Hyogo Learn all about an international port city! A comprehensive tour of Kobe's most popular spots

Last updated: 30 March, 2021

Kobe, a city that has developed by taking in diverse cultures from other countries, has a lot to offer!

Kobe is one of Japan's most fashionable areas and known for having an unusual mix of cultures. This walking tour will take you to some of the must-visit places in Kobe alongside a private guide who will help you to better understand Kobe’s cultural background.

Kobe's diverse culture is rooted in its history as a cosmopolitan city that has always adopted and developed new things. Kobe has prospered since the Middle Ages as a key point for domestic shipping, but its role as a residential area was limited and, consequently, there was no indigenous culture to speak of. The opening of the country to the outside world in 1853 led to the establishment of foreign settlements and the influx of Western culture. Due to the lack of its own indigenous culture, it absorbed and mixed the foreign cultures that came in with the opening of the country, and nurtured its own unique culture as Haikara culture (the name given to dressing in fashionable Western clothing). Today, the city thrives as one of the leading international cities in Japan, thanks to its abundant flow of international cultural exchange.

Kitano-cho, the area you will visit on this tour, was home to many foreigners after the opening of the country, and is now, with its Western-style architecture, a popular place to walk around in the city. Also, in the Port Island area, Kobe's landmark towers and buildings have been built at the harbour, and you can enjoy the cutting-edge scenery of a mix of foreign and Japanese cultures. In addition, there are many other places in Kobe that you should not miss. Let's visit together the many spots that one person alone cannot visit in one day, and enjoy Kobe sightseeing fully!

Experience the harbour views at Kobe Port Tower and Meriken Park, and see the city of Kobe from the sea with a cruise ship ride.

Kobe is popular for its sophisticated seascape around the port. The tour will take you to popular spots such as Kobe Port Tower, a symbolic sightseeing tower, Meriken Park, a harbour park built on a reclaimed wharf, and a cruise ship experience. With this guided tour, you will be able to fully experience Kobe’s port area.

“Nankinmachi", a Chinatown reminiscent of an authentic Chinese market, offers “Japanese-Chinese” cuisine symbolising the fusion of Japanese and Chinese cultures.

Nankinmachi, Kobe's Chinatown is one of the three major Chinatowns in Japan, along with Yokohama and Nagasaki, and is a popular gourmet spot for tourists. Nankinmachi offers a wide variety of Japanese-style Chinese cuisine, perfect to enjoy casually. During the tour, our guide will also explain various points about the history of Nankinmachi, such as why Chinese culture developed in Kobe.

In the Kitano area, which still retains its Western atmosphere, you will be impressed by the beautiful buildings that incorporate Western-style architectural techniques from different countries.

The Kitano-cho area, where many foreigners lived when the port of Kobe opened in the 19th century, is a perfect spot to stroll through streets populated by Western-style buildings. Among them is the "Moegi no Yakata," a building with distinctive yellow-green walls and lavish decorations throughout, a place where you can fully see and feel the development of Kobe as a cosmopolitan city where diverse cultures have blended together.