The City of Kobe is a hidden gem for tourists. This cosmopolitan port city has an international flavor and a variety of things to see and do. Resting between Osaka Bay and the Rokko Mountains, the Port of Kobe is long and narrow. Its harbor invites people for strolls, gatherings, relaxation, and meditation. Two artificial islands in the harbor, Port Island and Rokko Island, are popular with tourists, and the Port of Kobe's China Town is a treat. Visitors to the Port of Kobe find many shopping opportunities ranging from traditional Japanese handicrafts to high-fashion. For detailed information on the many opportunities in the Port of Kobe, please visit the city's tourism website.
The Port of Kobe enjoys a temperate climate with hot humid summers and cool winters. The climate varies from season to season, and rain is common in this seaside city. Autumn and winter are drier that spring and summer. Snow is rare, but flurries do come in January and February. March brings the approaching cherry blossoms and anticipation of the coming summer. Temperatures in the Port of Kobe range from an average low of 2.5 °C (36 °F) in January to an average high of 33 °C (91 °F) in August.
Ijinkan, or 'Barbarian Houses,' is the Port of Kobe's most popular attraction. The houses in the Kitano area are those where foreign traders lived during the 19th Century. Other Japanese cities have similar districts, but most of them were severely damaged by war and natural disasters. The Port of Kobe Ijinkan is well-preserved and, while some of the buildings are still private homes, many are open for tours.
The Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum in the Port of Kobe is located inside a former brewery. Visitors can see traditional tools and learn about the sake-making process while they also sample sake. The Hamafukutsuru-Ginjo Brewery and Shop is an operating brewery that offers factory tours.
The Port of Kobe offers visitors wonderful views at the Port Tower (Japanese). This 108-meter tall structure was built in 1963, and it is topped by a 360-degree observation deck where you can get breathtaking views Kobe City, Awaji Island, and Osaka Bay.
The Kobe Maritime Museum tells the story of the Port of Kobe, including its long history, its relationship with the sea, and things related to the ocean. Located near the Kobe Tower, the building is shaped like a sailboat and is especially beautiful at night. The museum contains displays of many different types of vessels from the ancient to the ultra-modern. The Oshoro Maru model represents one of Japan's oldest sailing vessels that, in the old days, were encrusted with pearls, rubies, silver, and gold. A model of the HMS Rodney, the flagship for the British fleet that entered the port in 1868, commemorates the end of Japan's 250-year isolation. The exhibit Submarine Travel 2090 takes visitors to a virtual biosphere at the ocean floor.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Kobe by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.