It has been a long time since I wrote one of these. Recently, I have been churning out a lot of Hotel Reports due to my commitments. Let’s hope that the memory is still fresh. Besides sharing on my day trip to Kobe, I will also be sharing on Fukuju Sake Brewery. This is one of the best breweries based in Kobe. I have always been intrigued by the production of Sake. I am making the most of my opportunity in Japan to learn more about Japan’s most well-known alcohol. Read on to learn more. While I was staying in Osaka, Kobe is an easy day trip away with it being super accessible via trains. Read on to learn more about Kobe and how it is not only famous for being the Kobe in Kobe Beef!

Getting from Osaka to Kobe

Getting from Osaka to Kobe is very easy. This makes it perfect for a little day trip. There are multiple train connections between the two cities. You can also use your JR Pass on this route. Google Maps will be the most reliable platform to plan your journey. While you can certainly use the Shinkansen, that is an overkill. Furthermore, depending on where you are based, it might not be the best and fastest way. We got to Osaka Station and took a Rapid train to Kobe Sannomiya Station. The Sannomiya station is kind of in the centre of Kobe. The journey takes a very pleasant 26 mins. Given that we had a JR Pass, the trip is covered. If you use an IC card, the journey will cost 410 Yen. Make sure to take the Rapid trains rather than the Local ones as that will be a long journey.


I only had a couple of hours in Kobe and the weather certainly wasn’t helping as it kept raining here and there during the day. After arriving at Kobe Sannomiya Station, we went about exploring the area around the train station while making our way to Kitano-cho.

Kitano-cho is the one place that I would like to visit when I am in Kobe. While planning for the trip I was attracted by the pictures of this area. Kitano-cho is the area north of the train station and at the foot of the Rokko Mountains. It is said to be the old foreign settlement area or sort of an embassy area. I love the architecture here. It has a blend of Western and Japanese styles. It is a hilly area so do make sure to stretch out those legs.

When in Kitano-cho, don’t miss out on visiting one of the most gorgeous Starbucks in the world! Japan has a couple of these! I love the blend of American and Japanese vibes here. How charming is this! I spend way too much time taking pictures here. We certainly couldn’t miss out on getting some warm Christmas drinks to warm up in this cold weather.

After making our way back to the city centre, we stop by for a quick lunch before taking a stroll along the train station area from Kobe-Sannomiya Station to Motomachi Station.

There is so much more to do in Kobe. I simply didn’t have enough time for it. We were kind of in a rush as I had arranged to visit a local Sake Brewery later on. If I had more time, I would love to check out Chinatown and the port area. The Chinatown in Kobe is said to be one of the 3 best Chinatowns in Japan. You can also take a Gondola up to the mountain for a great view of the city.

Fukuju Sake Brewery

The second part of my day will be at a local Sake Brewery! I will be visiting Fukuju Sake Brewery, one of the best in the region. This award-winning Sake Brewery is situated in the Nada region of Kobe, Japan, near Rokko Mountain. One of their Sake was also selected to be served at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony. The region gifted it with a great climate and pure mineral water from the local mountain streams. Thank you, Cinzia for inviting me for a visit and showing me around!

The brewery property includes a courtyard surrounded by the main plant that houses the brewing facility, a Japanese restaurant, a shop offering sake and tableware as well as a wooden brewery hall. It is a short walk away from Ishiyagawa Station. The grounds are super pretty and I am glad to get some daylight for pictures. Fukuju has over 265 years of history.

We started the visit with a little video to introduce us to the brewery and the history of Fukuju.

We were then taken to the production area and given a walk thru. Our guide gives us a brief introduction of the 3 main sake that they have in production. All of the sake here are handmade and with technology, sake can be brewed all year round. Sake is made with water from the region. We then learn about the process from the rice to polishing, washing and steaming before we finally end up with the Sake that we drink today.

We also learned how the byproducts are being used for other food items such as pickles. They can even be made into soap and other beauty products. Just for info, the world-famous SK-II main idea came from Sake making in the past.

Fukuju is considered a boutique brewery and makes around 500,000 litres of sake annually. We ended the visit with a tasting and got to try various types of Sake. My favourite got to be the Daiginjo Fukuju Gold Label. I certainly could not pass up the chance to get a bottle back. It was a great visit. I had a fun time here. If you have more time, you can also check out their Japanese traditional restaurant and enjoy some dishes paired with Sake.


Kobe is a perfect place if you would like to get out of Osaka for something different. Osaka is a great place to be based at. There are plenty of nice places nearby for day trips besides Kobe! There is more to Kobe than just the beef itself! I enjoyed my little excursion in Kobe. I wish that I had more time here with better weather. I will be back! I enjoyed walking by the Kitano-cho neighbourhood. Do visit some sake breweries if you are in the area as this is one of the major production regions. It is an eye-opener at Fukuju Sake Brewery! Thanks for inviting me!