Kōbe (神戸) is one of Japan’s underappreciated cities. A cosmopolitan port city with an international flavor, hemmed in by Mt. Rokko, it constantly comes up number one in expatriate rankings of the best place to live in Japan. …WikiTravel
Ijinkan (異人館) (walking distance from either Sannomiya or Shin-Kobe stations) Kōbe’s number-one attraction is the Ijinkan or Foreign Houses. These are 19th-century residences of Kobe’s foreign traders, clustered in the Kitano area.…WikiTravel
Kyu-kyoryuchi (旧居留地), near Motomachi station (Hanshin Line or JR Line). This is where foreign consulates and trading companies built their offices. Several 19th-century buildings have been converted into restaurants and shops. Notable buildings include Chartered Square, once the Chartered Bank branch and the 15th Building (十五番館), once the American consulate. The area is also packed full of high-fashion boutiques like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Fendi.
Meriken Park (メリケンパーク) near the harborfront has a poignant memorial to the devastating Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, which killed 6,433 people. Kobe Tower nearby is the unofficial symbol of the city and offers a viewing pavilion (¥600).
City Hall Observation Deck near the Kyu-kyoryuchi area; see a tourist map for location, walking distance from Sannoyima Stn. Could be a good alternative to Kobe Tower for people who are on a budget. Offers nice bayside and mountainside views of Kobe. Closes at 9:00pm. No charge.
Fruit Flower Park (フルーツ・フラワーパーク), 35 min by bus from Sannomiya, Open daily is 10 AM to 6 PM (except on holidays). Phone: 078-954-1000. This park is surrounded by a lot of flowers and greenery. Many people hold their wedding ceremonies here every year. In spring, the park becomes even more beautiful as about 10,000 tulips bloom. The Hotel Fruit Flower is near the park, which is visited by many families.
Chinatown (南京町 nankinmachi) was the original settlement of Chinese merchants. Today, it is rather touristy though it offfers some “Japanised” versions of Chinese food such as pork buns (豚饅頭 buta-manjū). Its architecture is still rather pleasant though.
Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum (竹中大工道具館), (3 blocks North of JR Motomachi station. 1 block west from Coop store. A 10 minute walk.), ☎ (078)242-0216, . 9:30-16:30. A very nice exploration of hand carpentry tools, from the stone axes of Jomon age to the Western influenced tools of yesterday. Hands on exhibits and English language descriptions make this a pleasant place to spend the afternoon. 300 yen. edit
Sorakuen Garden, (10 minute walk from Motomachi Stn; 15-20 minutes from Sannomiya Stn), ☎ (078)351-4680, . 9:30-16:30. A nice Japanese-style garden in the middle of the city. Very good value and a great attraction to see after going through the Ijinkan area. 300 yen; 260 yen with discount coupon available from tourist information booths. edit
Nunobiki Herb Park (布引ハーブ園) is a 40-acre garden located on Mount Rokko. It is accessible by the Shin-Kobe Ropeway, located near Shin-Kobe station. It features over 200 varieties of herbs, as well as greenhouses, exhibitions, and a restaurant. Admission for adults before 5pm is ¥1400 (including round-trip ropeway tickets), ¥900 (including one-way ropeway), and ¥800 after 5pm (in the summer). …WikiTravel
A man affiliated with Japan’s largest crime syndicate was shot Wednesday in Kobe apparently in connection with a feud among factions of the Yamaguchi-gumi organization in the western Japan city and surrounding areas, police said. (Japan Today)
Japan’s new supercomputer Fugaku is set to begin operations around 2021 with the country aiming to regain the title of building the world’s fastest computer, replacing its current supercomputer K, government-backed research institute Riken said Thursday. (Japan Times)
A 27-year-old American man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for killing a 27-year-old woman in Osaka last year, dismembering her body and dumping the parts in several locations. (Japan Today)
The series of quality compliance scandals that has rocked Japanese manufacturing has unmasked the sobering truth that workers were often tempted to take shortcuts in quality testing as they struggled to keep up production at decaying and short-handed plants. (Nikkei)
Kyoto has topped a ranking of major Japanese cities as measured by criteria such as livability and economy, according to a survey by a think tank affiliated with major real estate developer Mori Building Co.
A high court upheld Thursday a lower court ruling that found constitutional a legal provision that allows only men to file lawsuits denying legal fatherhood, dismissing a damages suit filed by a family against the state. (Japan Today)
A senior official of the Kobe Board of Education instructed a junior high school principal to cover up interview-based memos that proved a student who committed suicide in 2016 was bullied. (Japan Times)
Uber Technologies Inc. said Tuesday it will start its first taxi-hailing service in Japan this summer on a western island, targeting foreign tourists and residents, in a step toward a full-fledged entry into the country’s huge taxi market.
Hyogo Prefectural Police have arrested two employees at a restaurant after a corpse likely belonging to a missing man was found in the mountains of Ako City earlier this week, reports the Asahi Shimbun. (tokyoreporter.com)
Kobe Steel Ltd admitted on Tuesday its data fraud has been going on nearly five decades and also revealed new cases of cheating, highlighting the challenges facing the 112-year-old company mired in compliance failures and malfeasance.