Articles Real Estate Information A Weekend Trip to Kobe and Osaka – Sample Itinerary

A Weekend Trip to Kobe and Osaka – Sample Itinerary

Step away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo by visiting the bright and colorful Kobe and Osaka.

Kobe and Osaka are actually close to each other and you can visit both cities in a weekend, if you focus on visiting the highlights. Now, let’s start our day from Sannomiya Station, major interchange station in the heart of Kobe. You may want to drop off your baggage at your hotel or a locker at the station first, so you don’t have to drag your suitcase around.

Our first stop is Ikuta Shrine. If you are visiting during the New Year period, you will see lots of people here for Hatsumōde. Hatsumōde is the practice of visiting a temple or shrine during the New Year holiday to pray for good luck and happiness in the year. Usually, to pray at a Shinto shrine, you bow deeply twice, clap twice at the height of your shoulders, pray with your palms together, and bow deeply once again, or you can just follow what the other people do.


If you come to Kobe, you cannot miss Kobe beef. There are plenty of restaurants that offer Kobe beef in the area. One of them is Mouriya which has several branches near Sannomiya Station and offers teppanyaki style dishes. Kobe beef is renowned for its marbled meat that melts in your mouth, but if you are not a big fan of fatty meat, you can also choose leaner meat. It is so much entertaining to see how the chef cooks in front of you and also impressive to see how attentive the chef is and controls the pace of serving food so you can enjoy it to the fullest.


After you are satisfied with the scrumptious meal and hospitable service, let’s walk a little in the Kitano Ijinkangai area. Ijinkangai was a settlement surrounding the port of Hyogo (Kobe) which became a residential area for foreigners and Japanese. The Port of Kobe was one of the five ports that opened its doors to the world after the Japanese government and the United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1858. There are more than 15 colonial style houses you can visit in the area.


After the walk, let’s head to átoa. Átoa is part of Kobe Port Museum that opened in 2021 and features the fusion of aquarium and art. Fish form part of the art exhibits and add colors and moves to them. Though this is a small-sized aquarium in an urban area and some fish tanks, overall, this place delivers a new aquarium experience.

From the rooftop observation deck, you can see the Port of Kobe. The Port of Kobe was one of the areas severely affected by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. Please visit the Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park, which is located on the opposite side of the port from átoa. A 60-meter section of the Meriken Wharf that was damaged by the earthquake has been preserved and maintained as a park. The collapsed wharf testifies the severity of the earthquake and the extent of the damage.


Now, let’s head to Chinatown for dinner. Chinatown in Kobe is one of the three biggest Chinatowns in Japan, together with the ones in Yokohama and Nagasaki. Chinatown will look livelier when they have special events. There are four major events in Chinatown, namely Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Lantern Fair. The dates for the first three may differ every year as they are based on the lunar calendar.

Website: (Japanese)

Check-in to your hotel and have a good rest for tomorrow. It will be a lot of walking!

Now we move to Osaka. If you have a JR pass, you can make the most use of it and use shinkansen (bullet train). From Shin-Kobe Station, you will be in Osaka in less than fifteen minutes. Even without shinkansen, it will take less than half an hour to get to Osaka Station. From Osaka Station, take another train to Tennoji Station.

Opened in 2014, Abeno Harukas is a skyscraper that rises in Abeno/Tennoji area of Osaka. As of the end of 2023, Abeno Harukas is the second tallest building in Japan, following Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower in Tokyo (325m). This landmark is comprised of office space, retail space, hotel, museum, and observatory on the top three floors (58th, 59th and 60th floors). After taking the lift that ascends to the 60th floor (288 meters above ground) in 50 seconds, in front of you lies a magnificent 360-degrees panoramic view of the city that the observatory – Harukas 300 offers. Do not forget to use the restroom… the floor to ceiling glass window in the restroom is something that you cannot go home without seeing!


Shinsekai is a downtown area in the southern part of Osaka City, known for Tsutenkaku Tower, Jan-Jan Yokocho (Nanyodori Shopping Street) and large colorful 3-D lantern signboards. The origin of Shinsekai dates back to 1903, when the 5th National Industrial Exhibition was held in Tennoji, which becomes what is now Shinsekai. Despite so many options for lunch, try kushikatsu. Kushikatasu is a dish of meat or vegetables cut in mouthful portions, skewered, battered and deep fried. They are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and surprisingly not so oily as they look.


With many second-hand clothing stores, clothing stores, and record stores, America-mura is a hip area where youngsters hang out. In the 1970s, stores converted from warehouses began selling used clothing, jeans, used records, and other imported goods from the U.S. West Coast,  and the area was introduced by the media as a trendy place "America-mura". If you are tired from walking, stopping at a cat café might also be a good idea (if you are not allergic to cats!).


No matter how many times you come to Osaka, you cannot miss Dotonbori and a picture with this big Glico Running Man sign. This area keeps your eyes busy, looking up at the signboards and down at the food and goods they are selling. You realized we have not eaten okonomiyaki, the savory pancake made of batter, cabbage and other ingredients of your choice? We are eating it in Dotonbori! Some okonomiyaki restaurants are so popular that you will have to wait in line for 1-2 hours during the dinner time. Make sure you go early so you don’t have to spend more time in waiting than eating!

This is the end of the trip. With a satisfied stomach, let’s head to the hotel or the station, depending on where you go next!

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