Kobe is located in the mid-west of Japan, a region known as Kansai. The city offers easy access for overseas visitors, with Kansai International Airport being the closest international gateway to Kobe. Shinkansen trains, popularly known as ‘Bullet’ trains, are easily accessible from Shin-Kobe Station and the journey from Tokyo, for example, only takes three hours.
The population of Kobe is a little over 1.5M (as of December, 2015), which makes it the 6th- largest city in Japan. Over 44,500 foreigners and more than 1,800 students from 117 countries, including China, South Korea, the U.S.A., and Vietnam, live here. With such an international background, the city has flourished as a key trading port in Japan. The average annual temperature is 17.3℃, with a range of -0.9℃ to 36.0℃ reported in 2015, while the annual rainfall was 1,500 mm, which means that it is generally very comfortable with a mild winter and a relatively cool summer for Japan, where the four seasons are quite distinct.
Kobe is known as a city with its own unique flavor and an exotic atmosphere, which has been influenced by the various foreign cultures it has attracted. The city is blessed with natural beauty including Mt. Rokko and the Seto Inland Sea. It is well known for its gourmet delights, such as Kobe Beef and confectionary, as well as Japanese sake and wine. It is also known as the fashion center of Japan, which gives the city a very sophisticated image. As a result, Kobe is one of the most popular cities for sightseeing in Japan with its many wonderful places to visit, not the least of which is Arima, one of Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs located in the north of the city.