Kobe city in Hyogo offers so many fascinating sites to visit, this time I recommend a visit to Arima Onsen and Mt. Rokko.
It doesn’t have to be a long trip. In this article I will show you how you can refresh yourself in a single day.
First, wash away every stress at one of the 3 top Onsens in the Kansai region, Arima Onsen, then be refreshed by the beautiful nature of Mt Rokko.

①A Morning bath in Arima is a good start for a 1 day trip in Kobe

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Arima Onsen is synonymous with hot springs in Japan.

Arima is one of the oldest Onsen towns in Japan, it’s even mentioned in ancient Japanese mythology.
There are 3 types of hot springs to experience there. “Kinsen” (golden hot spring) which contains high levels of iron and salts. Known for keeping your skin supple and smooth.
“Ginsen” (silver hot spring) is a carbonic type of hot spring. These boost circulation and metabolism.
And “radio active springs”, which are said to possess properties that increase healing.

In order to enjoy Kobe for a whole day, find accommodation in Arima Onsen. If you bathe in the morning, you will be charged up for action all day.

“Tansan Senbei” is a classic souvenir from Arima Onsen. It is a baked thin wafer. These traditional, slightly sweet crackers are made using Arima’s carbonic water. The recipes for this snack have been evolving over the years so now you can buy wafers made with barley, soy and even chocolate coated.

Arima has a variety of unique souvenirs such as facial cleansing soap made using local spring water or Arima’s signature drink “Arima cider” which is a fizzy drink that comes in nostalgic packaging.
There is a gelato shop in town that uses seasonal ingredients in their gelato. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a gelato after bathing?

Address790-3 Arima-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo
URLOFFICIAL SITE

②Enjoy the scenic view from the Rokko Garden Terrace

〈Access from ① Use the Rokko Arima Ropeway from Arima Onsen station to Rokko Sancho station〉

It is a 12 minute ride from the Rokko Onsen station to the Rokko Sancho station.
This ride is enjoyable throughout the year since Mt. Rokko’s scenery changes depending on the season.

Address790-3 Arima-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo
URLOFFICIAL SITE

The garden terrace is only a 3 minute walk from Rokko sancho station. This place boasts a superb panoramic view. From here you can see all the way from Akashi kaikyo channel clear across to the Osaka plain. And on a sunny day, all the way to Kansai international airport! Needless to say you can look out over beautiful Kobe city.
No wonder it is known as one of the best panoramas in Japan!

There is an 11m high look out tower in the area. It has a European ascetic and from the top you can enjoy a pretty view, I recommend you go up the stairs!
“Rokko Shidare" observatory is there as well. This observatory features a remarkable tree-like architectural design. It is definitely worth visiting.
There are 2 other spots at the top to enjoy the view from as well. The scenery changes depending on the spots and time of the year you visit.
To enhance the experience there a some nice restaurants there too. I recommend taking lunch.
Enjoying amazing scenery and delicious food at the same time is quite a luxury!

Address1877-9 Gosukeyama, Rokkosan town, Nada ward, Kobe city, Hyogo
Business HoursDiffer depend on the facility
AdmissionFree
ClosedOpen 365 days
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③Enjoy seasonal flowers at Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden

〈Access from ② only 10 minutes using the Rokko Sanjo bus and walking〉

At Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden you can see about 1,500 varieties of Alpine and cold region plants.

If you go on their website in advance you can find out which flowers are in season.

Address4512-150 Kita Rokko, Rokkosan town, Nada ward, Kobe city, Hyogo
Business Hours10:00-17:00
AdmissionAdult (12 years and older) 620 yen, Child (4-11) 310 yen
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④Rokko International Music Box Museum

〈Access from ③ just a quick walk from Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden〉

Rokko International Music Box Museum showcases many very rare music boxes and automatic musical instruments from all over the world.
It’s home to the worlds biggest class dance organ which was designed to be used in a dance hall to play as a dance orchestra. This dance organ came from Belgium, was built in 1938, and is 4.6m high and 7.8m wide!
A German automatic violin made in about 1910 is another interesting exhibition.
The western style architecture of the museum and the historical instruments really match the great nature of Mt. Rokko.

Address4512-145 Kita-Rokko Rokkosan town, Nada ward, Kobe city
Business Hours10:00-17:00
AdmissionAdult (12 and over) 1,030 yen, Child (4-11 years old) 510 yen
URLOFFICIAL SITE

On your way out use the Rokko Cable Car.
Get on the cable car at “Rokko Sanjo station”. It takes 10 minutes to the “Rokko Cable Shita station”. Now hop on to the Kobe city bus number 16 or 106 from Rokko Cable Shita station and get off at Hankyu Rokko station.

Address1-32 Ichigatani, Rokkosan town, Nada ward, Kobe city (Rokko Sanjo station, Rokko Sanjo bus)
URLOFFICIAL SITE

⑤Satisfy your taste buds with gourmet food in Sannomiya!

〈Ride the train from Hankyu Rokko station to Sannomiya station, then stroll around Sannomiya〉

At last, you have reached Sannomiya, Kobe’s cosmopolitan downtown.
Here you can finish off your one day trip in Kobe by enjoying a wide variety of good foods!
I hope you enjoyed both the country side and the city side of Kobe!

3 exclusive standard gourmet foods in Kobe!

【Kobe Beef】

If you visit Kobe, you cannot miss the world-famous “Kobe Beef”. The marbled meat with fatty parts has such low melting point and they melt even with a human finger. That fat blended into superfine and elegant red meat with exquisite balance is absolutely stunning.

【Western dishes】

In Kobe, there are many Yoshoku (western dishes) restaurants. One big reason for that is because of the Kobe Port that celebrated its 150 anniversary in 2017. It is said that Western food became popular in the area because cooks who worked in boat kitchens then opened their own restaurants in the city. As a result, dishes from overseas and dishes from Japan got blended and then developed into Japanese Western dishes unique in Japan. These dishes include beef cutlet, hash and rice, omelet and rice etc.

【Chinese】

Just like Western food, Chinese food is very popular in Kobe. Nankinmachi; China town in Kobe, started out when 10 plus Chinese from Nagasaki got settled around the Northern border of the residential area. They were looking into starting a trading business. The standard dishes of daily Kobe Chinese are Cantonese. Please go visit restaurants in Nankinmachi and also those on backstreets.

If you get on a train from Sannomiya station around 18:30 after dinner, you will arrive at Kansai International Airport by around 20:00.