It's the 6th largest city in Japan, home to 1.5 million people, so rather large, but tiny compared to the bustling Tokyo (24 million people) and Osaka (19 million in the area.)
Kobe is a port town that's long had an international feel, with German, Italian and other ethnic restaurants, one of 3 Chinatowns in Japan and easy access by train to nearby Osaka (40 minutes) or Kyoto (one hour.) The bullet train to Toyko is a 3 hour + trip.
Kobe is a town many skip, preferring the bigger cities. On a thrill ride basis, Kobe does pale to the bigger cities, but that’s what make it an attractive stop. It’s right smack dab in the middle of the sea and mountains and more of a real Japan than an amusement park feel of those other places.
Think noodles, sushi, chocolates and, the local delicacy, Kobe Beef. The story, which may or not be true: these cows live a separate, more charmed life, they get massaged every night, maybe even with beer and wine. That's why the beef tastes so good.
Check out the video, watch me order some local beef and taste it. You decide from there.
To the question--well Jeff, why did you decide to visit Kobe in the first place?
My son lives near there, and it's a great spot to see what real Japan is like.
Enjoy today's video, and stay tuned for part 2, when I visit crazy Osaka. Coming soon.