Public Transport in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Oct 27, 2023

Public Transport in Kobe

One of the three main cities in the Kansai region, Kobe has good transport links that can get you around the city, the outskirts and further afield. Between 2-3 hours from Tokyo by train, it also has its own airport and seaport. Most of the city center parts can be easily reached by foot but here’s the lowdown if you want to investigate public transport options.

Trains and Subways

Kobe has a pretty extensive rail network that includes several lines operated by different companies. Its main stations are Sannomiya, Kobe and Shin-Kobe. Sannomiya is the busiest central station linked to national, regional and subway networks. Shin-Kobe station is a bit further north and is where to catch the Shinkansen bullet train to places further afield.

The subway system, operated by Kobe City Transportation Bureau, is the easiest way to travel by rail across the city. There are two main lines – the Seishin-yamate (green) line that runs north and the Kaigan (blue) line in the south. A one-day pass costs 830 yen. Local overground train lines include the Hanshin line linking Kobe to nearby Osaka and the Hankyu line that goes to Kyoto. JR West operates the national network as well high-speed San’yo Shinkansen services. Kobe New Transit runs the shuttle service to the airport and Rokko Island.


Bus services run across the city, mostly operated by Kobe City Buses. You should board using the rear door and exit through the front door when you will need to pay your fare. Single tickets are currently 210 yen for adults and 110 yen for kids. There are also other companies such as Hanshin Buses that operate buses to the suburbs and more distant destinations such as Osaka.

One very useful service for expats and tourists is the City Loop bus service that is a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. There are two loop services operating from Sannomiya – the city loop and the port loop. These are easily identifiable green coaches that run every 15-20 minutes most days. You can buy a day ticket for 700 yen (children 350 yen).


Another method of getting around the city, especially if you want to avoid crowds or waiting at busy meeting points, is by taxi. These are fairly easy to come by in Kobe, either by personal booking or waiting at a taxi point, although they are more expensive per kilometer. Expect to pay around 600 yen for the first two kilometers and then additional for the rest of the journey. Popular firms in the Kobe include MK Taxi and the Port Group. You can calculate your likely fare here.

Special Tickets

You can reduce your transport costs in Kobe by buying certain discount cards and passes instead of paying full price for single journeys. These ticket offers include:

U-Line card – a recently-introduced general travel card that gives discounted journeys on subway and bus. Cost of the initial card is 1,000 yen.
Kobe Meguri 1-day coupon – this permits travel on subway, local trains and some bus services for 1,000 yen.
City Bus & Subway 1-day pass – travel on the subway and all buses including the city loop for 1,040 yen.
Kansai One Pass – can use for discounted travel across the whole Kansai region. Cost of the card is 3,000 yen.

Transport Apps

If you want up-to-date journey information and to be able to find the quickest route from A to B, the Jorudan app, also known as the Japan Transit Planner, is well worth downloading from places such as the App Store or Google Play.

MaedaAkihiko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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