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How to travel between Kobe and Tokyo

By shinkansen
Direct, 160-195 minutes, 14,420-15,580 yen one way, multiple trains per hour
Tokyo and Kobe are connected with each other by the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. Nozomi trains require about 160 minutes to reach Shin-Kobe Station from Tokyo, while direct Hikari trains require roughly 195 minutes. The regular one way fare from Tokyo to Shin-Kobe is 14,420 yen for a non-reserved seat or around 15,000 yen for a reserved seat. The Japan Rail Pass is valid on Hikari trains, but not on Nozomi trains.

By local trains
4 transfers, 10 hours, 9,460 yen one way, multiple connections per hour
By local trains, the one way trip from Tokyo to Kobe takes about ten hours and typically involves about four transfers of trains. The regular fare is a relatively expensive 9460 yen, however, with a Seishun 18 Kippu you can do the trip for as little as 2410 yen.

By air
2-3 transfers, 3 hours, 10,000-24,000 yen one way, multiple flights per day
Multiple flights are operated each day between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Kobe Airport by ANA and Skymark Airlines. The regular one way fare by ANA is about 25,000 yen, while discount tickets are typically available from around 10,000 yen. The regular one way fare by Skymark Airlines is around 15,000 yen, while discount fares are usually available for below 10,000 yen.

By bus
Direct, 8-9 hours, 3,000-8,500 yen one way, multiple buses per night
The one way trip from Tokyo to Kobe by overnight bus takes about 8-9 hours. The competition between bus companies on the Tokyo - Osaka - Kobe route is fierce and has produced various discount offers. Fares by discount bus operators, such as Willer Express, start from around 5000 yen, and if used effectively, the Japan Bus Pass can reduce the cost for the bus trip to around 3000 yen. Buses on this price level are usually standard buses, which offer little comfort. The one way trip on more comfortable buses costs around 8500 yen. Online Reservations can be made through Willer and Japan Bus Online.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Kobe's busiest railway station is not Kobe Station but Sannomiya Station at the city center. Sannomiya Station is served by multiple railway companies, including Japan Railways (JR). The shinkansen (bullet train) stops at Shin-Kobe Station, a short subway ride north of Sannomiya Station.

Distances between the attractions in central Kobe are relatively short, and good walkers can cover many of them on foot. There is also a tourist-oriented loop bus, which connects sites such as Kitano-cho, Nankinmachi, Meriken Park and Harborland with Shin-Kobe and Sannomiya Stations. The bus costs 260 yen per ride, while a day pass is available for 680 yen.

Kobe Airport is located on a man made island just off the coast of central Kobe and can be reached by the Port Liner from Sannomiya Station in less than 20 minutes for 340 yen.

Special Tickets

  • Kobe Meguri 1 Day Coupon (1000 yen)
    Unlimited use of subways, non-JR trains and some buses around Kobe on one calendar day plus a 750 yen coupon to be used on admission to selected tourist sites. Available at non-JR train stations. There are also extended versions of this ticket that include access to Kobe, e.g. the Hanshin version for 1650 yen that includes unlimited use of Hanshin trains from Osaka or the Hankyu version for 1800 yen which can be used to access Kobe from as far as Kyoto by Hankyu trains.
  • City Loop - Day Pass (680 yen)
    Unlimited rides on the Kobe City Loop bus on one calendar day.
  • Subway and Bus Day Pass (1040 yen)
    Unlimited usage of Kobe's two subway lines and Kobe city buses (not including the City Loop) on one calendar day.

