Port Island in Kobe
Port Island is an artificial island that can be accessed by riding the Port Liner from Sannomiya station. There are many facilities and parks on the island, from university campuses to parks. Events are held there, and Japan’s third IKEA is there as well. Kobe Airport is right at the furthest end of Port Island, and located at the last train station of Port Liner. What makes Port Liner special is that it is the first no-man train in the world. It may be just a train, but the feeling of being on a roller coaster when it leaves Sannomiya station is undeniable.
Here are some of the locations that one has to visit when touring Port Island.
UCC Coffee Museum
UCC is short for Ueshima Coffee Company. It is one of the many popular coffees in Japan. In fact, the world’s first canned coffee is from UCC. In the Coffee Museum, they sell souvenirs related to coffee like coasters and tumblers. Also, you can get a sample taste of coffee during each visit. Their coffee-tasting themes change every month, for example, tasting the difference between iced coffee brewed with normal coffee beans and iced coffee brewed with coffee beans specially for cool drinks. There are exhibitions related to the history of coffee, brewing methods in different countries, coffee equipments, coffee culture, and many more. If the coffee-tasting corner isn’t enough for coffee lovers, there are coffee beans to bring back, or one can simply taste different types of coffee at the café near the entrance. Called Coffee Road, they have a range of coffee beans for purchase, and signature coffee to enjoy.
Website : http://www.ucc.co.jp/eng/
Bando Kobe Science Museum (and Planetarium)
Exhibits from the human body to basic science, there are numerous sections available for exploring. Science may seem boring to those who are not interested, but with hands-on experiments and entertaining exhibits, visitors from children to adults are sure to have fun. Also, they hold different types of shows in the planetarium. For those who love stars, be sure to check out the timings of the seasonal shows.
Kobe Animal Kingdom
Originally a bird and flower park, it is now an animal kingdom. There are birds like eagles, owls and parrots. Even camels, kangaroos and alpaca can be found there. Some animals are being kept separately, but in some areas, a range of different types of animals and species are living together. Shows are being held once in a while, and common pets like cats, dogs and rabbits can be petted and fed. In fact, in almost all the sections of the park, they provide snacks for visitors to get close to the animals. Other than getting to know animals, there are also different restaurants with various types of food to pick from when hungry. Love one of the animals and want to bring it back with you? There are items from the gift store to purchase, and even snacks and plants are being sold.
Located at the end of Port Island is Kobe Airport. It doesn’t cater to the main airlines of Japan. The airlines that depart and arrive in Kobe Airport are All Nippon Airways (ANA), Skymark Airlines (SKY), Solaseed Air and AIR DO. Of course, airports are not only for flights. The terrace at the top floor allows visitors to enjoy watching the planes fly in and out. Even locals who love planes are often spotted there, and families spend the time together there, too. As Kobe Airport is right at the end of Port Island, one gets an amazing view of the sea horizon. If the weather is good, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge may be visible in the distant.
Website : http://www.kairport.co.jp/eng/index.html