Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without that celebratory festive meal – turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mince pies and all the rest. The festive holiday season is catching on in Japan with its growing expat population. Many cities now offer the chance to celebrate in their own unique way, and that includes dining opportunities. Here is a selection of top Kobe restaurants offering Christmas culinary delights this winter.
This hotel complex is hosting a whole season of festive feasts and shows throughout December and into January, so it’s the perfect place to head if you’re in holiday mode (and mood). Located just two minutes by walk from Shin-Kobe station, ANA Crowne Plaza has a variety of restaurants and venues where you can eat and even catch Christmas-themed entertainment. Food options include a Teppanyaki Christmas lunch and dinner at Kitano, a Christmas buffet at The Terrace, an Italian festive dinner course at Level 36 (December 22-26) and a Chinese New Year cuisine at Suzhou (January 1-3). For those with a sweet tooth, The Lounge has a festive sweets collection from the start of December until January 6, plus a Christmas dessert buffet on December 8-9.
Where: 1-Chome, Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0002
When: December 1 – January 6, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (closed Sundays)
This classy French terrace restaurant situated within the mountainside prides itself on a haute cuisine festive menu every year. Diners can select from lunch, dinner or private hire options with a range of speciality dishes available including amuse-bouche, fois gras, Canadian lobster roast and wagyu beef. It’s costly but this is reflected in the quality of the food. Seating is limited so it’s advisable to book in advance.
Where: 1-5-7 Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0002
When: December 20-25, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. (dinner); December 21-24, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (lunch)
Price: 21,780 yen per person (dinner); 12,100 yen per person (lunch)
As the name suggests, this restaurant has a peaceful and attractively horticultural vibe about it. The chefs specialize in fusion (mostly Italian-Japanese) dishes made from seasonal ingredients. They will be serving up a Christmas lunch and dinner menu for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Culinary choices include Kawachi duck roast, Gansu Padella, Kobe beef ichibo and Christmas dessert.
Where: 4-7-28 Sumiyoshi Yamate, Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 658-0063
When: December 11-25, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (lunch); 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. weekdays, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. weekends (dinner)
Price: 5,000 yen per person (lunch); 10,000 yen per person (dinner)
One of the top-rated restaurants in Kobe, this Parisian restaurant is full of French charm and is the perfect spot for a romantic Christmas dinner for two. There are two festive menus to choose from, a standard three-course option plus a more elaborate menu including beef tenderloin served with fois gras. There is also a budget Christmas lunch option.
Where: 1-7-21 Yamamoto-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0003
When: December 21-25, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (dinner); 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (lunch)
Price: 3,800 yen (lunch); 5,000 yen (standard dinner option); 8,000 yen (special dinner option)
Another French establishment serving artful dishes, Café Terrasse de Paris is a top floor restaurant offering a panoramic view of Kobe Ijinkan. The Christmas menu is served for three days (December 23-25) with lunch and dinner options available. Dishes include terrine de campagne with pickled vegetables, truffle-flavoured sauce of beef fillet and a special festive dessert.
Where: 4-9-2 Kitano-cho, Ijinkan Club, 3F, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0002
When: December 23-25, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (lunch); 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (dinner)
Price: 3,500 yen – 5,000 yen (lunch); 10,000 yen (dinner)
Perched on the waterfront, the Oriental Hotel has earned a reputation as a go-to destination for a celebratory meal, with six restaurant choices. The Santa Monica Wind is the hotel’s all-you-can-eat buffet eatery with a glittering menu of over 80 Japanese, Western, and Chinese items served with sun-splashed ocean views. Come holiday time, the Christmas buffet lunch and dinner amps up the cheer with many fresh custom-prepared dishes.
Where: Kobe Merikenpark Oriental Hotel, 5-6 Hatoba-cho,Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0042
When: Christmas week, Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / Dinner 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Doors close 30 min. before closing time; the buffet lasts 90 minutes. Reservations are a must.
Price: Adults, ¥4,039; senior citizens, ¥3,635; elementary school-age children, ¥2,424; infants, ¥950