Hotels around Kobe

Top rated in Kobe
Budget:
    • Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland
      Luxury
      Located at the waterfront of Kobe Harborland, Hotel La Suite offers spacious rooms with ocean views and a spa bath. It features concierge service, a French restaurant and massage treatments. Free Wi-Fi/wired internet and free videos on demand are available in the rooms. This hotel was selected as one of Top 25 Hotels in Japan by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2013. Luxurious rooms come with a large flat-screen TV, a DVD player and extra long beds. Bathrooms have a TV and a hot tub, some with sea views. Amenities include a bathrobe, a humidifier with aroma diffuser and Phytomer brand bath salt. Guests at La Suite Kobe can lounge on comfortable sofas on the rooftop terrace. The hotel offers laundry and baby-sitting services. Bicycle and laptop rentals are available, and a free internet-PC is provided at the lobby. Creative French cuisine is presented in a decor of soft carpeting and wide windows at restaurant Le Coeur, while cafe Grand Blue serves a wide range of drinks and light meals. Restaurant Kokoro offers contemporary Japanese cooking inspired on traditional dishes. Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland is a 4-minute walk from Minato-Motomachi Station. It's only a 3-minute walk from Kobe Tower, and a 6-minute stroll from Meriken Park. Kobe Airport is a 15-minute drive away.
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    • Galo Hostel Kobe
      Budget-friendly
      Galo Hostel Kobe is located within a 3-minute walk from JR Shin-Kobe Station. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. There are 2 different bus stops within a minutes' walk from the property, each with buses departing to Sannomiya, Motomachi and Maya Cable Station. All rooms have air conditioning. Bathroom and toilet facilities are shared. There is a shared kitchen and lounge area at the property. There are several convenience stores and a small-scale supermarket within a 2-minute walk from the property. Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum is just a 2-minute walk from the property. Nunobiki Herb Garden Ropeway, Bottom Station is a 10-minute walk from Galo Hostel Kobe, while Nunobiki Falls and Kitano Ijinkan-Gai are a 15-minute walk away.
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    • Nakanobo Zuien (Adult Only)
      Luxury
      Set in the Arima Onsen district of Kobe, Nakanobo Zuien (Adult Only) is 9 km from Mt. Rokko and 21 km from Mount Maya. Popular points of interest around the property include Kinsengen and Kittebunka Museum. Guests can make use of massage services. Free shuttle service to and from Arima Onsen Station is available. An Asian breakfast is served daily at the property. Guests can enjoy a meal at the in-house restaurant, which specialises in Japanese cuisine. Spa and wellness facilities including a hot spring bath and a sauna are at guests' disposal during their stay at the ryokan.
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    • Arima Onsen Taketoritei Maruyama
      Luxury
      Taketoritei Maruyama is a non-smoking Japanese-style accommodation featuring natural hot spring baths for private use and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. From its hilltop location a 15-minute walk from JR Arima Station, it offers sweeping views of Arima Onsen. Guests at Maruyama Taketoritei can privately unwind in a hot spring bath, or relax with a massage treatment. Facilities include a souvenir shop and drinks vending machines, while a free shuttle service is available to/from Arima Station. Air-conditioned rooms feature a seating area with a tatami (woven-straw) floor and a low table with seating cushions. Some rooms offer beds, while others have traditional futon bedding. All rooms are equipped with an LCD TV, yukata robes and a fridge. Guests can choose a Japanese or Western breakfast, while a Japanese course is served for dinner. All meals are served at the dining area. The property is a 10-minute walk from the Arima Onsen area. Osakafs Umeda station is a 55-minute bus ride away.
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    • Kobe Guesthouse MAYA
      Budget-friendly
      Offering air-conditioned rooms in the Nada Ward district of Kobe, Kobe Guesthouse MAYA is 3.6 km from Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is set 21 km from Mount Rokko and 23 km from Onsen-ji Temple. The units feature a shared bathroom, a hairdryer and bed linen. The area is popular for hiking, and bike hire is available at the hostel. Noevir Stadium Kobe is 9 km from Kobe Guesthouse MAYA, while Emba Museum of Chinese Modern Art is 15 km away. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 8 km from the accommodation.
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    • Arima Grand Hotel
      Luxury
