Kobe with Kids

Kobe and Hyogo with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids

Last Updated: May 1, 2024

One of the many reasons I love living in the Kansai area is how easy it is to travel to other prefectures, especially with babies, toddlers, and older kids. If you’re looking for things to do in Kobe and the rest of Hyogo Prefecture with your family, then you’ll want to read this article.

Many of these places are easy to access from Osaka and Kyoto, too.

This article will be a work in progress since I am still exploring all there is to do with kids in this area!

There’s a Google Map at the end of the article to help you figure out where everything is, so I hope it’s helpful!

The Best Things to Do with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids in Kobe

Kobe Anpanman Children’s Museum & Mall

anpanman museum kobe

Anpanman is a beloved cartoon character for children in Japan and is so popular that there’s even a museum dedicated to him! This museum is in Harborland, which alone has tons to see and do, and is easy to access at a 10-minute walk from Kobe Station.

This museum has plenty for kids to do, such as an indoor playground, rides, arts and crafts, and plenty of photo spots. Even if your child doesn’t know Anpanman, they will love the bright colors and fun activities.

The attached mall has restaurants, a place to buy Anpanman bread (in fact, Anpanman characters are all based on types of bread in Japan, like melon bread or bread with sweet red bean paste), and stores.

There’s also a hair salon for kids, which is where my daughter got her first haircut.

I recommend this place for babies and toddlers, but I think that older kids might not enjoy it as much.

Make sure to check out Umie, too! It’s a mall with tons of stores and restaurants. There’s a fun “ball machine” (I believe it’s a type of Rube Goldberg device) on the first floor that my daughter is enthralled with every time we go. They also have a Babies R Us and Toys R Us.

Pure Heart Kids Land

This is an indoor playground with lots for kids, such as ball pits, inflatable slides, little obstacle courses and gyms, and a dress-up area. There’s a baby park too for children ages 0-2.

There are several locations throughout Kobe, including in Umie (Kobe Station),  Koshien, and Amagasaki.

Nunobiki Herb Garden

Nunobiki Herb Garden

This is a beautiful garden that you can access by ropeway, which alone is fun for kids.

They have seasonal flowers, herbs, and fruits, not to mention offer a beautiful view of the city. My daughter enjoyed the Fragrance Museum and the Halloween decorations when we visited in October. The restaurants and cafes are quite nice as well and serve dishes made with fresh fruits and herbs. My daughter loved a parfait she got with shine muscat grapes.

If you like, you can also hike to Nunobiki Falls from Shin-Kobe Station.


At this museum, kids can learn about science through play. It’s a little old, though, and my four-year-old didn’t seem to be too interested in many of the exhibits. In this sense, I think it’s great for kids in elementary school.

bando science museum kobe

However! They have a fun play area for younger kids with a slide and little toy houses, which my daughter really enjoyed.

bando science museum kobe

It also has a planetarium that has shows just for kids. My daughter loved the animated show “The Moon’s Secret”, and at 40 minutes it was just the right length. Note that everything is in Japanese. If you decide to watch more than one show, the first portion tends to be the same (an overview of constellations).

When including a show at the planetarium, this museum would take about two hours to see all three floors.

You can also visit the IKEA next door, which has a free indoor playground where you can leave your kid for an hour while you shop. There’s also a great outdoor playground behind IKEA.

If you have a day to spend in Port Island, definitely go to Kobe Animal Kingdom as well.

Kobe Animal Kingdom

Kobe Animal Kingdom

This is one of the best zoos I have visited in Japan. I am not a fan of zoos in general but I would gladly come here again. The animals have so much open space and are well-cared for.

We brought our daughter here for her fourth birthday and we all had a great time. She got to feed giant tortoises and see animals such as lemurs, wallabies, and birds freely roaming about. There are also petting areas for dogs, cats, and rodents.

Rokkusan Farm

This is another place to bring kids who want to see animals. This farm has sheep, goats, and horses, and kids can feed some of the animals as well. Kids can also make ice cream here!

Kobe Oji Zoo

Arial view of Kobe Oji Zoo

I didn’t have high expectations for this zoo but it ended up being better than I thought! Kids enter for free and adults only pay 600 yen. They have lots of animals, including elephants and tigers. The zoo is most known for their panda but it seems the panda has been unwell so it’s been sheltered from the public for a while. I also didn’t like the enclosure for the polar bear, it kind of seemed like a prison…?

But regardless, my daughter loved the zoo (especially the bats because she is a wonderfully strange child). There’s also a small amusement park where she conquered her fear of Ferris wheels thanks to its cute design.

The zoo is filled with cherry blossom trees as well, so it’s a good place to see sakura!

If you go to the zoo, consider visiting cat cafe Nyanny, which is only two stops away by train from Kobe Oji Zoo. This is a kid-friendly cat cafe, and my daughter had so much fun that she didn’t want to leave. The cats are very loved and well taken care of, it’s clean, and the staff is very friendly.

