Kobe - Japanspecialist
Kobe is a large port city, just a 30 minutes ride from Kyoto on the bullet train. It is beautifully located with the Seto Inland Sea to the south and steep mountains to the north. The city has a long international history and is especially famous for its architecture, Chinatown and of course the world's most delicious beef.
Mouth-meltingly delicious steaks
Kobe was one of the first Japanese cities to trade abroad, and the international background is still seen everywhere. Most exciting is the city's big Chinatown, which is full of delicious food and brightly coloured shops. Another attraction is the beautiful waterfront, especially breath-taking after dark as the city lights up. The centre of the city is known for its nightlife and of course, the city is known for Kobe beef, the world's most expensive meat. The meat has a unique fat marbling that simply makes it melt on the tongue. Note that Japan does not export the meat, so this is a unique chance to try 'the real deal'. The meat comes in categories 1-5 and A-C. 1-5 marks the fat marbling, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. A-C is the cut, where A is the normal and C the best. In other words, a piece graded C5 is the best of the best! There are many Kobe beef restaurants around Sannomiya Station that are worth a try. The town also has several well-known sake distilleries and many delicious Western bakeries.
Other attractions in Kobe
The Earthquake Memorial Museum shows the tragedy of the great earthquake in 1995 in an engaging and interactive way. Kitano-cho is a large area containing old residences for foreign traders and diplomats, which today are restored and open as museums. Kobe's backyard is the dramatic Rokko mountain range. Take a cable car ride to the top of Mount Rokko to enjoy the view of Kobe, and on clear days Osaka and the Inland Sea. If you have the time, take a day trip with either the cable car or the mountain train to Arima Onsen, a nice hot spring area. Buy a day pass for the hot springs and try as many baths as you want.