll be hard for them to walk too much, let alone the slopes.

    Thank you.

  2. Hi~ May i ask did it very difficult to find/walk to Kitanocho from Sannomiya Station? Coz im afraid of getting lost to find Kitanocho. If you can help me with directions. Thank you 🙂

  3. May I ask how did you activated the Sanyo 4-day Pass?
    Does the pass have an open date upon purchasing, or should you specify the first day of use?
    Also, may the first day of use be different from the pick-up/purchase date?

    • Hi there

      Thank you for visiting my blog. You have to specify the first day of use when you purchase the pass. The dates of use are printed on the pass. The first day of use can be different from the date of purchase. You can purchase the pass at any JR stations and you can pick up the pass immediately. There is no need to activate the pass. All you have to do is to show the pass to the officer at the gate of the station. For Sanyo Pass, you have to use the manual gate to go in & out of the station.

  4. Thank you for sharing! Am going Kobe in Nov, Still trying to figure out what to do and get around in Kobe. Would be grateful if you can share your research with me…. 😉

    • Hi madamleo

      For the day trip to Kobe from Osaka, we took JR Kobe train to JR Sannomiya station. From the station, we walked to Kitano-cho and just explored the area. After lunch, as it was raining, we took the train from JR Sannomiya station to Motomachi station. From Motomachi station, it was a short walk to visit Nankinmachi or Chinatown. We also did some shopping at Motomachi shopping street. From Chinatown, we walked to Meriken Park and ended the day trip at Harborland.

      I did my all my research for this trip on http://www.japan-guide.com and http://www.hyperdia.com for the train schedule.

      • Thanks! I’ll go through the guides. Great that the places are all within walking distance! Hopefully they will have signage along the way to guide us… 🙂

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