Kobe has long enjoyed a vibrant, cultural heritage which has attracted foreign tourists and long-term expats alike since Kobe first opened its port. In particular, Kobe has long been known as a jazz mecca. In fact, the first Japanese jazz band was formed in Kobe in 1923! And Louis Armstrong, the king of jazz, visited Kobe twice with his orchestra.
Kobe continues to claim fame for jazz through the annual Kobe Jazz Festival, held each fall. However, for those of you who missed out on Kobe’s jazz festival this year, consider checking out some of Kobe’s famous live jazz hot spots below:
The granddaddy of Kobe’s live jazz houses, Sone opened 40 years ago and hosts live jazz sessions nightly, ranging from old standbys to cutting-edge jazz. Sone’s menu offers several reasonably priced set menu options as well as light snacks. The Sunday brunch is a best bargain bet. Business hours: 17:00-24:00, Contact: 078-221-2055
Yorozuya Sobei is a spacious jazz café with old-world charm that offers a quiet place for conversation over coffee while listening to recorded jazz as well as live jazz performances several nights each month. Business hours: 10:00-18:00 (22:00 for live events, closed Thursdays), Contact: 078-332-1963
Great Blue, convenient to Sannomiya station, offers an eclectic variety of jazz from Japanese and foreign jazz artists nightly (except Mondays) with reasonable cover charges. Contact: 078-231-0071
Reservations are recommended. Call ahead to ask about smoking policies!