A Bayside Resort-Style Getaway at the Heart of Kobe | Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel

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Kobe’s best sightseeing, fantastic ocean views, and luxurious amenities, all at your fingertips at this elegant Kobe hotel!

Between the Bay and the Big City

Looking for a relaxing getaway in western Japan? The city of Kobe follows the northern coast of Osaka Bay, surrounded by mountains on one side and ocean on the other, and the historical Port of Kobe has blessed the city with a unique history of rich cultural exchange. Perched on the edge of the water, Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel offers ideal accommodations for Kobe visitors looking to unwind while traveling through Kansai, thanks to their luxurious executive rooms, the variety of upscale and casual dining options, and the unbeatable location – on the edge of a seaside park, but a short walk from some of Kobe's busiest shopping and sightseeing areas. With an easygoing atmosphere, a unique mix of cultural influences from near and far, and of course delicious food (beef is a local specialty), Kobe is calling, and you won't want to miss the fantastic ocean views of Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel while you're there!

Arriving at Kobe's port, it's hard to miss the iconic shape of Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel, like a wave rolling right out of the ocean, or perhaps a huge cruise ship about the depart from the harbor. And the experience of staying at the hotel does feel a bit like a well-appointed cruise ship voyage, since the hotel is surrounded on three sides by the ocean. The rooms come in all shapes and sizes, with twins, doubles, singles, and suites, ranging from simple standard rooms to high-class executive rooms, but each and every one has its own veranda looking out in every direction, with views of the water and the airport in the distance, the relaxing spread of Meriken Park, and the nighttime lights along the coast. Like a cruise ship, the hotel's restaurants, lounges, cafes, sports club, pool, spa, and shopping facilities mean that guests don't have to go anywhere to enjoy their stay in Kobe, but of course the convenient location makes it easy to step out and enjoy the surrounding park, the Motomachi shopping area, Kobe's Nankinmachi Chinatown, and all the attractions along the coast (more on these below)!

Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel (神戸メリケンパークオリエンタルホテル)
5-6 Hatobacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo
Check-in/Check-out: 15:00 / 11:00 (~12:00 for executive rooms)
Phone: 07-8325-8111
Official Website (en) ・ Reservations

▷ Kobe Travel Tips: The Kobe Port area is easily accessible from around Japan via the Shinkansen, but as Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel guests can see from the south-facing verandas, both Kansai International Airport and the local Kobe Airport are within sight across the water of Osaka Bay, and easily within reach using shuttle buses, taxis, or local trains. The slightly closer Kobe Airport is even aiming to open an international terminal in the next decade, so before long, it will be easier than ever to enjoy a trip to the area!

The Executive Room Experience

The range of rooms at Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel offers options for a variety of guests, but for the ultimate trip to Kobe, the hotel's "executive" rooms provide the luxury resort experience. Stylish decor and tasteful decoration in a selection of seaside color palettes all enhance the high-class experience of these spacious rooms, which come as twins, doubles, and suites – and there's not a hint of the cramped feeling found at many Japanese accommodations. The windows looking out onto Kobe's coast only add to the airy feeling at Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel, but the verandas attached to each and every room provide the perfect space to enjoy the fresh ocean air, and stepping out onto one of the broad verandas of the executive rooms feels like venturing out on deck in the middle of the bay. There's no better feeling than getting back after a full day exploring Kobe, taking a luxurious bath with the hotel's specially formulated toiletries, making a cup of tea or coffee with the machine in your room, and enjoying it on the outdoor veranda seats as the lights glitter across the water.

However, at Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel the executive experience doesn't just stop at the elegant rooms. Guests staying in executive rooms also get an expedited check-in experience at a dedicated counter plus late check-out (~12pm), free use of the hotel's pool and gym (for guests 18+), discounts at hotel restaurants, preferential access to Kobe harbor cruises, and perhaps most lavish of all, access to the Executive Lounge.

