Kobe is the fifth largest city in Japan and the capitol of Hyogo Prefecture. Its long history as a port city, concentration of multi-national companies, and reputation as a cosmopolitan city make it a popular tourist destination in the Kansai Region. Kobe is bordered by Osaka Bay to the south and Mount Rokko to the north. Kobe's concentration of history, culture, natural beauty, and its world famous beef make it a worthwhile stop on any trip through Kansai.
Kobe was one of the first cities to open up to the West after Japan's long history of isolationism. The result is a city that is especially foreign-friendly to this day and one that is proud of its Kitano neighborhood, which retains a historical feel and a number of mansions built by rich foreign merchants in the nineteenth century. Kitano tends to be more popular with Asian and Japanese tourists, but the great atmosphere in this historic neighborhood at the base of Mount Rokko should really be experienced by all.
Kobe, not unlike Hyogo Prefecture, is a city that really has a little bit of everything. It's a great place to take in some wonderful sights, do some world-class shopping, or eat a great meal.