      Boasting an open-air hot springs bath and spacious garden, Arima Grand Hotel is located a 10-minute walk away from Arima Onsen Station. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Free private parking is also available on site. The entire property is non-smoking, while guests can smoke in the designated smoking area. All air-conditioned rooms come with a flat-screen TV, hairdryer and a mountain view. For guests' comfort, slippers and free toiletries are provided. Some rooms include a private bathroom. A seasonal outdoor pool, various spa and wellness facilities are available at a surcharge. Guests can enjoy the public hot springs bath free of charge. There is also a hot springs bath that is available for private use upon prior reservation at an additional fee. Arima Grand Hotel is situated a 40-minute car ride away from Kobe city and a 25-minute car ride away from Rokko Mountain Snow Park. This accommodation can be reached from Kobe Airport by a 30-minute drive. Mt. Maya is a 35-minute car ride away.
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    • Oriental Hotel
      Luxury
      Overlooking the beautiful Kobe Harbour, Oriental Hotel offers luxurious accommodation in the heart of the historic Kyu-Kyoryuchi area. Guests can work out at the free-use fitness centre, or relax with beauty massages at the on-site salon. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Rooms with chic d?cor are fitted with stylish furnishings, and feature a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle. The en suite bathroom includes a bath tub and free toiletries. Most rooms boast views of either the harbour or the city. The 24-hour front desk at the Hotel Oriental offers luggage storage services for free. In-room massages can be arranged at an extra charge. A range of items like a DVD player, humidifier and iron can be borrowed from the reception. A laptop can be rented for a fee. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from both JR Sannomiya and Motomachi stations. Shin-kobe Shinkansen (bullet train) Station is a 5-minute drive away. Kobe City Museum is situated right next to the hotel, and Meriken Park can be reached within a 5-minute walk. Main Dining by the House of Pacific serves sophisticated Western dishes, while Kanbe offers delicately prepared sushi. Teppanyaki can be enjoyed at Steak House Medium Rare, and The Bar J. W. Hart lets guests savour cocktails with the gorgeous harbour views.
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    • Arima Onsen Tocen Goshobo
      Luxury
      Founded in the 12th century and beloved by Junichiro Tanizaki and other Japanese novelists, Tosen Goshobo is the oldest of the hot-spring inns at Arima. Standing beside the Taki River, it features outdoor hot-spring baths and traditional in-room meals and is a 5-minute walk from Arima Onsen Train Station. The Japanese rooms have traditional futon bedding and a minibar. The 20 rooms at Arima Onsen Tosen Goshobo include tatami (woven-straw) floors and shoji paper screens. Guests can relax at the seating area and enjoy the zen atmosphere with a cup of green tea. Bathing facilities are shared. Right next to the Hankyu Highway Bus station, the ryokan is a 3-minute walk from the Arima Toys and Automata Museum. Zuihoji Park is 900 metres away. Shin-Kobe Shinkansen Station is a 45-minute train ride. After going hiking, guests can recover with a massage. A library-salon and tea-ceremony-style open-air bath are on site. Bar Poco D'Ouro boasts excellent Japanese sake and an international selection of wines. Breakfast is Japanese-style, and dinner features specialties such as Kobe beef, fresh fish from Akashi-Ura port, and black-bean tofu.
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    • Br?cke Arima KOBE
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Kobe, 50 metres from Hosenji Temple, Br?cke Arima KOBE provides accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a bar and a garden. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation offers ticket service, and luggage storage for guests. With a shared bathroom, rooms at the guest house also offer free WiFi. Guests at Br?cke Arima KOBE can enjoy a continental or a vegetarian breakfast. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Philatelic Culture Museum Arima, Kobe, Tenjin Gensen and Zuihoji Park. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 18 km from Br?cke Arima KOBE.
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    • Musubino Koyado En
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Kobe, 50 metres from Gokurakuji Temple, Musubino Koyado En features accommodation with a bar, private parking, a shared lounge and a garden. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The property is allergy-free and is set 60 metres from Nenbutsu-ji Temple. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a fridge, a minibar, a kettle, a shower, slippers and a wardrobe. All units have a shared bathroom, a hairdryer and bed linen. Guests at the hostel will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kobe, like hiking and skiing. Popular points of interest near Musubino Koyado En include Onsen-ji Temple, Arima Toys and Automata Museum and Zempuku-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 18 km from the accommodation.
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