Just got off the train from Osaka. Took about two hours or more because my friend and I took the local train. Loved the local Kobe trains though because they were so unique and old-fashioned, quite different to the ones I had taken in Osaka.
Exited the train station and immediately saw several Kobe beef restaurants. Already fallen in love with the city.
First time ever going to Kobe! Much anticipated since last year when my friend and I decided that we would definitely need to visit Kobe at least once to try their Kobe beef. I wasn’t expecting much because I honestly had no idea what Kobe had to offer, but I really liked the layout of the city.
A cute ‘Welcome to Kobe’ sign!
My eye immediately caught sight of two Australian flags and a picture of Uluru on this particular building. Supposedly, there is such a thing as an Aussie bar & grill restaurant.
Just walking around randomly, exploring the city for a bit. I seriously love how diverse this place is. There’s lots of international restaurants along with traditional Japanese ones.
Aussie flag again.
The first main destination of this Kobe trip was Ikuta Shrine. Ikuta Shrine is a Shinto shrine located right in the hub of the city. I decided to visit this place after some research, and discovered it is said to be one of Japan’s oldest shrines, supposedly founded in the 3rd century. How cool is that? The coolest part of this shrine though was the free entry. So it’s a definite must-see if you’re interested in visiting Kobe.
This is the main shrine you see as you enter the premise and it’s quite vibrant in colour in comparison to other shrines that I’ve visited that have incorporated more earthy tones. There’s more to see within the area, however, I felt it was disrespectful to be taking photos inside and wanted to appreciate the serenity and calmness of the place.
Time to finally try the holy grail of all foods. When you’re in Kobe, you might feel overwhelmed by the abundance of restaurants advertising Kobe beef, so you might find it hard to pick one good restaurant. Also, there’s a big price range between all the different restaurants. Generally, it will cost around 5000¥ to 9000¥ if you have Kobe beef at a restaurant. At a street vendor, you can try a Kobe beef skewer for about 1000¥-2000¥, which I recommend if you only just want to try the taste of it and want to save money.
The restaurant my friend and I ate at was Steak Land, which is right outside Sannomiya Station. We heard about this restaurant through the YouTube couple Simon & Martina, who also tried their first Kobe beef steak at this restaurant. I ordered the Special Kobe Beef Steak Set and I don’t think it’s that expensive to be honest, considering I had friends who tried Kobe beef and it cost them at least 10000¥. The meat was super succulent and soft, and the chef cooked it perfectly medium-rare. It was so delicious I swear and I want to go back to have more. It was full of flavour and I highly recommend you try this at least once in your life.
After lunch, my friend and I decided to take a detour and visit the massive Tokyu Hands that we had found on the way to Ikuta Shrine. We then spent a solid 2 hours in there of which we didn’t plan at all. Next thing you know, I walked out of the store having spent at least 20000¥ on souvenirs and stationery. I’ve visited all the main Tokyu Hands stores in both Tokyo and Osaka, and the Kobe store was by far my favourite. It had so many floors and a really big range of miscellaneous things! But because of this 2 hour detour, time passed and night fell.
Was trying to find Nunobiki Falls, which is a waterfall located somewhere behind Shin-Kobe Station. My friend and I had no data or internet and got so lost trying to find the waterfall. It took us several hours to find it and it was more difficult considering it was dark and there were no people around. We walked up several mountain paths in the heat and even found a graveyard and a very creepy shrine place along the way. I felt like I was in some fantasy Ghibli film.
Eventually found a random local on the mountain, who was so nice and gave us directions to the waterfall. Finally found it and it was amazing to see! Despite all the mosquito and bug bites I got, it was definitely worth all the trekking. What I found strange though was that there were absolutely no people around, despite it being a main attraction in Kobe. Maybe because it was night time and no-one wants to go hike up a mountain in the dark with no lights around.
Cool vending machine that dispensed pancakes and waffles.
Back to Osaka after an awesome, super fun day.
I definitely want to come back to Kobe, not just for the beef, but to explore more of what the city offers. It has a really chill vibe that I really liked.