Located about 30km west of Osaka and 64km west of Kyoto, Kobe is easily reached by multiple train lines from Osaka and Kyoto. It’s also easy to get to Kobe from Tokyo. Read on for all the details.
JR Japan Rail Pass: Chomphuphucar / Shutterstock.com
- The train is the best way between Kobe and other major cities in the Kansai region
- You can fly between Haneda and Kobe Airport
- Tokyo Station > Shin-Kobe Station: JPY15,380, Tokaido San’yo bullet train
- Osaka Station > Sannomiya Station: JPY410, JR
- Shin-Osaka Station > Shin-Kobe Station: JPY1,520, Tokaido San’yo bullet train
- Kyoto Station > Shin-Kobe Station: JPY2,860, Tokaido San’yo bullet train
- Kyoto Station > Sannomiya Station: JPY1,100, JR Tokaido Line
- The JR Pass covers all the above routes
- Osaka-Umeda Station > Kobe-Sannomiya Station: JPY320, Hankyu Kobe Line, Hanshin Kobe Line
- Osaka-Namba Station > Kobe-Sannomiya Station: JPY410, Hanshin Kobe Line
- Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station > Kobe-Sannomiya Station: JPY630, Hankyu Kyoto/Kobe Line
Kobe is located in the Kansai region, about 30km west of Osaka. The best way to Kobe from Osaka or Kyoto, as well as other airports in the Kansai area, is by train. Many office workers commute between these cities, so there are multiple train lines connecting them. Additionally, Kobe is a popular day trip destination.
Tokyo to Kobe by Train
The best way between Tokyo and Kobe is by train. The Tokaido-San’yo Shinkansen bullet train is the most convenient way to travel between the two cities, with a single journey taking just under 3 hours on the Nozomi train. It costs approximately JPY15,380. Even if you have to take a slightly slower Hikari train on the Japan Rail Pass, it’s the most expedient way to travel there.
Tokyo to Kobe by Air
It’s also possible to fly between Tokyo and Kobe. ANA and Skymark Airlines operate multiple 3-hour flights per day. The price for a regular one-way journey starts at around JPY10,000 but can be as high as JPY25,000. After arriving at Kobe Airport, you’ll need to take the Port Liner to Sannomiya Station to get to downtown Kobe. If you’re arriving at Kansai International or Itami Airports, direct limousine buses to Kobe are also available – just ask the airport staff.
Flying requires more logistical complications – security checks, travelling to and from airports – so depending on your exact travel plans, it may be more worthwhile to take the bullet train.
Osaka to Kobe by Train
The fastest way to travel between Shin-Osaka and Shin-Kobe Station is by bullet train on the Tokaido-San’yo line. The journey takes less than 15 minutes. However, neither Shin-Osaka nor Shin-Kobe Station are centrally located in their respective cities. The alternative route on the JR lines is to take a 20-minute ride from JR Osaka Station to JR Sannomiya Station, which costs just JPY410.
You can also travel to Kobe on the Hankyu Kobe Line. Hop on at Osaka-Umeda Station – located right next to JR Osaka Station – and take the 25-minute journey to Kobe-Sannomiya Station. It costs JPY320.
Alternatively, take the Hanshin line. Getting to Kobe-Sannomiya Station is a 30-minute journey from Osaka-Umeda Station, or a 45-minute journey from Osaka-Namba Station.
Sanyo Shinkansen, Kobe: funboxphoto / Shutterstock.com
Kyoto to Kobe by train
The fastest way to travel between Kyoto Station and Shin-Kobe Station is by bullet train on the Tokaido-San’yo line. Trains leave frequently. The journey takes 30 minutes, and costs JPY2,860. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, the ride is basically free using a Hikari train.
Another option is to take the special rapid train from Kyoto Station to Sannomiya Station on the JR Tokaido Line. The journey costs JPY1,100 one way and takes 50 minutes.
Alternatively, if you’re travelling from downtown Kyoto, you can take the Hankyu Railway. Take the limited express train from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station to Kobe-Sannomiya Station. The journey takes about an hour and costs JPY630; you’ll have to transfer to another train at Just Station.
Kobe Travel Guide:
- Kobe Travel Guide Overview
- Things To Do In Kobe
- Places To Eat In Kobe
- Kobe Itineraries
- Family-friendly Attractions in Kobe
- Kobe Cherry Blossoms
- Kobe Fall Foliage
- Kobe Districts
- Kobe Ryokan
- Kobe Hotels
- Kobe Map
- How To Get To Kobe
- Getting Around Kobe
- Best Time To Go To Kobe
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- Get travel insurance for Japan - World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)