On the north shore of Osaka bay on the south side of the main Honshu island is Japan’s sixth largest city Kobe.
In 1995 the great Hanshin earthquake destroyed most of the port and city but it is now a thriving place once again.
I decided to take a day trip here about 1 hour and 12 mins (yes they are that accurate in japan) by train from Kyoto to visit the harbour and herb garden although there are many more things to do and see here from sake breweries to the beautiful gardens of Sorakuen.
I especially wanted to visit the herb garden, opens 10am and costs ¥1,400 and is located on Mt Rokko and accessed by the Shin-Kobe ropeway gondola (not recommended for people scared of heights!)
Taking the 10 min gondola ride the glass sides give you views of Nunobiki noTaki waterfalls and the Gohonmatsu Entei dam.
You can either decided to get off half way and walk up or get off at the top and walk down.
From the top observatory deck there are amazing views of Kobe and the gardens are beautifully set out visiting the four season garden and oriental garden.
There are many little interactive places to smell herbs and learn about oils and everywhere is full of colour and fragrance.
There are cafes, restaurants and a gift shop though I didn’t find much in the way of vegan options .
There is also a glass house growing tropical plants and fruits.
After visiting the herb garden I spent the afternoon at the Kobe harbor land and just strolling the streets. Kobe has a very relaxed atmosphere for a city. Other famous places are China town but I wasn’t to interested as it was mainly selling Kobe beef.
There is also an onsen there, a famous hot spring called Arima Onsen considered to be one of Japan’s oldest hot springs. So this could be a good place to go if your planning a longer stay.
There is also the earthquake museum, Kobe city museum and Hyogo art museum if museum’s are your choosing.