A Japanese hot spring bath
Onsen – a hot spring bath – is a unique Japanese pastime that will get you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and Arima Onsen is where you go to partake when in Kobe. Baths are filled with naturally occurring hot spring water, which locals claim has medicinal effects. Choose from day, half-day or spa packages, or sample a few different baths.
The Nunobiki Falls in Kobe, Japan
The Nunobiki – or 'Divine' – Falls are a natural wonder at the back of Mt Rokko. A quick 15-minute walk will get you to the first of the four waterfalls – the biggest is a thundering 43 metres high. If walking isn't your thing, take the Shin-Kobe cable lift to the top. It takes you past all four falls and stops at the Nunobiki Herb Garden, where you can experience the colours and aromas of 200 different types of herbs and flowers.
Got a taste for classic luxury? Kobe's Kitano-cho district contains more than a dozen ijinkan, historic mansions formerly owned by foreign merchants who settled here. Today, they're open to the public as museums. The England House, France House and Dutch Museum reflect the origins of their former owners, who brought European sensibilities to their new Asian home.
There's only one city to go to if you want serious Kobe beef. Hang out with the locals at Nankingmachi Square, home to street-style Kobe beef à la carte. Want dinner and a show in one? Head to a teppanyaki restaurant, where your chef will cook your meal in front of you. If meat's not your thing, don't worry: Any steakhouse will also serve crunchy Yakiyasai (grilled vegetables) and Agedashi-dofu (crispy tofu with dipping sauce).
To sample the freshest seafood that Kobe has to offer with your Japan cruise, visit the Uonotana Fish Market, a wholesale marketplace boasting the day's catch. Later in the day, move on to the bustling Sannomiya shopping area, where streets are packed with shops selling everything from the latest fashions to traditional tea sets.
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