Located 20 to 40 minutes from Osaka by train, Kobe is the sixth largest municipality in Japan and a major port city of historical and international importance. The city has been influenced by Western cultures since the government started trading with Western countries in 1853 and Kobe maintains a cosmopolitan vibe to this day. Wedged between green mountains to the north and the sea to the south, Kobe is one of the most attractive cities in Japan. With many international schools, options for dining, shopping, and leisure, Kobe is popular with families, singles, and couples alike.
Located along Kobe's waterfront, Kobe Harborland is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex popular with familes and couples. With wide promenades and a waterfront boardwalk, Harborland is a great place to take the kids or get some fresh air. A short walk away, Kobe's international heritage is on display in Kobe Chinatown, one of only three in Japan.
Kobe Port Tower
Kobe's most recognizable landmark, the tower's observation deck offers incredible views of Kobe's skyline and Osaka in the distance.
Mosaic and Canal Shopping Complexes
Offering dozens of small fashion botiques as well as the larger Hankyu department store, the real attractiion of these two shopping malls is their wide selection of restuarants, many of which overlook the water.
A short walk from Harborland, Kobe's Chinatown has bountiful dining and shopping options and has been a part of Kobe's landscape since 1868.
Located 15 minutes from downtown Kobe and 40 minutes to Osaka by train, Akaishi is suburban living. Housing here is mostly in detached houses and low-rise apartments. Akashi offers good access to the Marist Brothers International School and is a good option for those with families. Akashi is also famous for its seafood, particularly Octopus and Red Snapper, and restuarants in the area pride themselves on their fresh fish.
Originally built in 1619, Akashi Castle is a great place to take the kids and learn about Japanese history.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Connecting Honsu to Shikoku, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is the world's longest suspension bridge. Great views can be had from the waterfront and on clear days you can see all the way to Shikoku.
Wedged between mountains and the ocean, Ashiya is Kobe`s most exlucive neighborhood. Popular with celebrities, Ashiya offers large western style homes and low-rise apartments. Ashiya`s ordered streets are lined with interesting shops, delicious cafes and restuarants and it is a great place to spend the day window shopping. Great for singles, couples, and families.View the properties in this area
Located between Osaka and downtown Kobe, Nishinomiya provides easy access to both Kobe and Osaka. With quiet, safe streets and several international schools, Nishinomiya is a great location for families. Housing in this area is mostly in high rise apartment buildings, however, detached housing is also available in some areas.
Home to one of Japan's most popular baseball teams, the Hanshin Tigers, Koshien Stadium is Japan`s answer to Fenway Park in Boston or Wrigley Field in Chicago. In addition to professional games, Koshien Stadium is host each August to the Koshien High School Baseball Tournament, a two-week tourment to determine the nation's best high school team.
This large shopping center offers up all the major brands, a cinema, and entertainment complex.
Famous for its spring cherry blossoms, this park is also home to the Shukugawa Catholic Church. The park is a great place to take the kids for a day out.
An artificial island near downtown Kobe, Rokko Island was built with families in mind. Rokko Island has a large expat population and the local community has taken notice, establishing the excellent support center CHIC (Community House & Information Center) which is staffed by fluent English speakers. There are two grocery stores selling international foods and many parks. Housing on Rokko island is mostly in high-rise apartments.
A great resource for foreign residents, the CHIC offers daily life support and community organizing in English and Japanese.
At the intersection of JR, Hankyu, Hanshin, Kobe Municipal Subway and Kobe New Transit train lines, Sannomiya is a major transportation hub and the heart of downtown Kobe. With Daimaru, Sogo, and Marui department stores, as well as hundreds of street level retail outlets and covered shopping arcades nearby, Sannomiya is a major shopping and dining area in Kobe. Housing in or near Sannomiya is almost exclusively in high-rise apartment buildings with the higher floors offering dramatic views of the mountains and sea.View the properties in this area
The Suma and Tarumi wards are located west of downtown Kobe and are a good location for families. Detached houses as well and low and high-rise apartments are available in this area of town. Along the coast, Suma and Tarumi offer nice sand beaches perfect for hot summer day. Tarumi ward also contains "James Mountain" a housing development offering western style import homes. Residents of this development have access to the Shioya Country Club which offers a restuarant, bar, swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, and a gym and is a bus stop for the Marist Brothers International School and Canadian Academy.View the properties in this area
Costco, an American wholesale supermarket chain, operates a store in Tarumi Ward.