KidZania Koshien

kidzania japan koshien in kobe

This is a place where kids can experience what it’s like to do different jobs or play the role of a customer. Kids can also earn “money” (kidZos) and “spend” it.

KidZania is extremely popular and tickets usually sell out the day before, so make sure you check their calendar and plan in advance. Wednesdays have staff who can speak English.

Note that it’s primarily for children ages 3 to 15.

KidZania Koshien is located in LaLaport, a very popular shopping mall in Japan, so after the experience, you can go shopping and check out stores for kids like Akachan Honpo.

Kobekko Land

This is a new three-floor indoor and outdoor playground for children ages 12 and under. It’s also free!

Note that on weekends, it’s very crowded. The space for babies (ages 0-1) is quite small as well.

Omocha Hiroba (Toys’ Campus)

This place is a paradise for kids since it’s filled with wooden toys, books, and board games. Kids can easily spend hours here. I’ve been to the one in Osaka and my daughter had a blast.

☔️Recommended if it’s hot or raining

Yodel Mori

This is an outdoor park in the forest that offers a lot for children to do. Some of these activities include riding ponies, feeding penguins, playing in a pond, doing an obstacle course, making bread, and riding a small train.

Shiawase No Mura

This is a huge outdoor park that has excellent playgrounds for kids. There’s a massive roller slide and a mud park as well.

You can also rent a tent for the day, relax in their onsen, or play sports such as tennis in one of their many facilities.


I am a huge fan of this indoor playground and use the one in Umeda often for playdates when the weather isn’t great.

Kids can easily spend hours here playing with the toys, jumping in the ball pit, climbing on the walls, and other activities.

Mount Rokko Athletic Park Greenia 

This is another massive outdoor park that has lots of activities for kids, such as obstacle courses and a zip line.

Note that most activities are recommended for elementary school-aged children and up.

The Best Things to Do with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids in the Rest of Hyogo

Itami Sky Park

Itami Sky Park is great for kids who love airplanes and even for those who don’t!

Kids can see airplanes arriving at and departing from Itami Airport. They also have an outdoor playground for children, as well as one dedicated for kids ages one to three.

Itami City Children’s Cultural Science Museum

Within walking distance, this small science museum is filled with things to help your child learn about space.

They also have a planetarium that costs only 400 yen to see a show. On Sundays and holidays from 10:00 AM, they have special shows just for little ones, too.

Itami City Insectarium

Similar to the one in Minoh (Osaka), this museum features all sorts of live insects. There’s also a greenhouse filled with butterflies.

Tojo Lake Toy Kingdom

Tojo Toy Kingdom Near Kobe in Hyogo Japan

This amusement park is a little old but it’s still a lot of fun for kids, especially younger ones. We came here on my daughter’s third birthday and she loved it!

They not only have rides but also indoor areas with tons of toys. I’m talking trains, dolls (Rika-chan, Meru-chan), Sylvanian Families, Anpanman, and more!

The best way to get there is by car but you can also take a shuttle bus from Shin-Sanda Station that runs about once an hour. Shin-Sanda Station is less than an hour by train from Osaka-Umeda Station.

Tambatitanis Fossil Studio

Tambatitanis Fossil Studio

I wouldn’t go out of your way to go here as it’s quite small. But if it’s close to you or your kid is a huge fan of dinosaurs and anything would appease them, then I recommend visiting this museum.

This is where you can see fossils of Tambatitanis, a dinosaur found in the area.

Tambatitanis fossil in Hyogo

The museum also has life-size models of dinosaurs, fossils, and a fun dinosaur park nearby. The museum is quite small, though, and everything can be seen in less than 30 minutes.

dinosaur park in Hyogo

Hyogo Prefectural Arimafuji Park 

Asobi no Ookoku

This is a massive park in Sanda City in Hyogo, north of Kobe. It has a playground, a nature center, and a lake where you can see ducks. It’s a very beautiful area where you can easily spend an entire day.

Make sure to go to Asobi no Ookoku, which is a park shaped like a demon’s head!

Himeji Castle

I haven’t made the trip here with my daughter but I did visit before I had her and I would gladly go again. (Hopefully sometime soon!) Its claim to fame is its white color but the castle itself is quite impressive. The grounds are also beautiful and kids will likely have plenty to see here.

Wrap-Up: Kobe and the Rest of Hyogo with Kids

I hope this list has been helpful for those of you wondering what to do with babies, toddlers, and kids in Kobe and the surrounding area in Hyogo Prefecture.

I’ve also created a Google Map to help you with your planning, so feel free to refer to it!

Make sure to check out my article on things to do with kids in Osaka and Kyoto as well!

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Hi! I'm Kay

I’m a long-term Japan resident and parent who loves writing and traveling. My goal is to help parents from around the world navigate living and traveling with kids in Japan.

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