The first images appear in mind when mentioning Kobe, is the Habor view and the devastating Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake happened in 1995. As a city featuring blended cultures between east and west worlds, and only 30 mins fast-train from Osaka, Kobe is the 3rd destination on my Kansai trip in Japan.
Main sightseeing attractions are Kobe Habour, where you can visit the tower, the maritime museum, also fairs hold during weekends; Ijinkan, district with western-style houses where foreigners reside; and Mount Rokko to be a little far away from downtown area.
Kobe harbour is only 20 mins walk away from JR Kobe station, towards the red steel tower and you won't miss it! The coupon ticket which worth 800 yen allows you to visit both the tower and the museum. Having a dinner at the Sky Lounge located on the 4th floor with spectacular night view of the city must be cool!
The Museum which has a display of Kobe's maritime history, also offers a specific show on Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI, 川崎重工), one of the most important enterprises that does ship building, Shin-Kan-sen and motor-cycles manufacturing in Japan.
Interestingly, there is a Indian Night held on the harbour square, as part of the Kobe Music Festival, an exotic touch of the kurry Land! A btw note, Japanese kurry is much milder than the Indian one, which is more spicy.
Walking back to the downtown area, across the Chinatown and main shopping street, scenes turn to be european look: German built church, colorful western houses, tea-houses that offer British afternoon tea, Ijinkan is the place where foreign traders used to live. Similar place is the Consulate district, while most of the old consulate offices were converted into boutiques and restaurants. Standing on top of the city high, and look towards the harbour, it feels so much like Dundee, both share in common the marine based development and "a city of discovery".
There is also a place to go if you have plenty of time: the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which is said to the longest suspension bridge connecting Kobe and Awaji Island. Unfortunately, I have to rush back to Osaka, hmmm, let's save it for next time!