Osaka To Kobe One Day Itinerary: A Gastronomic Family Experience

Today is our sixth day in Japan. We still have two more days, but it feels like I am already missing this wonderful country. My personal mission here is almost over. I already took the kids to Super Nintendo World, and I already bought my gaming console. There is one thing left to do: date my wife over the legendary Kobe steak.

Read on if you are planning a Kobe day trip itinerary from Osaka. I wrote about the best things to do in Kobe for one day with your family, including attractions, activities, restaurants, hidden gems, and train routes.

Hotel She Osaka - Front door

Overview: Osaka to Kobe one day itinerary

  • Travel to Kobe from Osaka via bus and train.
  • Lunch at Kobe Meriken Hatoba.
  • Dessert at Est Royal Motomachi.
  • Travel to Mount Rokko via bus and cable car.
  • Playtime at Mount Rokko Snow Park (Closed)
  • Heavy snack and tour at Rokko Morinone Museum.
  • Night tour at Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden.
  • Depart Mount Rokko.
  • Dinner at Mensho Hanamichi.

Train route

Osaka to Kobe bus and train route: (Estimated travel time: 55 minutes)

ModeFromToTime (estimate in mins)
WalkHotel She, OsakaBentencho Station15
Train (Osaka Loop)Bentencho StationOsaka Station10
Train (Tokaido-Sanyo)Osaka StationMotomachi Station30
Hotel She, Osaka Deluxe Double Room

Get The Lowest Rates on Deluxe Double Room at Hotel She, Osaka

Hotel She, Osaka in Osaka (Minato), is within a 5-minute drive of Kyocera Dome Osaka and Dotonbori. This hotel is 5.2 km from Universal Studios Japan and 3.8 km from Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

Our day trip to Kyoto yesterday was a disaster. We had a great travel plan, but we didn’t have the time and energy to make it work. In the end, we chose not to stress about it and simply enjoyed the day with a laid-back schedule. Nevertheless, we learned our lesson and made sure it didn’t happen to our Osaka to Kobe trip.

Today’s highlight is the steak, and we have to be at Kobe before 12 PM. We have a reservation, so we can’t slack like yesterday. We got out of Hotel She, Osaka at 10:17 AM, and arrived at Kobe by 11:54 AM.

Kobe Meriken Hatoba Store Front
Kobe Meriken Hatoba’s storefront.

Lunch at Steak & Grill Kobe Meriken Hatoba

Meriken Hatoba is one of the best restaurants that serves Kobe steak in the city. They are family-owned and currently ranked number 2 out of 4,760 restaurants in Kobe by Trip Advisor. Meriken Hatoba has a seating capacity of around 10 people. Make sure to reserve ahead of time if you want to include this place in your itinerary.

Their menu is pretty straight forward. But it may change depending on the season and supply of beef. We ordered Kobe beef steak, taco rice, Chinese soup, plain rice and beef sashimi. By far, this is the most expensive meal we ever had as a family. But overall, we were satisfied by the quality of food we experienced here.

As for the service, it’s top-notch. The servers are friendly, especially the chef. Don’t forget to take pictures with them afterward.

Meriken Hatoba - Beef Sashimi (Seasonal)
Meriken Hatoba – Beef Sashimi (Seasonal)
Meriken Hatoba - Kobe Beef Steak
Kobe Beef Steak – Meriken Hatoba.

Dessert at Est Royal – Motomachi.

There was a delicious smell after we left the restaurant. We’re stuffed, but we can’t resist the sweet aroma. We traced the scent and discovered Est Royal.

Est Royal is a western confectionery shop approximately 20 steps away from Meriken Hatoba. You won’t miss it because of its shocking pink color. They specialize in cream puffs, éclairs, mille-feuille, and crème brûlée. My wife went to the store, then came out with a box. Inside were four pastries:

  • Choux a la crème
  • Chou a la Sable Bagnille
  • Panda shoes
  • Crème brûlée
Box of 4 at Est Royal Motomachi
Box of 4 at Est Royal Motomachi.

The smell hype didn’t disappoint. I love each one of them. But my favorite by far was the Choux a la crème. I hope you are not that concerned about calories… Because Est Royal is a gem you must add to your Osaka to Kobe travel plan.

Mount Rokko Cable Car
We’re about to ride the Mount Rokko Cable Car.

Travel to Mount Rokko via bus and cable car.

Route to Mount Rokko: (Estimated travel time: 55 minutes)

ModeFromToTime (estimate in mins)
Train (Tokaido-Sanyo)Motomachi stationRokkomichi station10
BusRokkomichi stationRokko Cable Car (Shita) station30
Cable carRokko (Shita) stationRokko (Sanjo) station15

The snow park was the reason we were going to Mount Rokko. Sadly, they announced that the park was closed for maintenance when we got there.

