Walking in Kobe
Kobe, to me, is an extremely convenient city. Not only in the terms of transport, but for travellers as well. It is perfectly fine to come to Kobe not knowing how to speak Japanese. There might even be guides around the busiest station, Sannomiya, just to help you with sightseeing! Even maps are placed practically everywhere for anyone who is lost.
As for transport, the popular and important places are just within walking distance. If walking is tiring, one can simply hire a bicycle, or enjoy a bus ride around the city. On the plus side, the bus is not your average-looking bus. Coloured nature green, the structure of the bus attracts attention to anyone around. When I first spoke of Kobe to my Japanese friends, their first response will be that Kobe is a very fashionable and beautiful city. I agree with that. Be it day or night, the city is decorated with statues, flowers, and every other things fashionable.
Kobe has many unique places. From sake breweries to mosques to zoos. The many European buildings and houses in Kobe symbolise the city, too. Influenced from foreigners during their settlement here in the past, Kobe has the mixture of a Japanese city and European vibe.
There is a saying in Kobe. If one does not know where the mountains and the sea are, one will be lost. When in Kobe, the sea and mountains will be in sight almost all the time.
Not only is Kobe influenced by the European settlement, one of the Chinatowns in Japan is located right in Kobe. No matter what time or day it is, there will always be tourists and locals hanging around. There are even statues of the twelves Chinese Zodiacs, and a pavilion to add in the Chinese mood. Chinese-related festivals are usually held at the square in Chinatown.
Kobe may have mountains, but to overlook the city, one does not have to specially get to the mountain tops. There is the City Hall, where you can take the elevator up to the 24th floor, and get a feast looking out at Kobe. There is also the Kobe Port Tower. It is not free, unlike the City Hall, but the tower faces the sea, and is a great location to watch the sun set. When it gets dark, be sure to look out for two symbols in the mountains at the North of Kobe.
A location popular for the Japanese and tourists will be Harborland. There are different malls with different shops there, and other than shopping, there are also many different types of cuisines to pick from. Other than Japanese cuisine, they also have Chinese, Korean, and many more.
At Harborland, the famous character, Anpanman, also has a museum right there next to the sea. And if you like Ferris wheels, pay for a round around the Anpanman Ferris Wheel and enjoy the view of the city and sea. Shops close at 9, but the illumination stays till 10. A night view so beautiful and original, right in Kobe.