One Day Trip To Kobe (神戸)

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Unlike Kyoto, there are not many attractions to visit in Osaka so we did another one-day trip across to Kobe (神戸), one of Japan's largest cities probably best known for their beef. However, we didn't specifically go to Kobe for meat (though we did have it for dinner), we also went to the famous Mt. Rokko, or Rokkosan (六甲山), a mountain range that runs north of Kobe standing at 931 metres above sea level.

Tip: If you're going to do a round trip to Mt. Rokko, do purchase the Rokkosan Tourist Pass before getting to Kobe. For ¥1,000, the pass will enable you to take the Kobe City Bus and Rokko Cable Car up to the mountains and allow you to ride unlimited trips on the Rokko Sanjo Bus, which is the bus you will need to take to get around the attractions on Rokkosan (unless you intend to walk, which I wouldn't recommend because they are fairly spaced apart). By showing your pass to certain facilities on the mountain, you'll can also enjoy some discounts on the entrance fee and food.

We bought our pass at Umeda Station (梅田駅) before boarding the Hankyu-Kobe Line (神戸本線) to Sannomiya Station (三宮駅), the main railway terminal of Kobe.

The Rokko Cable Car (六甲ケーブル) is a 10 minute ride from the base of the mountain, Rokko Cable Shita Station (六甲ケーブル下駅) to Rokko Cable Sanjo Station (六甲ケーブル上駅). The view from the cable car wasn't spectacular, but the greenery was quite lovely—especially with the autumn foliage as we made our way through the mountain.

As we reached the top of the mountain at Rokko Cable Sanjo Station, we then waited for the Rokko Sanjo Bus (六甲山上バス) to get to our first destination, the Rokko International Musical Box Museum (六甲オルゴールミュージアム). ★Note: Be mindful of the bus schedule, so you're not waiting for the bus for too long. The admission fee into the museum is ¥820.

Feeling hungry, we started to look for some food by heading over to the Rokkosan Country House (カンツリーハウス). However, we didn't actually find a proper restaurant or any food court so we just ended having some noodles and a lunchbox at a small snack shop. The admission fee into the country house is ¥470.

After lunch, we then went to the Rokko Garden Terrace (六甲ガーデンテラス), where we found some restaurants, souvenir shops and even a tower where we could see panoramic views of Osaka Bay and Kobe.

Our final stop on Mt. Rokko was the Rokko-Shidare Observatory (六甲枝垂れ), which a unique tree-like dome comprised of uneven hexagonal frames overlooking the surrounding skyline. It was super windy when we were there at around 2:15pm, so we didn't stay for long. The admission fee to the observatory is ¥200.

The weather started to get really cold in the afternoon, but before getting on the cable car, we went noticed that the Tenran Café by the Tenran Observatory (天覧台)—both by the Rokko Cable Sanjo Station—was selling the famous Cremia Ice Cream. Therefore, we decided to get a cone each to try for the first time, and it. was. AMAZING. The ice cream itself was smooth and buttery but not too overwhelming or sickly sweet, and the cone was soft biscuit that complemented the ice cream really well. We've been meaning to try Cremia for some time since arriving in Japan, but we could never find the stomach space. Even Sharon who doesn't really like dessert enjoyed the ice cream a lot.

It was around 4:00pm by the time we got back to Kobe, so we just walked around the city and looked for a restaurant for dinner. We ended up choosing the main branch of Kobe Steak House Mouriya (神戸牛ステーキレストラン モーリヤ), which is about a 6 minute walk from Sannomiya Station. Sharon and I both ordered different set menus. From memory, I got the Kobe beef Round steak (A5) course, which includes hors d’oeuvre, grilled vegetables, bread or rice (with pickled vegetables) and coffee or tea, for ¥6,500.

The experience of sitting in front of the chef and watching them serve up each course was really good, and the quality of the beef was great. It was juicy, lean and cooked perfectly. Sharon prefers a slightly fattier meat, like Wagyu, but I didn't mind the Kobe.

Kobe Steak House Mouriya Honten (神戸牛ステーキレストラン モーリヤ 本店)
Mouriya Building, 2-1-17 Shimo Yamate Dohri, Chuoh Ward, Kobe 650-0011
650-0011 神戸市 中央区 下山手通 2-1-17

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