Fight that urge to stay indoors in the warmth this winter and experience some of what Kobe has to offer. There are many places to visit and things to do that are suitable for a great winter day out in Kobe from having fun in the snow to checking out a museum. Here are a few suggestions for how to stave off the winter blues and make the most of the season.
Mount Rokko National Park is one of Kobe’s top attractions all year round with its fabulous views of the surrounding area and variety of activities on offer. It’s a special place in the wintertime as the snow park opens, the only ski resort in Kobe. There are opportunities to ski, snowboard or merely simply lark about in the snow for adults and kids. If you don’t fancy the snow park, there are plenty of other delights including a cable car, ropeway, observatory, and a garden terrace.
Admission: 1770 yen (skiing activities cost extra)
On January 17, 1995, an earthquake measuring seven on the Richter Scale hit Kobe. Striking just 20 km from the city center, it resulted in around 5,000 deaths and tens of thousands of homes destroyed. In 2002, the Disaster Reduction and Renovation Institution opened the Earthquake Museum to provide locals and tourists the chance to learn all about this tragic event and its effects. Using photos, documentary film, artifacts and interactive games, visitors can find out how the earthquake happened, the impact on people’s lives and what has been done to reduce the risk of future disasters. Visiting here makes for a great educational experience on a cold day.
Admission: 600 yen
The coastal district of Nada in Kobe has been one of Japan’s major sake-producing regions for centuries due to its high-quality rice and favorable weather. The area has several breweries open to the public where you can go along and learn about the sake brewing process, its history and enjoy brew samples. There are also museums and a few shops where you can buy sake and other souvenirs making for an excellent full day out.
Situated between JR Kobe Station and the Port of Kobe, Harborland is a shopping district housing a great collection of ample delights to fill a whole day itinerary whatever the weather. In addition to over 200 shops spread across several malls, there are restaurants, cafes and kids’ amusements. If you have enough time, there is also a museum dedicated to anime superhero Anpanman, a Ferris wheel, an old-fashioned street lit by 19th-century gaslight, and even an onsen (hot spring) if you want to unwind.
The 108 meter-tall Port Tower, built in 1962 on the waterfront, is one of the most famous landmarks of Kobe and a fantastic place from which to take in panoramic views of the city. From the observatory, you can see the city, the mountains and out to Awaji Island. The night-time views are especially spectacular, making a trip here a lush winter treat. The third floor contains a revolving cafe so you can sit and enjoy changing scenery as you eat and drink. There is also a skywalk with a transparent floor.
Admission: 700 yen for adults, 300 yen for children