Asia Pacific

Kobe, Japan

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Kobe

Kobe is the capital of Japan’s Hyōgo Prefecture, located on the Osaka Bay about 30 km west of Osaka City. Kobe is one of important port cities in the country, and has come back remarkably from a major earthquake in 1995. The city is famous for its marbled Kobe Beef and as the headquarters of several prominent multinational corporations – including the footwear giant ASICS. There are many places to run in Kobe, notably along Osaka Bay, several riverfront towpaths, and attractive public parks. In general, Kobe has runnable sidewalks on many of its major city streets. Note that Osaka is 30 km away and is one of our favorite cities for running in Japan.

The waterfront promenades of Harborland, Suma, Maiko, and Wakinohamakaigandori are the best places to run in Kobe. Runners may also enjoy several river towpaths,  small, attractive parks such as  Shiawase No Mura and Suma Rikyu, and a unique run on the Venus Bridge.  There’s also some scenic trail running around Mount Maya and Mount Rokko, with some hilly terrain for those who want that.

Kobe is an easy city to navigate, with several subway lines and a bus system that services all corners of the city. Kobe’s many ropeways (cable cars) are also a great asset to routes like Mount Maya and Mount Rokko. Take note of day passes and U-Cards, and consider the Kobe City Loop bus for transportation to the city’s main attractions.

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Some of our favorite runs in Kobe, Japan

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Kobe Promenades

Kobe, Japan

By far the best running in Kobe is along the waterfront promenades of Osaka Bay. There is no one continuous path, but runners can find good sections near Harborland, Suma, Wakinohamakaigandori, and Maiko.
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Kobe River Paths

Kobe, Japan

We’ve mapped out three of the best riverside towpaths in Kobe, including nice spots on the Toga River, the Sumiyoshi River, and the Shinminato River. All easily accessible via transport.
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Mount Rokko

Kobe, Japan

Run to the top of Kobe’s tallest mountain on a gentle dirt trail beginning at the gorgeous Rokko Garden Terrace. A not too hilly, 6 km out and back. Numerous other trail options, including an ascent from Ashiyagawa Station.
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Suma Rikyu Park

Kobe, Japan

This gorgeous park of gardens and fountains in the Suma area has its own running track, but it can be combined with nearby walkways, the Botanical Gardens, or the Suma Promenade for more mileage.
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Kobe Promenades

Kobe, Japan

By far the best running in Kobe is along the waterfront promenades of Osaka Bay. There is no one continuous path, but runners can find good sections near Harborland, Suma, Wakinohamakaigandori, and Maiko.
Explore

Kobe has hot, humid summers and relatively mild winters. Runners should take note of temperatures that average near 32C (89F) in summer, with very warm nights. In winter, average highs are near 8C, with nights dipping to just above the freezing point. Major snowfall is rare, but can happen in the mountains nearby. Summers are much wetter, in the form of downpours. Spring is delightful and famous for cherry blossom season.

Most Kobe hotels are conveniently located in the central district. For a list of accommodations, see The Official Travel Guide of Kobe.

Kobe has many of the biggest chain running stores, including ASICS, Nike, and New Balance.

For group runs, meet up with the Kobe Runners or the Kobe Hash House Harriers/Harriets.

The Kobe Marathon is the signature running event in Kobe.