TRAVEL | MY TRIP TO KANSAI, JAPAN - KOBE TRAVEL GUIDE, BEST OF VEGAN FOOD, PHOTO LOCATIONS AND SIGHTSEEING

be kobe sign vegan travel guide blogger japan
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I´ve been visiting Kobe only two times. One of those travels was just a quick meeting in a café with a friend and the other was for a theater show. So basically, I didn’t see a lot. This time I had an individual trip by myself and wanted to scout the best photo locations, most delicious food spots and exciting sightseeing spots. I hope you will enjoy this Kobe activity guide..


Kobe Luminarie 2019

I was super lucky with my arrival since my arrival date matched the last day of the Kobe Luminarie, which is held every year. Kobe Luminarie is one of the oldest winter illumination events in Japan, Kobe Luminarie started in 1995 in memory of the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake that happened in the same year. The Geometric Illuminations were designed by Japanese and Italian artist. This illumination displays are meant as a memorial to the victims of the earthquake and also for the inspiration of the recovery of the town. Every year, Kobe Luminarie attracts more the three million visitors. The illumination takes place from the vicinity of Motomachi Station, starting at the Former Foreign Settlement and extending to Higashi Yuenchi Park. Taking part is completely free.

explore kobe luxury hotel portopia

The Portopia Hotel is a fantastic Kobe hotel, offering views of the famous Osaka Bay and Kobe's impressive skyline. The hotel is located close to Kobe Airport, Sannomiya Station and Shin-Kobe Station. Facilities at the Portopia Hotel, Kobe, include 13 restaurants and bars offering a wealth of Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine. The hotel's fitness centre includes a weight room, indoor pool, tennis courts and other facilities. Meetings and events can be hosted in a selection of 36 different banquet and meeting rooms, including the 1,702 seat Portopia Hall. Part of the WorldHotels Elite collection. The 745 rooms at the Portopia Hotel, Kobe, offer incredible views across the bay and the city. Rooms in the south wing have balconies, offering a resort-like atmosphere. The elegantly furnished rooms are equipped with a range of entertainment and lifestyle amenities. Kobe Portopia Hotel is known as the most luxurious hotel in Kobe.

kobe buddha statue japan travel inspiration

After having a rest in my suite, I went for the breakfast buffet and hit the hotel gym. I collected a lot of brochures and created an list of all the places I wanted to visit. I actually also wanted to include more museums, however, since it was Monday, most museums were closed unfortunately. I strongly recommend to do some research on museums as well, as Kobe has a lot of cultural activities to offer and while I´ll be visiting again, I will definitely catch up on that next time.

One of my favorite spots to visit in Kobe was the Hyogo Big Buddha. In Enryaku 24 (805), Saicho (Dengyo Daishi, the founder of Tendai Sect) placed a Yakushi Nyorai statue of his own making in the mail hall and named the temple Nofuku Gokoku Mitsu-ji Temple, thus establishing the first disciplinary holy ground in Japan. Taira-no-Kiyomori became a Buddhist priest in this temple in Jisho 4 (1180), when the capital was relocated to Fukuhara-kyo. It served as Inge-shoku (branch temple) of Kyoto Shoren-in Monzeki Temple from the early Edo era to the Meiji Restoration in 1868, holding the most prestigious status of all temples in Kyoto and the areas westward. The temple premises are home to Japan's first English monument inscribed by Joseph Hico (Hikozo Hamada, known as Father of the Newspaper), and the Hyogo Daibutsu, one of the three largest Buddha statues in Japan.

fish in the forest kobe port area street art

My favorite area in Kobe is the port. One can find the Be Kobe sign over there and also enjoy walking around the area, including lots of street art and amazing views. I really enjoyed the lively area and the park. While I was walking around the port area, I even discovered a super cool café which is called “fish in the forest”. The prices are a little high but the experience is fantastic. I had a green smoothie and enjoyed the forest alike interior. It is a wonderful spot for lunch or a quick snack. Location:  2-8 Hatobacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0042, Japan

kobe china town taxi japan travel

One can also find many other spots close to the port or in walking distance. I also recommend a visit to China Town in Kobe. The district is super colorful and lively, offering delicious foods and of course many photo spots. Kobe is also well known for its huge impact in the fashion industry that´s why one can explore fashion stores and trendy shops all over Kobe. There is even a huge fashion center in Kobe, which I didn´t visit during my stay, as I was focusing on vegan food spots. However, I´m calling out all fashionistas to explore more of the fashion scene in Kobe.

A must return spot is the ice cream shop Harlow, which is offering delicious ice cream flavors and even vegan ice cream like black sesame, sorbets and other amazing flavors. Even hot beverages and cookies are offered. The location itself is trendy and inviting to stay longer. Vegans can also enjoy vegan ice cream cones and the staff speaks English. Prices aren´t that high and the quality is exceptional. Location: 〒650-0041, 17-3 W102, SHINKOCHO CHUO-KU KOBE JAPAN

kobe japan vegan food guide sannomiya shopping

My last food spot in Kobe was Modernark. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seats and is also offering a shop, besides the restaurant. One can easily grab a book and sink into the cozy atmosphere. The restaurant is also offering free WiFi and is located nearby the famous shopping arcade Sannomiya. So, why won´t you have a delicious lunch or dinner and head over for some shopping or just walking around? Well, I did so and really enjoyed the busy crowds and colorful shops. Location: 3 Chome-11-15 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0012, Japan

What´s left to say? Kobe is a lively city located in Kansai, Japan. It is famous for fashion and its culinary offer. It is the 6th largest city in Japan and the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. The population is around 1,5 million. Kobe has a great public transport system and is fun to explore by foot, too. Kobe as lots of modern locations but also traditional sights. The mountain area and port area are must see spots and while it´s worth to stay in Kobe, one can easily plan day trips from Kyoto or Osaka.

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