Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture, has a long history of welcoming outsiders to its shores – it was one of the first ports in Japan to open to trade in 1868 after two centuries of isolation. The results of this open-door policy remain today in its historic foreign settlement area that was once home to European traders, with many of the old mansions lovingly restored and serving as mini-museums or shops.

    A diverse city, Kobe has one of Japan’s largest foreign populations, a bustling Chinatown, and numerous restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. Kobe's charms are both in its natural surroundings – backed by the beautiful Mount Rokko range – and a host of manmade wonders. The Kobe Port Tower, Port and Rokko islands were built up in major land reclamation projects, and the Akashi Kaikyo is the world's longest suspension bridge.

    What to see & do in Kobe

    Featured stories & fun stuff
    • 11 Best Things to Do in Kobe

      Kobe's main attractions are an integral part of the city's landscape and history, with museums celebrating its past bumping up against high-tech, sleek showcases for fashion and art. In 1868, Kobe was one of the first ports in Japan to open up to international trade and soon after the city was welcoming settlers from Europe, America, China and elsewhere...

    Where & what to eat in Kobe

    • 5 Great Restaurants in Kobe

      Dining in Kobe is a treat as you can find a little bit of everything here. There's certainly no shortage of variety or style among its restaurants, but that can make it hard to select where to eat next. With a sizeable expat population, eating out in Kobe has more of a cosmopolitan feel than other cities of a similar...

    Where to shop & what to buy in Kobe

    • 4 Best Shopping Experiences in Kobe

      Kobe is an excellent place to shop, especially if you're short on time since most of its best shopping destinations are clustered in the downtown core and within an easy walking distance. Get off the train at Sannomiya or Motomachi and you'll be met with a bewildering range of shops and goods – everything from the latest gadgets to fashionable clothing...

    Where to go & what to do at night in Kobe

    • 7 Best Nightlife Experiences in Kobe

      If you want to enjoy a night out in Kobe, there's everything from hole-in-the-wall bars to karaoke clubs, English pubs to pumping dance clubs. You can have a quiet drink or 2, shoot some pool, or dance all night, the choice is yours. If you're not sure what suits your fancy, just step off the train at...

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