Edited by Jess Wright
Being the first-ever port city in Japan, the diverse ex-pat ratio which followed has lent Kobe an international vibe that is hard to find in the rest of Japan, while leaving the authentic Japanese culture well intact. The eclectic populace of the medium-size city – about 1.5 million people – has led to a vibrant and lively nature. Nestled between mountains and seas, with only ten minutes to either and an action-packed, compact city center full of small bars and restaurants in between, there are many untraveled adventures to embark on, each uncovering an interesting aspect of Japanese culture. From hostess culture and tachinomi to ancient alpine onsens, Kobe has so much to discover. While there are many weird and wonderful museums – the carpentry museum and the earthquake museum, just to name a few – right here in the city center, I plan to take you a little further afield with this comprehensive guide to Kobe off the beaten path.