The city of Kobe is the capital of the Hyogo prefecture, stretching from Mount Rokko to the Inland Sea. Kobe has a population of over 1.5 million and it is the sixth largest city in Japan-- and within commuting distance of Osaka and easy to get to Kyoto, Nara and Himeji.
The port was among the first opened to foreign trade in year 1868 and western-style houses built by the new settlers can still be seen in the trendy district of Kitano.
The city has made a wonderful and miraculous recovery after the Great Hanshin Earthquake of January 1995, where more than 6,000 people were slain and more than 30,000 rendered homeless by the devastation.
Kobe is a very cosmopolitan city with Sannomiya being its center, and also having different railroads running from the station and airport limousine services to Kansai International Airport and the internal Osaka airport. For the new Kobe airport, you can board the local transit system from the station. Sannomiya has large department stores, restaurants, shops and it is a very pleasant area to have a good time.
The city has expanded through the building of two islands from reclaimed land. Port Island and Rokko Island is connected to the mainland by road and rail. As a matter of fact, the new airport is located in Kobe Port Island.
The Akashi - Kaikyo Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world and it does connect Kobe to the island of Awaji.
There are a wide range of restaurants to visit, characterize by local dishes to just about every nationality that comes on your lips. For those with a sweet tooth, Kobe has in stock so many lovely cake shops and patisseries. Kobe beef is well known and delicious (Oishii)—even expensive too!
In the Nada area of the city, you will encounter some of the finest Sake breweries in Japan and you can take some interesting tours to see the brewing process and also their wares.
Accommodation in Kobe
Kobe has an array of accommodation for every budget. Western-style international hotels include Hotel Sunroute Sopra Kobe, the Sannomiya Terminal Hotel-- a 4-star hotel that is attached to JR Sannomiya Terminal-- the budget Green Hill Hotel Urban, etc.
Sannomiya has the largest concentration of hotels mainly clustered around the railway station. You can choose from the usual chain hotels which all offer good accommodation. These include the Kobe Tokyu Inn and so on.