Just off the hotel lobby, the executive lounge is full of comfortable sofas and convenient tables, with great views of the water and a Ferris wheel that reflects in the bay after dark. It's the perfect place to head after after check-in, when buffet-style afternoon tea is offered from 2:30 to 4:30 pm, including a variety of small bites both sweet and savory, and drinks of all kinds. Refreshments include sandwiches with smoked salmon and ostentatious little BLTs, colorful petit four cakes and other bite-size desserts, light snacks like dried fruit and pretzels, plus a shelf full of tea options, coffee, soft drinks, and even sparkling wine for guests 20 and older. There's everything you need to while away the afternoon with a blissful tea time on the water.

After a quick reset, the lounge is open again from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, this time with evening cocktails – an ideal break between a day out on the town and dinner time. Although, after a trip to this buffet, guests might not need dinner anymore! Evening offerings include colorful canapes, hot foods like fried shrimp and mini shepherd's pies, prosciutto alongside other meats and cheese, and some little pastries for the sweet tooth out there. Not to mention the wine section and the little cocktail bar, which comes fully stocked, and comes accompanied by chilled soft drinks, tonic water, and fruit juices. This part of the buffet is also self-serve, so guests can show off their own cocktail-crafting skills. With the sun fully set, the lounge offers a spectacular view of the seaside lights reflecting on the water.

After a full night of sleep in a spacious executive room, the sunny Executive Lounge is once again open to visitors, this time for breakfast. From 7:30 to 11:00 am, breakfast includes both a buffet and main dishes served by waitstaff directly from the kitchen. Sitting down at the table, guests can order a mushroom omelet or a plate of pancakes, with toppings varying from caramelized bananas to savory cheese sauces. To round out the meal, the buffet offers fresh fruit and yogurt, salad makings and cooked veggies, cold cuts, eggs soft-boiled and poached, soups, some Japanese-style dishes, and a selection of bread and pastries. Coffee and tea are freely available, but the freshly-squeezed orange juice made in a machine right before your eyes is a must for juice drinkers! There's no better way to finish off your stay at the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel than a full breakfast at the Executive Lounge, a dip in the pool, and one last look out from your room's veranda.

Dining at the Hotel

For a different dining experience, Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel also has a handful of restaurants on the premises. High on the 14th floor, diners can enjoy a chic steakhouse serving Kobe beef called Oriental, an upscale Chinese restaurant specializing in Cantonese cuisine called Toukashun, and a jazzy bar with cafe options during the day and professionally-made cocktails in the evening, called View Bar. On the 3rd floor, closer to the water, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the bay, and the decorations at Santa Monica's Wind really do create an atmosphere reminiscent of an airy eatery on the California coast.

The buffet at Santa Monica's Wind is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving up American dishes, but also Japanese specialties, and cuisine from around the world. The dinner buffet includes sushi and miso soup, but also Japanese curry, mapo tofu, cashew chicken, teppan-cooked steak, green salads and caprese, paella, and fresh-cooked crepes. Diners can fill up their plates and eat out on the open terrace, or sit by the windows on windier days, looking out onto the open water.

Enjoying Meriken Park & Central Kobe

Why make the Port of Kobe your home base while visiting Kansai? The area around Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel has plenty to enjoy, from the active port and bayside leisure facilities, to bustling shopping districts, and even Kobe's own Chinatown. Starting from just what's visible from the windows of the hotel, there's already plenty to do. Meriken Park is home to the Kobe Port Tower, which glows a bright red at night and offers panoramic views of the city and busy port activities during the day*, as well as the Kobe Maritime Museum, with huge historical ships on display and exhibits about the Port of Kobe past and present. Travelers looking for a leisurely day in Kobe can find docks for bay cruise ships on the edge of the water, with ships waiting to whisk visitors off on a trip around the harbor, and the nearby Meriken Park Starbucks is somewhat famous for its distinctive architecture and outdoor seating. The park is scattered with solemn memorials to the 1995 earthquake that devastated the region, but for some fun Kobe snapshots, the Meriken Park "Be Kobe" sign right next to the hotel is the go-to spot!

