Kobe is one of the 3 major port cities in Japan. The city has a mixed culture of Japanese, Chinese and Western.
You can choose 3 spots from the list below.
Check out what we are going to do.
Feel free to personalize this offer.
At your hotel in Kobe or Central Gate of JR Osaka Station
It's a perfect spot to have a panoramic view of the city. We will take an airy gondola for 10 min. to go up to the garden entrance that is 400m above the ground. On the way back we will take a walk enjoying herbs and flowers.
Nankinmachi Chinatown is located in the center of the city. Locals and tourists visit there to enjoy Chinese street food.
When the port was opened 150 years ago, westerners built their houses in the Kitano area on a hill. You can see about 20 houses in colonial style.
Harborland is a name for the area by the port. You can have a short cruise or relaxing time at Mosaic Mall overlooking ships come and go. There are about 50 restaurants and shops in the open air mall.
Ikuta Jinja Shrine was establised in 201 AD. Although it's not far from the city center, you can feel sacred air in the shrine grounds. God of sea is enshrined here.
JR Kobe or Osaka Station
Kobe is a historic port city, easily accessible by local train from Osaka.
Situated between the Rokko Mountains in the north and the harbor in the south, Kobe is a relaxing city with nice views.
In this tour we will visit 3 or 4 of the following places of your choice:
1. Kobe Harborland and Mosaic
You can enjoy bay cruise (45 min.) and shopping and eating at open air Mosaic Mall. You can see a typical Kobe view from Mosaic including Kobe Port Tower, Kobe's landmark.
Chinatown is only several minutes away from the harbor by sight-seeing bus. The area has been developed since Chinese people came to Kobe after the opening of Kobe Port in 1868.
The place is always crowded with many people eating street food and shopping Chinese goods.
3. Kitano Foreign Residence Area
Westerners first lived in the Old Settlement Area in Motomachi, but later they started to build houses on a hill near Rokko Mountains. There still remain about 20 houses in the area, and some of them are open to visitors today. Also, in the area you can find nice cafes and souvenior shops.
4. Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden
Going up 330 meters by ropeway (10 min.) brings us to the garden entrance.
It's a large garden on a slope with a lot of herbs and flowers. You can also enjoy a nice view of the city on a clear day.
5. Kobe Beef in Sannomiya
Sannomiya is in the center of the city; if you like to have Kobe Beef, I can recommend a nice Teppanyaki restaurant that a chef cooks right in front of you.
(Kobe Beef Lunch is available 3,500yen-7,000yen.)
6. Ikuta Jinjya Shrine
Shinto shrine stablised in 201. You will see a main shrine that Wakahirumenomikoto is enshrined and some other smaller shrines in the pricinct.
7. Sorakuen Japanese Garden (closed on Thursdays)
Completed in the early 20th centrury. It's a stroll pond garden build on the residence of Taijiro Kodera, father of former Kobe City mayor.
20,000 square meter garden includes a tea house.
hotel pick up in Kobe or at JR Osaka Station
transportation for you and guide,
entrance fee for you (Harbor Cruise 1,200yen, Kitano Foreign Residence 350-1050yen, Nunobiki Herb Garden including gondola 1,500yen),
lunch for you (In case of Kobe Beef lunch, it's 3,500 to 10,000yen depending on the size and the portion of the meat.)
Please choose 3 spots you like to visit if we are meeting in Kobe. If we are starting the tour in Osaka, please choose 2 spots.
By JR rapid train it takes about 30 min. to Kobe from Osaka Station.
I will book a restaurant if you like to have Kobe beef lunch.
Mari is an outstanding guide with Great knowledge and personality. A total pleasure to be with. Took us to all the interesting sites and explained all the details we needed. We strongly recommend her to anyone who is interested in a private guide for Kyoto.
Thank you Arun for the review. It was my pleasure to show you around the eastern part of the city which is the most traditional. I had a wonderful time with your family!
We have spent 2 days touring Kyoto with Mari. It has been a fabulous experience. Mari has been delightful and we all have had such a fun time together. Her English is excellent and since she has spent a lot of time in the US, there has been no language barrier. It has been an experience traveling all around Kyoto by train, subways and buses.. it was so nice exploring the area in this manner rather than a bus tour and seeing things through a window. We have had a myriad of questions about what we were seeing and Mari answered all of them with enthusiasm, patience and a lot of detail. We enjoyed eating where “ locals” ate and Mari gave a lot of thought on the meal recommendation. When I booked the tours with Mari, she was very flexible with our requests and had a well planned tour for us. She made our visit to Kyoto extra special. We felt like we were traveling around with a friend.
Dear Shelly, Thank you so much for a nice review so quickly. I enjoyed touring with you and talking about a lot of things. I even wish I could have more! I sometimes encounter new things during the tours, and the tour with you was one of those. Thank you, Shelly!
Where do we begin with Mari? Mari is such a wonderful and knowledgeable guide who took us around the sights of Osaka and Kyoto. During the Osaka tour we saw, in great detail, Osaka Castle, Shitenoji Temple and the Dotombori. The time and care taken to talk about the history of the first two places made the tour so much more exciting. I should also point out that we travelled with a party of 6, including 3 teenage boys and a 9 year old in a wheelchair. Mari looked up elevator spots and warned us when there wouldn't be any, she kept us informed every step of the way and by the end the boys wanted to call her Aunty Mari :). In Kyoto we saw the magnificent Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine, the Arashiyama Bamboo forest and the Golden Pavilion. We couldn't believe this we're possible, but these were even more incredible than the sites in Osaka. One of our accidental finds was a little grandma local ramen shop who served the perfect bowl of noodles to keep us going. I should mention to bring solid walking shoes as there's a lot of walking. We averaged 28,000 steps per day. However, you don't really notice it when you're in the spirit of the day. There's also quite a bit of train catching so there's opportunities to sit down as well. All in all we loved Mari and had a fantastic day, we would highly recommend her to anyone coming to Osaka or Kyoto :)
Dear Jacqueline, I appreciate your detailed tour review! I truly enjoyed 2days with you. I also learned a lot from your family being so nice and caring to each other. The Golden Pavilion looked the best yesterday in the sun, and the reflection in the pond was almost perfect as we had little wind; you were very lucky! I hope you will continue to enjoy traveling in Japan.
My group of 6 came on a cruise ship & took a full day excursion in Osaka with Mari. This is the 2nd time I toured with Mari because she is super knowledgeable with the location using subway, train, & walking. We squeezed in as many top attractions given our limited time & was able to beat the long lines at the Osaka Castle. She knew where to go for lunch to avoid restaurant wait times at the Dotombori. I asked her to help us look for fine green tea & children’s chopsticks and she went above & beyond her stated itinerary to help me find those items in different shops. Mari speaks fluent English & understands what visitors are looking for in a short days time. I will definitely ask for Mar again when I visit Kobe & Kyoto on our next trip. I have already recommended Mari to friends who intend to visit Osaka & the surrounding areas. Thank you TripleLights for having Mari as a top choice guide.
Dear Nina, Thank you so much for your wonderful tour review! I had a great time with you. The best part of a private tour is flexibility. I’m glad you could get good green tea at a Japanese tea shop. I’m looking forward to seeing you again in the near future!