Things to Do in Kobe in Autumn

ByJustin Hanus
Sep 28, 2021

Things to Do in Kobe in Autumn

Autumn – many people’s favorite season. Known for its glorious colors and cooler temperatures, the season makes it the ideal time of year for both indoor and outdoor activities. Situated between the coast and the mountains, Kobe offers plenty for autumn lovers. Here are just some of what you can do in the city during the period.

Enjoy the autumn foliage

One of the most popular autumn activities in Kobe is to head out to one of the city’s nature spots to enjoy the red and golden autumn leaves. Best enjoyed around October-November, top spots include the favorite tourist location Mount Rokko. You can check out the botanical garden, Nunobiki Herb Garden, Nunobiki Waterfall, and the Shin-Kobe Ropeway. A bit further out, the Kobe Municipal Arboretum offers up 143 hectares where you can walk among a variety of pretty tree species, see a beautiful pond surrounded by red autumn leaves and even keep kids occupied in a small adventure park.

Sorakuen Garden is more centrally located, next to Orakuyama Station. It has a Japanese-style garden and a selection of maple and dogwood trees. It also hosts the Kobe Chrysanthemum Exhibition. Suma Rikyu Park is another good location. It’s a more European-style garden with fountains and over 4,000 species of rose. From here, you can experience fantastic views of Osaka Bay.

Visit a sake brewery

Kobe is well-known for its top-quality sake as well as its beef. Sake is one of Japan’s national alcoholic beverages. It’s a rice wine made with mountain water. The city’s Nada ward is a specialty sake-producing region with a 3-kilometer stretch of breweries. Many open to the public and offer guided tours, expert demonstrations, and sampling. One such brewery is the Kiku-Masumune sake brewery museum.

Spend a day at the museum

Kobe is home to some wonderful quirky museums that can provide an enjoyable day out with friends or family. These include the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, where you can view ancient tools, including stone axes from the Jomon Period. The museum hosts numerous interactive exhibits. Entry costs are around 1,200 yen. For transport enthusiasts, there is the Kawasaki Good Times World, where you can learn about the history of Kawasaki motorbikes, see a Shinkansen high-speed train as well as model airplanes. The Anpanman Children’s Museum, meanwhile, is dedicated to the famous Japanese cartoon character.

Relax at an onsen

Onsens are natural hot springs in Japan. There are thousands across the country, run both publicly and privately, with traditional inns often built around them. The Arima Onsen in Kobe is believed to be one of Japan’s oldest onsen towns dating back over 1,000 years. Located on the far side of Mount Rokko, it’s a popular weekend getaway resort for both locals and tourists, consisting of several hot springs, temples, shrines, and a small onsen museum.

Stroll around Kobe’s Chinatown

Fancy some Chinese cuisine to warm yourself up on an autumn evening? Then head to Nankinmachi in central Kobe. This is a gated street decked out with Chinese lanterns featuring various Chinese restaurants, souvenir shops, and supermarkets. The area was developed by Chinese merchants who were based in Kobe in the late 19th century.

DVMG, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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