Looking for exciting places in Kobe Japan to visit with your baby/kids? Here are some best places that I, a mom that lives in Kobe, recommend!
Best places in Kobe to visit with your kids
1. Kobe Anpanam Children’s Museum and Mall
Anpanman is a character loved by all Japanese people! I grew up with it myself. He is a hero that saves everyone from troubles, especially from Baikinman. The character’s face is so simply that even 0 year olds will recognize it. In fact, for many Japanese babies, the first word they speak is related to Anpanman!
There are 5 Anpanman museums in Japan, and one is in Kobe. It is such a fun place inside with toys, slides, puppet shows, play shops, and more. It is especially designed for babies and toddlers, so everything is made small and low. There is a kids bakery class where you can make your own Anpanman bread, a crafts corner, and hand-made accessories shop.
If you plan to go to Anpanman Museum, I recommend you let your child watch the Anpanman DVD or picture book before you come because it is so much more exciting if you recognize the characters!
In fact, even if you are not going to Anpanman Museum, I still recommend it because once you come to Japan, Anpanman is everywhere.
- Name: Kobe Anpanman Children’s Museum and Mall
- Address: 1-6-2 Higashikawasaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0044
- Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last admission 17:00)
- Tickets (at the door): 1,800 yen incl. tax (free for children under 1 yrs old), 1st floor shopping mall is free
- Website: http://www.kobe-anpanman.jp
2. Suma Aqualife Park Kobe
As its name implies, Suma Aqualife Park Kobe is more like a park than an aquarium. Animals are displayed in different pavilions with different themes, such as the “World Fish House”, “Penguin House”, “Amazon World”, and “Sea Otter House”, and many more. There are many live performances every day, such as the Dolphin live, Fish live, and Penguins walk. Furthermore, there are special programs where you can touch seals, dolphins, or feed the penguins!
I wouldn’t say Suma Aqualife Park Kobe is the most luxurious aquarium in Japan. But I would definitely say it is the best for its price – so much cheaper than the other large-scale aquariums, but still has a lot of animals (especially large mammals) that kids will enjoy. Also, the smaller scale of the aquarium make it possible to offer lots of hand-on programs for kids. Make sure you check the website before you go so you can make it to the events and schedule your day!
- Name: Suma Aqualife Park Kobe
- Address: 1-3-5 Wakamiya-cho Suma-ku Kobe 654-0049
- Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:00), check website for closing days
- Tickets (at the door): Adults 1,300 yen / 15-17 yrs 800 yen / 6-14 yrs 500 yen / under 5 free
- Website: http://sumasui.jp/abroad/english.html
3. Kobe Oji Zoo
The Oji Zoo is known for being one of the three zoos in Japan that house panda bears (the other two are in Tokyo and Wakayama). It also holds many large mammals such as the lion, polar bear, giraffe, elephant, and hippopotamus.
There are several feeding and training programs you can watch, but for many animals it happens only once during the day so be sure to check the schedules! There is also a small amusement park inside the zoo area. Restaurants are available too. My kids loved the “panda face steam buns” at the restaurant!
The best season to visit Oji Zoo is definitely spring. The park is full of cherry blossom trees, so it is a perfect place for Ohanami（お花見), which means cherry blossom picnic. On the other hand, I do not recommend mid-summer because the outside temperature gets over 35 degrees Celsius, even close to 40, and animals (and of course humans) look exhausted. Most of the zoo areas are outside with no roof, so it is not a good idea to visit there with little kids in mid-summer. But if you plan to do so anyway, go there first thing in the morning (opens at 9 am)!
- Name: Kobe Oji Zoo
- Address: 3 Chome-1 Ojicho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-0838
- Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30), depends on season
- Tickets (at the door): Adults 600 yen / others free
- Website: http://www.kobe-ojizoo.jp/
4. KOBE Fruit and Flower Park Ozo
This is a very big park with lots of flowers and many enjoyable programs such as fruit picking, horse riding, farmers market, crafts making, barbecue, and many more. If your main interest is flowers, then the best season to go is spring and summer. If you want to enjoy fruit picking, then late summer to autumn is best. If you are planning to go in the winter, be sure to check the website carefully because some programs are closed during the winter. However, there are special winter programs too such as the illumination, wreath making, and winter flower arrangement.
Other than exciting programs for kids, adults can enjoy this park too. It has lots of great food! There are restaurants that uses local food, and you can also buy wines and sake (Japanese alcohol), sweets, seasonings, miso, and many other food that are made in Kobe.
The easiest way to reach the park is by car, but you can also use the train (and taxi). On weekends and holidays, there is a bus that leaves from Sannomiya.
- Name: Kobe Fruit and Flower Park Ozo
- Address: 2150 Kami-ozo, Ozo-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe 651-1522
- Opening hours: Depends on program, please check website
- Tickets (at the door): Entrance to park is free, but individual programs may cost fees. Please check website.
- Website: http://fruit-flowerpark.jp