Japan Travel Guide: Kobe

Posted March 2, 2017 by Stephanie
kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

Mike and I took a little trip to Kobe before we stopped in Tokyo for the majority of our stay in Japan. It was a fun, vibrant, compact city – perfect for walking and easing into the Japanese way of life. We spent most of our time wandering and eating, of course.

kobe food city guide -

Our first stop, after dropping our luggage off at the hotel, was a place for Kobe beef. Mike wasn’t so keen (he thinks the hype is a little too intense) but I couldn’t resist, the thought of eating Kobe beef in Kobe was too much for me. There were signs everywhere (in English) shouting out the awesomeness of the beef — I was powerless. We hit up Mouriya for a steak lunch set. Mike chose the A5 sirloin and I chose the rib eye so we could get two different steak-experiences. It was a fun lunch, teppan-style where the chef cooks in front of you. The steaks were juicy, incredibly marbled and full of that famed beef-y Kobe flavor, but in the end, I agreed with Mike: Kobe steak is kinda sort of hype-d up. We both agreed, we’d much rather go to our favorite yakiniku place in Tokyo, where the beef is from Satsuma (in the Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu Island).

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

With our beef craving satisfied, we moved on because even though Kobe is known for wagyu, they’re also known for other regional specialties that I wasn’t aware of before visiting. Highlights were gyoza and akashiyaki. Gyoza, in Japan, is considered a Chinese dish (much like ramen); they’re loosely based on potstickers but there are distinct differences. Gyoza have a thinner skin and a much more loose filling. Just like Chinese jiaozi, they come boiled or fried. You can find them all over Japan, but the ones in Kobe are known for the miso dipping sauce. Each gyoza house has it’s own secret blend that you can use to dip as is, or mix liberally with soy and vinegar.

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

The other regional specialty we tried were akashiyaki. Technically akashiyaki aren’t from Kobe, they’re from the city of Akashi, about 30 minutes away by car. Still, Kobe has several shops dedicated to selling the light and fluffy egg based octopus dumplings. They’re somewhat similar to takoyaki, in that they both have octopus and are round in shape, but that’s where the similarities end. Akashiyai are the fluffiest eggs you’ll ever eat in ball form, hiding a nugget of tender octopus. They come in orders of ten, on a wooden board, with a teapot of dashi. To eat, you pop one into a bowl, pour some dashi on and go to town. They also come with greens, sauce, and shichimi togarashi, if you want to make it a party. They’re absolutely delicious and I’m kind of sad we only ate them twice.

Hopefully we’ll be back there some day. If you end up going, please eat some akashiyaki for me!

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -

kobe food city guide -


Hyotan Sannomiya
Address: 1−31−37 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward, Kobe
Hours: 11:30am–12am

Ichiro Gyoza
Address: Sun Plaza B1 1-5-2 Sannomiyacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe
Hours: 11am–9pm


Mouriya Honten Steakhouse
Address: 2-1-17 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo Ward, Kobe
Lunch: 11am-3pm
Dinner: 3pm-10pm

Address: 1−31−33 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward, Kobe
Hours: 11:30am-12am


Takoyaki Tachibana San Plaza Shop
Address: San Plaza B1 1-5-2 Sannomiyacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe
Hours: 11am-7pm

Tako no Tsubo
Address: 3-3-3 Sannomiya, Chuo Ward, Kobe
Hours: 12pm-9:45pm


Address: 4-6-15 Ikutacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe
Hours: 10am-7pm, closed Wednesdays

Hop Stand
Address: 2-9-5 Kita Nagasadori, Chuo-Ku, Kobe
Hours: 5pm-12am


  1. Mike says:

    I wasn’t blown away by Matsusaka steak either so maybe we just have terrible taste in Japanese beef? #satsumamoo4life

    1. Stephanie says:

      at least we have perfect taste in each other :)

  2. Alana says:

    BOOKMARKING!! This is guide just made me sooooo HUNGRY!!!

  3. ADRIANNA says:

    i wanna go soon so def gonna bookmark this! all that beef + dumplings yassss

  4. Adelina says:

    I recently tried the beef in Takayama. Super delicious, lots of marbling and fatty goodness, but I haven’t had Kobe to compare with it though.

  5. Talyor says:

    I went to kobe too
    Night view of Kobe is very very beautiful
    and Wagyu of Kobe is good??

  6. Michael says:

    Ah man! I am sold by your pictures! I went to Japan last September and I didn’t go to Kobe, and now I am regret it! I know the Kobe beef is expensive but I think it is worth the money and I should try it. I will plan my next travel to Japan soon and Kobe will be on the top of the list for sure! Thanks for your posting and blog, it is a piece of art!
    I came across a different itinerary online, and if you have few mins, can you let me know if the plan in the itinerary is good enough? I like to seek useful information before travel to make my trip smart! Thanks!

  7. Jess says:

    Wow! I really loved hearing about the different experiences you had in Kobe! I’m currently doing an assignment on the city and was wondering if you had any suggestions on ways Kobe could improve as a tourism destination?

  8. noof says:

    your photos are beautiful!

  9. Kin Leong Tan says:

    Great blog… love your photo as well- amazing!! May I know where is the location of the picture that you took of a “swirl of stairs”?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi kin,
      it’s Hyogo prefectural Museum of Art! :D they have some awesome spots for photos on the walk there too!

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