Exploring Kobe is no fun if you always need to leave your dog behind. The good news is there are plenty of places you can go together throughout the city, ranging from parks to pet-friendly restaurants.
A pleasant place to take a short walk or relax outdoors with your dog is Nagisa Park. The 800-meter trail surrounds a pond, where you may be able to spot wild waterfowl and carp. Since there are no bikes allowed, it’s especially comfortable for dog walkers. Although the park is open all day, it’s important to be aware that parking is only available from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. in May through October and until 5:00 p.m. in November through April. A bonus is that parking is always free.
A larger park in Kobe open to dogs is Okusuma Park. Located near Taribata Yakujin Shrine, it’s purpose is to preserve the nature in the area. It consists of forests, streams, ponds, rice fields, and grasslands. You can park for free and then set out on the trails — since the park is expansive, you’re unlikely to see too many other people. For lunch, you may like to prepare something in the BBQ area or have a picnic by the waterside. In June, you may even spot fireflies (which are a rarity in Kobe), especially at Firefly Creek.
For an elegant lunch out with your dog, head to Kobe Harbor Kitchen Haji, located near Kobe Harbor Land. Since you can dine with your dog either on the terrace or inside the converted warehouse, this is an option even during the winter. In addition to the extensive menu for human guests, there’s a menu for dogs.
You can even take your dog to an amusement park in Kobe. As the name suggests, Fruit Flower Park is nature themed. It features around 70,000 flowers and offers seasonal fruit picking. Depending on the time of year you go, you may find apples, pears, peaches, grapes, or strawberries. All year round, you can also enjoy a BBQ, which comes with free tickets to the hot springs. However, the most fun activity to do with your dog (or at least with dogs who are not too anxious) is go-karting. Your dog is allowed to sit on your lap or next to you in the passenger seat.
The next time you want to go on an outing, think of your dog. Whether you’re looking to go out for just a couple hours or you want a full-day trip, you have several options in Kobe.