If you have the opportunity, you should consider making a visit to Kobe. And not just because it is Philly’s sister city. While it may not be as well known as Tokyo or Kyoto, Kobe has a lot to offer visitors. There are both great seasonal attractions and have plenty of year round activities to enjoy.
For outdoor lovers, Kobe offers an array of natural beauty. Mt. Rokko is a pleasant hike (or short bus ride) with spectacular views of the city below, as well as a botanical garden and other attractions.
Springtime is ideal for ohanami – cherry blossom viewing. Picnicking with friends and enjoying food and drink can be done anywhere in Japan, but Kobe adds fireworks to the mix. For fans of cooler months, autumn brings a dizzying fall color display, which can be enjoyed throughout the city and the surrounding countryside.
If you enjoy going to festivals, make sure to visit during the winter. Each December, Kobe celebrates Luminarie – a blocks-long festival of lights commemorating the great Hanshin earthquake of 1995. Over 200,000 lights are arranged in a variety of shapes, and several roads are closed to vehicle traffic so pedestrians can freely take in the splendor.
Winter is also a great time to visit Arima Onsen, but honestly it’s a worthwhile destination any time of year. The traditional spa features an array of relaxing pools and a unique culinary culture. Speaking of culinary arts, food and drink abound in Kobe. You can head to the Nada District and tour one of the many sake breweries or visit Chinatown for spectacular food and a lively atmosphere. Don’t forget to try Kobe beef or one of the many delicious sweets.
If this blog has got you interested in a trip to Kobe, you can use this website to explore more options and help plan your trip.