Kobe, Japan: Not Just for Beef

So I thought why not take a trip to Kobe, because you know I can’t sit still and my ability to travel in foreign lands is slowly coming to an end.  Kobe was obviously a must because when you’re only two Shinkansen stops away from world famous beef, you go 行きましょ!!

We decided to go for one night and check out the happenings of this famous port city and was surprised to find out that Kobe had much more to offer then it’s beef.  So here’s a break down of our adventure.

Shin-Kobe Ropeway & Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden 

I won’t lie I really enjoy myself a ropeway, it’s such a better easy way to get to the top of a mountain.  Of course there is always a path to the top by foot, but lets be honest the ropeway was much more appealing.  I do love a good hike, however, there is a time and a place…Upon arrival in Kobe we decided to hit up the Nunobiki Herb Garden at the top of the nearby Rokko mountain range.  It was a bit of a cloudy day, but if you can imagine it has a pretty decent view of the Kobe Port while riding to the top.

DSC_6368DSC_6353Once to the top we were randomly greeted by a German Beer festival.  I won’t lie that the thought of a 10am beer did cross my mind, however, with a jam packed day of sight seeing, I opted to stay on the wagon for coffee instead.  The lovely thing about Japan is that no matter what season it is, there is always something in bloom.  The herb garden wasn’t much different and was a nice little stop to enjoy the morning.  We also indulged in a foot onsen, while enjoying some coffee overlooking the city.  Not a bad way to start the day.


Tor Road Steak Aoyama 

After spending the morning wandering around the herb garden, we decided it was time to find out if Kobe beef is really worth all the fuss.  To save a few bucks we decided to try out lunch set instead of dinner, because even when you go right to the source this stuff doesn’t come cheap.  I found a highly recommended place on TripAdvisor called Tor Road Steak Aoyama (highly recommend when visiting Kobe).  We loved this place, everything from the staff to the experience was fantastic.  One thing I will miss greatly about Japan is their passion and attention to detail, especially when it comes to food.  Our Y5100 lunch was well worth the cost and I’ll be honest the beef lived up to the hype.

DSC_6369DSC_6374DSC_6377kobe beef.jpgDSC_6379

Mt. Maya & the Cable Car 

Since we were basically in a meat coma after lunch, we decided to check-in to the Airbnb for a little afternoon siesta, before taking the chance to get in some of the best night views I’ve had in Japan, at Mt. Maya.  There is an old cable car that will take you up to the  peak and viewing point, which was a nice little surprise and John even played dress up with a conductor hat!  The view from the top was pretty amazing, you could see Osaka and all of Kobe twinkling down below.  The best part is the cafe at the top had it’s own craft beer.  Solid win for the evening I’d say.


Nankinmachi aka Chinatown 

The next day we were up and out to finish off seeing the sights before taking the train back home.  First up was Nankinmachi for some dim sum breakfast, because when in Chinatown.  I have to admit having been to real China and many other Chinatowns in the world, Kobe’s was pretty legit (oh and clean…#becausejapan).  We enjoyed taking in the sights and wandering around the little streets.


Kobe Port & Earthquake Memorial 

Fun boring fact, when our sea ship arrived in Japan it went through customs at Kobe port…So obviously our final stop was the port and earthquake memorial (because I just really wanted to see where my stuff came from haha really…).  The port is an excellent stop to make and honestly it great way to spend the afternoon.  In true Japan fashion there was some sort of dance competition or matsuri happening that afternoon, so the entertainment was on par and just a nice way to spend a day outside, with plenty of food stands, coffee shops, open space, and people watching galore.

DSC_6457DSC_6460DSC_6469IMG_5696IMG_5697fullsizeoutput_1517For those that don’t already know Kobe suffered a pretty devastating earthquake in 1995, where thousands of people lost their lives and much of the city was damaged.  To honor that history the city left parts of the old port (now covered by water) as a memorial.  I won’t lie that sometimes I easily forget that living in Japan means there’s always the chance of a major earthquake, seeing this was definitely eye opening and a good reminder.


Well there you have it my friends, out little weekend getaway to Kobe.  Like the title of this blog, Kobe is definitely not just for beef and should be on your list of places to visit while in Japan.

Of course in honor of my last four months in this lovely country, I’ve jammed it packed with trips, travel, and adventure so Operation Wanderlust won’t be winding down for awhile, meaning keep following along!  But to hold you over until my next post, here’s a photo of John and I enjoying one of the best things about Japan, train ビール!


Until next time! じゃまた!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great blog Nicole
    One of my favourite cities in Japan


  2. thurgate says:

    Did you go into the Earthquake museum? It was a great, depressing, highlight of our trip there.


    1. Nicole says:

      No we didn’t. We only went to the memorial at the port.


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