Rokkosan Snow Park features artificial snow and slopes. The place is perfect for kids to try skiing, sledding, and building a snowman. All necessary equipment is available for rent, so you don’t need to worry about bringing anything.

Mount Rokko Morinone Museum - International Musical Box Museum.
Rokko Morinone Museum – one of the most peaceful places we’ve been.

Heavy snack and educational tour at Rokko Morinone Museum.

We planned to spend the rest of our day at the snow park. But since it was closed, we just let our feet decide our next destination. We eventually came across the Rokko Morinone Museum. “Museum” sounds educational and kid-friendly, so we didn’t hesitate to pay for the tickets.

Rokko Morinone Museum is likewise known as Rokko International Musical Box Museum. This thirty-year-old facility collects and displays vintage musical boxes and other mechanical instruments. They hold daily concerts, conduct musical box making workshops, and also sell ready-made musical boxes.

Forest café in Rokko Morinone Museum.
Relaxing at the Forest café in the Rokko Morinone Museum.

Honestly, I felt like backing out when I learned what this museum is all about. I’m not a musical person and do not wish to waste my time here. But the Rokko Morinone Museum is more than just a museum. It’s also a place of healing. They have a garden and a café where you can relax and connect with nature.

It’s been a tough year, so I was sold with the idea of “healing.” We stayed in the garden for an hour, savoring coffee, ice cream, pastries, Kobe burger steak, and tranquility.

Forest or Strauss cafe at Mount Rokko Morinone Museum.
Food from Strauss café at Rokko Morinone Museum.
Siki Garden at Mount Rokko Morinone Museum.
SIKI Garden.

Night tour at Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden.

It’s 5:17 PM. We don’t quite know where to go next, so we thought of going back to Osaka. Upon walking to the bus stop, we saw people going inside a nearby attraction wearing neon bracelets. Curious, we followed them and learned that a night tour at Alpine Botanical Garden is about to start. We inquired and were surprised that the tour was already included in the ticket we bought at the museum.

Based on research, the botanical garden gives visitors a view of Mt. Rokko’s native flora and Alpine-Himalayan flowers. It grows around 1,500 different kinds of plants, such as cold climate plants, alpine plants, and wildflowers from different places. Unfortunately we couldn’t see any of these because it’s already dark.

Rokko Meets Art at Alpine Botanical Garden.
Rokko Meets Art at Alpine Botanical Garden.

The point of the night tour, however, isn’t about the flora. It’s to showcase the light artworks and effects in the garden. We didn’t have a clue, but we are actually at an annual festival called Rokko Meets Art. This event usually happens from August to November. Check the dates before adding this event to your Osaka to Kobe day trip itinerary.

Depart Mount Rokko.

We got out of the garden by 5:51 PM and travelled back to Osaka.

Route from Mount Rokko to Hotel She, Osaka: (Estimated travel time: 2.5 hours)

ModeFromToTime (estimate in mins)
Cable carRokko (Sanjo) StationRokko (Shita) Station15
BusRokko (Shita) StationHankyu Rokko Station30
WalkHankyu (Rokko) StationRokko Station15
Train (Kobe Line)Rokko StationOsaka-Umeda Station30
WalkOsaka-Umeda StationOsaka Station15
BusOsaka StationIchioka Bus Stop30
WalkIchioka Bus StopHotel She, Osaka15
Mensho Hanamichi - Front

Dinner at Ramen Bar Hanamichi.

We arrived at Ichioka bus stop at 9 PM. It was a long journey, and we’re starving. Most restaurants are already closed by this time, thus we only have a few options left. We planned on grabbing something at Family Mart until we saw this ramen place: Ramen Bar Hanamichi.

Ramen Bar Hanamichi also known as Mensho Hanamichi. It has a good ambience and friendly servers. Yet, everything boils down to whether they have good ramen or not. Well… the portion is great. But overall, 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not bad, but also not great. We were disappointed because food is one of the reasons we visited Japan. And we haven’t had any ramen that has impressed us so far.

Green Onion Ramen at Mensho Hanamichi or Ramen Bar Hanamichi
Mensho Hanamichi’s specialty: Green Onion Ramen.

Day 7 and 8: Rinku Town in Izumisano

And that concludes our Osaka to Kobe one day itinerary. Thank you for reading and I hope you found this post helpful. For day 7 and 8, we went to Rinku Town to do our shopping at Rinku Premium Outlets.

If you want to see the overview of our one-week Japan itinerary, you can download it here. It’s made on Google Sheets. Please feel free to edit it for your own use.

Jed Chan

Jed Chan is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to providing helpful resources on fatherhood. He is a passionate learner who would normally immerse himself in topics of his interest. Jed carefully studied the subjects of finance, e-business, and parenting before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad.

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