*At time of publication, Kobe Port Tower is temporarily closed for renovations.

Across a small inlet of the bay, and just a few minutes' walk from the hotel, shoppers will be pleased to find larger shopping facilities like Umie and Mosaic, packed with local and international brands, casual eateries, and even a movie theater. The same area also has the Kobe Anpanman Children’s Museum & Mall, featuring a popular Japanese kids' character, and the rainbow-painted "Mosaic Big Ferris Wheel" that's visible from the hotel's western-facing windows!

Venture away from the bay and into the city, and a series of narrow streets hold a collection of trendy coffee shops and boutiques, leading to one of Kobe's top sightseeing spots: Chinatown. When Japan opened to the world in the 1860s, and Kobe's port started welcoming brand new immigrants, a wave of new arrivals from eastern China gave the neighborhood its current name, "Nankin-machi" (after the city of Nanjing). These days the bustling streets are a strong reminder of Kobe's international history, full of stalls selling Peking duck, panda-shaped steamed buns, and Chinese rice balls stuffed with local Kobe beef. The colorful Chinatown gates and central square decorated with zodiac statues are popular photo spots… as well as the rather opulently decorated Garyoden public restroom, down an inconspicuous side alley.

Just a little north of Nankin-machi Chinatown, the festive red lanterns give way to the retro Japanese stylings of Kobe's Motomachi area, crowded around Motomachi Station (the most convenient stop for Kobe Meriken Park Hotel). The area is streaked with covered shopping arcades, each lined with a mix of shops that bring back memories of days past, like coffee shops that haven't changed in decades, umbrella makers selling colorful parasols, and boutiques clearly catering to locals who have been shopping there for as long as anyone remembers. Of course, there are modern drug stores, chain cafes, and trendy restaurants to be found as well. Exploring the Motomachi area is a little like a treasure hunt!

For the Ultimate Kobe Experience, Don’t Miss Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel

From the moment you arrive at Meriken Park on the edge of the bay, and ride up the moving walkway to the atrium-like lobby, Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel feels like a seaside escape, despite being an easy walk from some of Kobe's busiest neighborhoods. The verandas attached to each and every room, decadent dining options, and top-class service make this convenient hotel feel like a resort getaway – and that's all before you see the luxury of an executive room and the joy of afternoon tea in the lounge, admiring the sunset as it brings out the golden glimmer of a glass of sparkling wine. On your next Japan vacation, don't miss the chance to enjoy a few luxurious nights in Kobe.

For more info and updates from Japan, check Japankuru for new articles, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!


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      Shizuoka Prefecture is sandwiched between eastern and western Japan, giving the prefecture easy access to both Tokyo and Osaka. Not only is it known for beautiful natural attractions, with everything from Mount Fuji to Suruga Bay, Lake Hamanako, and Sumata Pass―Shizuoka's Izu Peninsula is known as a go-to spot for hot springs lovers, with famous onsen like Atami, Ito, Shimoda, Shuzenji, and Dogashima. Shizuoka attracts all kinds of travelers thanks to historic connections with the Tokugawa clan, the Oigawa Railway, fresh eel cuisine, Hamamatsu gyoza, and famously high-quality green tea.

    • Kansai (関西) is a region that includes Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Shiga Prefectures. Kansai contained Japan's ancient capital for hundreds of years, and it's making a comeback as one of the most popular parts of Japan. Kyoto's temples and shrines, Osaka Castle, and the deer of Nara are all considered must-sees. Plus, the people of Kansai are especially friendly, making it a fun place to hang out.

    • Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan between the years 794 and 1100, becoming a center for poilitics and culture, and to this day it's a great place for close encounters with Japanese history. The cobbled streets of Gion, the atmospheric road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji's golden walls and countless historic attractions, even Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge―Kyoto is a place of many attractions. With new charms to experience throughout the seasons, travelers can't stop themselves from returning again and again.

