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Kobe, Japan

5 reasons kids will love Kobe


The city of Kobe is sometimes overlooked by visitors to Japan but given it is located so close to Kyoto, Nara and Osaka it is definitely a destination to consider - and what’s more, it has plenty of kid-friendly attractions.

1. Bathing in Arima Onsen

anese hot springs or onsen are both an amazing cultural experience and a great way to relax. Above Kobe, the famous onsen town of Arima is well worth visiting for the amazing sweet snacks on sale throughout the town, and the chance to visit a family-friend onsen. Numerous hot spring resorts in Arima include the chance to book a time in a private onsen so that you can go in together as a family, rather than having to split up in the more public same-sex onsens.

Kobe, Japan

2. Attractions on Mount Rokko

In the mountains above downtown Kobe, Mount Rokko is full of family-friendly attractions and a lot of them are things you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in Japan. Unlike most Japanese cities, Kobe had a greater Western influence thanks to being a port city, so places like the International Music Box Museum exist there. Kids can pick from hundreds of songs and be taught how to make their own tiny music box and see a concert put on by a room full of automated instruments.

In another section of Mount Rokko, you can find the Nunobiki Herb Gardens, which includes the fascinating fragrance museum - the kids will love testing out all the different smells, good and bad! There’s also a farm and in winter it’s a very easily accessed spot to experience the snow. You can get to and from Mount Rokko by cable car, adding another dimension of fun.

Kobe, Japan

3. Earthquake remnants in Kobe

Probably something for the bigger kids so that you don’t give your younger kids nightmares, the memorials to the disastrous 1995 Kobe earthquake are very interesting and definitely educational. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Museum is really impressive, and its aim is to educate people so that the effects of future earthquakes aren’t as bad.

4. Eating and shopping

Kobe has a great Chinatown section with more than enough restaurants to satisfying all kinds of tastebuds. It’s also full of modern shopping centres, 100-yen shops and market-style streets so whatever you’re after, you’ll find it. For kids, of course, there are endless options of character products like Hello Kitty and all those other cuties the Japanese love so much.

Kobe, Japan

5. Even getting there can be fun

If you fly into Osaka’s Kansai Airport, there’s a great way to avoid the traffic by taking the Bay Shuttle high-speed boat directly from the airport to Kobe. It’s a half-hour trip and avoids the long motorway drives - meaning your trip will start even sooner!

Amanda Kendle is a born and bred Perth girl who loves to hang around with her rubbish-truck-loving five-year-old son. Amanda has lived and worked abroad in Asia and Europe and has been blogging about her travels at home and abroad for almost a decade at Not A Ballerina.

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