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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 (700 yen)
    Unlimited rides on the Kobe City Loop bus on one calendar day. A 2-day pass is available for 1000 yen.
  • 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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    • 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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    • 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 16 km from Onsen-ji Temple and 16 km from Emba Museum of Chinese Modern Art. 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 9.3 km from Kobe Guesthouse MAYA, while Mount Maya is 16 km away. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 10 km from the accommodation.
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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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    • Hotel Hanakoyado
      Mid-range
      Offering stylish rooms with shoji paper screens and Western beds, Hotel Hanakoyado is only a 6-minute walk from Arima Onsen Train Station. It features hot-spring baths and a massage service. The air-conditioned rooms at Hanakoyado Hotel include a fridge and tea maker. Each has an attached toilet, and bathing facilities are shared. Arima Toys and Automata Museum is just 100 metres from the ryokan. JR Sannomiya Train Station is a 35-minute train ride away. Reservable baths for private use are available 24/7. Guests can take a break from the baths to go fishing or hike along one of the areafs trails. Meals are served at Shunju Dining Room and feature grilled fish and meats.
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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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    • Arima Koyado Uraku
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently located in the Arima Onsen district of Kobe, Arima Koyado Uraku is set 100 metres from Onsen-ji Temple, 100 metres from Nenbutsu-ji Temple and 100 metres from Gokurakuji Temple. The property is close to Hosenji Temple, Philatelic Culture Museum Arima, Kobe and Tenjin Gensen. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The ryokan will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Arima Koyado Uraku all rooms have bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Tosen Shrine, Arima Toys and Automata Museum and Zempuku-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 26 km from Arima Koyado Uraku.
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    • Kobe Kitano Hotel
      Luxury
      Featuring 2 gourmet restaurants, Kobe Kitano Hotel offers superb dining experiences and elegantly decorated guestrooms fitted with British interiors. JR Sannomiya Shinkansen (bullet train) Station is a 15-minute walk away. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Ash French restaurant serves exquisite dishes prepared with select ingredients. Dining Caf? Igrek offers European-style breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner courses. Each with unique d?cor and pastel colours, rooms come with a fridge, a telephone and an electric kettle. The en suite bathroom features a bath tub and free toiletries. Hotel Kitanofs 24-hour front desk provides free luggage storage services. In-room or salon massages are available at an additional charge. Laundry services are also offered for a fee. Kazamidori no Yakata, one of the historic Western-style houses, is a 10-minute walk away.
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    • Hotel Okura Kobe
      Luxury
      Hotel Okura Kobe is located on the waterfront, 500 metres from the Motomachi shopping area. Featuring Western-style rooms with free WiFi access, the hotel offers 6 dining options. Guest rooms offer both air conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a fridge and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and a bathtub. Guests can request air-purifiers for in-room use. Guests can work out at the fitness centre, the indoor pool or unwind in the sauna rooms at a surcharge. The hotel also has a seasonal outdoor pool and a tennis court. Laundry and dry cleaning services are available. Overlooking a Japanese garden, restaurant Yamazato serves regional specialities. Other restaurants offer French cuisines, Western and Chinese food. Hotel Okura Kobe offers a free shuttle service from Sannomiya Station. The hotel is adjacent to Meriken Park and Kobe Port Tower, and a 5-minute walk from Chinatown.
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    • Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kobe Sannomiya Chuo Dori
      Luxury
      In a prime location in the Chuo Ward district of Kobe, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kobe Sannomiya Chuo Dori is set 1.5 km from Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction, 5 km from Noevir Stadium Kobe and 19 km from Emba Museum of Chinese Modern Art. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel features family rooms. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Mount Rokko is 21 km from Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kobe Sannomiya Chuo Dori, while Mount Maya is 21 km away. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 9 km from the accommodation.
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