    • Nara Prefecture's important history reaches back to 710, a time now called the Nara era, when it was once capital of Japan. Called "Heijo-kyo" during its time as a capital, it's said that nara was once the end of the silk road, leading it to flourish as a uniquely international region and produce important cultural properties of all kinds. To make the most of each season, travelers head to Nara Park, where the Nara deer who wander freely, or climb Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom spot.

    • Osaka is known for friendly (and funny) people, but its history is nothing to laugh at, playing a major part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century unification of Japan. Thanks to long years of economic activity, it's one of Japan's biggest cities, and Osaka's popular food culture earned it the nickname "The Kitchen of the Nation." To this day Osaka is the model of western Japan, and alongside historic structures like Osaka Castle, it also has major shopping malls like Umeda's Grand Front Osaka and Tennoji's Abeno Harukas. Osaka is a place to eat, eat, eat, with local specialties like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, and for extra fun, it's home to Universal Studios Japan.


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      The Chugoku Region (中国地方) consists of five prefectures: Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In Chugoku you’ll find the sand dunes of Tottori, and Hiroshima’s atomic bomb site, plus centers of ancient history like Grand Shrine of Izumo.


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      Hiroshima Prefecture has everything, from world heritage sites to beautiful nature and delicious local cuisine, and it's either an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane, or four hours by train. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Atomic Bomb Dome, two Hiroshima UNESCO sites, are famous around the world, but in Japan it's also famous for food. Seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, especially oysters, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Setouchi lemons are all popular, and the natural scenery alone is worth seeing.


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      On the other side of the Seto Inland Sea opposite Japan’s main island, Shikoku (四国) is a region made up of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. The area is famous for its udon (in Kagawa), and the beautiful Dogo Onsen hot springs (in Ehime).

    • Kagawa Prefecture is on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, facing Japan's main island and the Seto Inland Sea. It's known for being the smallest prefecture in Japan, by area, but at the same time Kagawa is called the "Udon Prefecture" thanks to its famous sanuki udon. Aside from Kotohiragu Shrine and Ritsurin Garden, the prefecture's small islands are popular, and Kagawa is full of unique destinations, like Angel Road. They say that if you lay eyes on Zenigata Sunae, a huge Kagawa sand painting, you'll never have money troubles ever again.

    • Located in the most southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu (九州) is an island of 7 prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. The island's unique culture has been influenced by Chinese and Dutch trade, along with missionaries coming in through Nagasaki's port. Modern-day travelers love the lush natural scenery and fresh food, plus the natural hot springs found all throughout the area (thanks to volcanic activity)!


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      Fukuoka Prefecture has the highest population on the southern island of Kyushu, with two major cities: Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Thanks to growing transportation networks, Fukuoka is more accessible than ever, and so are the many local attractions. On top of historical spots like Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, travelers shouldn't miss Fukuoka's food scene, with motsu nabe (offal hotpot), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and famous Hakata ramen―best eaten from a food stall in the Nakasu area of Hakata. Plus, it's full of all sorts of destinations for travelers, like trendy shopping centers, and the beautiful nature of Itoshima and Yanagawa.


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      Kagoshima Prefecture played a major role in Japan's modernization as a backdrop for famous historical figures like samurais Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi, who pushed Japan out of the Edo era and into the Meiji. Because of that, Sengan-en Garden is just one of many historical destinations, and when it comes to attractions Kagoshima has plenty: the active volcano of Sakurajima, popular hot springs Ibusuki Onsen and Kirishima Onsen, World Heritage Site Yakushima Island, even what Japan calls the "island closest to heaven," Amami Oshima. Kagoshima might be found on the very southernmost tip of the southern island of Kyushu, but there's plenty to see.


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      The island chain of Okinawa (沖縄) makes up the southernmost tip of Japan, which is why it's also the most tropical area in the country. Thanks to a history of independence and totally distinct political and cultural events, Okinawa has a unique culture, and remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom are still visible all over the islands. Food, language, traditional dress, it's all a little different! It's also said to be the birthplace of karate.