Fun Activities for Kids in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Feb 18, 2021

Fun Activities for Kids in Kobe

Did you move to Kobe with kids? Then you’ll be pleased to find a variety of children’s and family-friendly activities to keep you occupied in your spare time. Whether you’re looking for indoor amusements or a trip to a nice outdoor space, there is plenty of stuff to both excite and educate the little ones – and adults can join in the enjoyment too!

Visiting animals

You can’t go wrong with a day out among the animals and creatures. Fortunately, Kobe has a selection of great places. About 15 minutes from Sannomiya by Port Liner, Animal Kingdom is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, where you can see the likes of kangaroos and penguins. Oji Zoo is also popular. It’s close to the Hankyu Oji Park station and has a wide variety of animals, including pandas and elephants. Or perhaps you fancy a trip into the mountains to Rokkosan Farm to see goats and sheep and take part in cheese-making classes? If it’s marine creatures your kids are into, you can go check out the dolphins and piranhas at Suma Aqualife.

Shopping and more

Shopping is a great family-friendly activity as kids love it (as long as you make sure to visit plenty of toy shops!), plus it gives adults the chance to pick up a few much-needed or bargain goods. If you have a whole day, or even half a day, to spare, then you can’t beat Kobe Harborland. Located on Kobe Port, this multi-purpose mall has hundreds of stores and children’s amusements, a large cinema, and even a Ferris wheel. Other great retail venues include the Mitsui Outlet Park, about 30 minutes from central Kobe, where you can shop on the waterfront with the stunning Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in the background.

A day in the mountains

Kobe is situated right next to a fantastic mountain range, and this makes for a wonderful day out, whether it’s summer, spring, winter, or autumn. Mount Rokko is the attraction that draws the most tourists and locals with much for young ones to enjoy, including playgrounds, a snow park in the winter season, Nunobiki Falls, and the International Box Museum, where kids can make their own tiny instruments.

Fun in the park

Kobe’s many parks are kid-friendly and filled with natural and human-made attractions to keep all ages occupied. Wakamatsu Park is a fairly built-up park area outside Shin-Nagata station. It’s a bit more of a trek than centrally located parks, but worth it to see the 59-foot giant Tetsujin 28 robot statue built to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake. The slightly more central Meriken Park is another good place for kids to learn about the 1995 earthquake and visit a maritime museum and have fun in playgrounds.

The Anpanman Museum

Anpanman might not mean much to children outside of Japan, but inside the country, he’s as popular as the likes of Buzz Lightyear. For the uninitiated, Anpanman is a children’s animated superhero character. He’s so popular that he has his own themed mall, or “museum” in Kobe filled with shops, a play zone, arcade games, and restaurants. Anpanman himself sometimes makes a special appearance. Everything is free apart from the themed indoor play area.


Sports activities

You can find sports centers, leisure centers, and gymnasiums all over Kobe that run different kids’ sessions. These include weekly football sessions at the Mizuno Soccer School, tennis for beginners at the Kobe Regatta and Athletics Club, and kung-fu at the Kobe Chinese Martial Arts Association. See here for details of more sports activities in Kobe.

lasta29, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Justin Hanus editor