The cosmopolitan city of Kobe
The charm of Japan with an MSC Cruise. Your destination is Kobe. The large city, with its one and a half million inhabitants, was built on Honshu Island, and it has always been one of the main Japanese ports, strategically important for commercial exchange between the East and the West.
In the early twentieth century, Kobe was inhabited by European workers and traders that moved to Japan with their families - their presence is evident in the buildings of the Kitano district.
Mount Rokkō can be reached with an excursion. Located in the Setonaikai National Park, it's not to be missed. From its high location, the view over the city of Kobe is spectacular, especially at night, so as to be considered one of the most beautiful views of the world.
Kyoto is well worth a detour. An excursion will take you to what is considered the most evident example of Japanese essence for architecture, culture, history and religion. For about a thousand years, this city was the capital of Japan. Today, it is famous for its Shinto shrines, the Buddhist temples, for the imperial gardens and palaces and for the typical wooden houses and the cherry blossoms that transform the streets of the city into enchanted, surreal places in spring. Also located on the Island of Honshu, Kyoto has, like Kobe, about one and a half million inhabitants and there's a lot to see in it.
Among the most interesting places, to say but a few, are the Fushimi Inari with the sanctuary of the same name, the Ochaya and Okiya neighbourhoods, respectively known for tea houses and for geisha houses, the open-air Nishiki market, to taste Japanese cuisine while strolling.
Also in Kyoto, you can admire the Himeji Castle with an excursion. The first fortified complex was built in 1400 and was then made bigger by various clans over the centuries. Today, the castle consists of eighty buildings, white in colour, on several levels. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.