Top 5 things to do with kids in Kobe (or just fun loving adults!)
Thinking about adding Kobe to your Japan trip itinerary? It’s worth a stop for the beef and a view of Japanese life outside of Kyoto and Tokyo. Here’s a quick synopsis of 5 things to do with your kids that will keep them engaged and having fun on your trip. If your kids are like mine, they are not interested in visiting more temples, shrines and museums!
1) Kobe Animal Kingdom –I highly recommend that if you have limited time, you visit Kobe Animal Kingdom. Why? Because it’s like a big petting zoo, you and your kids can touch, pet, and interact with the animals. I had not been able to get so close to the animals before. They have a nice café in the middle for when you need a break and food and drinks. Also, towards the end, there is a pool of the fish that nibble at your toes, cleaning off the dead skin, and tickling all of our feet. My kids love this!
2) Kobe Harborland –There’s something for everyone at this location. Great restaurants, excellent shopping, a gigantic movie theater, the iconic red Kobe Port Tower to ascend to see a gorgeous view of Kobe (from the mountains to the sea) and Kawasaki Good Times World. If you have a child who is interested in motorized vehicles, or if you need a break from the sun or rain, this is a worthwhile stop (informative, interesting and engaging).
3) Kobe Nunobiki Falls and Nunobiki Herb Garden– Want to stretch your legs after a lot of sitting on the train (and wear out your kids, before they wear you out?), then I suggest that you park at the Shin Kobe station and head up the mountain to Nunobiki Falls. It’s a short hike to a gorgeous waterfall. If you still are motivated, there are tons of trails heading further up or you can jump on the ropeway to have spectacular panoramic views of Kobe city and the Futatabi mountain range. Also, not to forget, the rose and herb gardens are pretty and a great place to experience nature in very urbanized Japan.
4) Kobe Anpanman Children’s Museum – If you have very young children, ages 1 to 7, this is an excellent stop for you. Gearing to the toddler and pre-Kindergarten niche, Kobe Anpanman Children’s Museum will allow your kids to experience a popular Japanese character who is known to all Japanese children. There is an indoor children’s play area, so your little munchkins can run around and burn some energy off! I like this place because you really feel like you’ve had a Japanese experience. If you have time, the Ferris wheel behind the museum will be a fun addition to your stop.
5) Kobe City Suma Aquarium – I was impressed with the size and variety of this aquarium, which is the first in Japan. Besides seeing fish from around the world, there is a dolphin show, otter feeding and piranha feeding. My kids also really enjoyed the small amusement park inside the grounds. There is a restaurant inside the aquarium, for when you need a break. As you are leaving the aquarium, take a look at the lovely Suma beach. You can even go for a swim and a beach day on a nice summer day!