20 Stylish Souvenirs to Buy in Kobe, Japan's Chic Harbor City
Kobe is a popular sightseeing spot with a wealth of locally-made items that make great souvenirs! Read on for our picks of the 20 best stylish souvenirs from Kobe, a must-visit city if you are in the Kansai region. Whether you're shopping for friends, family, or even for yourself, you can find something for everybody here.
Sep 09 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
10 Popular Confectionery Souvenirs from Kobe
Freundlieb first opened in 1924 and is still an extremely popular Kobe-based store today. Run by German-born Heinrich Freundlieb, this store sells a vast assortment of gorgeous pies and cakes.
Freundlieb's signature and most popular item is their Schweineohren cookies, called "mimi" in Japanese. The cookie's crisp texture and perfectly-balanced sweetness will have you reaching for more, making for a perfect Kobe souvenir.
Morozoff is a Kobe chocolatier, established in 1931 by the Russian Morozoff family. The store sells a wide range of puddings, pies, and chocolate, and is a highly-frequented shop to buy souvenirs in Kobe.
Don't miss the Feuillage cookies, a long-selling product that has been sold since 1986. Their crunchy texture adds a perfect accent to the aromatic flavor of nuts.
First opened in 1929, Juchheim has a long history and remains popular today. Their baumkuchen cakes are baked using traditional German techniques, and have a moist and smooth texture. Try one of these traditional German baumkuchen yourself or pick one up for someone else!
If you're thinking of buying these as a souvenir, our recommendation is the baumkuchen packaged in a stylish box. They are pre-cut into bite size pieces, so it's a great souvenir to share!
4. Kobe Fugetsudo
Kobe Fugetsudo is a Kobe confectioner first established in 1897. This long-standing shop is known for their gaufre cookies. These sweets incorporate elements of French confectionary traditions to create a uniquely Japanese sweet with a crisp accent.
Kobe Fugetsudo's gaufre cookies are made with a delicately sweet cream filling. These light, crispy cookies are really addictive, so make sure to try one of them while you're in town!
First established in 1967, Toraku also boasts a long history, and its Kobe Pudding is one of the store's most popular sweets. Kobe Pudding was first sold in 1993 and is still just as much in demand. In fact, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that this has become a staple Kobe souvenir.
Made with fresh eggs, this pudding blends a rich flavor with refined sweetness. Its smooth texture melts almost instantly in your mouth, and the reasonable price makes them an excellent souvenir choice.
HONTAKASSAGOYA is a Japanese wagashi sweet store first established in 1884. Many customers visit to buy their kintsuba, which are square, lightly battered red bean cakes. They have a month-long shelf life, making them convenient souvenirs!
The kintsuba are made with generous portions of Hokkaido-grown adzuki beans. They are only subtly sweet, so their flavor and texture will be enjoyable even for those without a sweet tooth. The sweet potato version of kintsuba is also very popular, so why not try both and see which one you like best?
Ichibankan is a well-known Kobe chocolatier, first established in 1971. Pomme d'Amour is the store's signature sweet, and even though over 40 years have passed since they were first introduced, they still often sell out!
The presentation of these sweets is very elegant, with each piece being individually wrapped by hand. Pomme d'Amour are made by boiling fresh apples with honey at high temperatures, and finished with a coating of dark chocolate. They are not overly sweet, and the dark chocolate pairs perfectly with the flavor of the apples.
8. Mon Loire
First opened in 1899, Mon Loire sells souvenirs that have a decadent and luxurious feel. Their Leaf Memory chocolates are particularly high in demand, and each leaf-shaped piece is individually wrapped, so they're wonderfully convenient for gifts.
Wrapped in silver paper, these chocolates glitter like a treasure chest when you open the box. The delicately sweet chocolates are unique and pair well with alcohol, so they make a great gift for anyone who enjoys a drink or has a sweet tooth!
Opened in 1975, Kannonya, which specializes in cheesecakes and other cheese products, is often featured on TV and in magazines. The store has been designed with a modern atmosphere and is named after the goddess Kannon, which lends a spiritual mood as you enter.
Try picking up a Denmark Cheesecake here as a souvenir. These are quite different from normal cheesecakes and have an originality all of their own. Topped generously with fresh cheese imported from Denmark, these are best if you warm them in a toaster oven before eating.
10. Kobe Morry Mama
Kobe Morry Mama opened in 2007, making it newer than many of the stores introduced so far. Its mascot is a cute small witch that brings happiness through sweets.
Kobe Morry Mama is known for the care they pay to all their ingredients, from flour, water to salt, so their rusks are perfectly sweet and delightful. The crunchiness of the rusks also lends a delicious accent. Don't miss out on the Kobe Morry Mama rusks when you come to Kobe!
Top 5 Local and Traditional Kobe Products
1. Arimakago Kutsuwa Bamboo Handicrafts
Arima Kago Kutsuwa is an artisan studio that makes handicrafts with high quality bamboo from the Arima area. Simply browsing this modern and fashionable store is an enjoyable experience. With everything from fashion accessories to ear cleaners, you'll find a wide range of original bamboo products sold here.
This is the place to go if you're looking for a souvenir you can't find anywhere else. Make to take full advantage of the scent and feel of bamboo in these elegant products. Whether you're shopping for a celebratory gift or a unique souvenir from your travels, we definitely recommend paying this store a visit.
2. Kobe Hashiya
Kobe Hashiya sells over 300 types of chopsticks made from wood and bamboo. Many of the chopsticks are simple and designed to take advantage of the natural qualities of wood, lending them a subtle warmth. The chopsticks sold here are all original and can be repaired by the store.
The chopsticks are made from real wood, giving them a natural style. Not only are they beautiful, they are designed for comfortable use to make your meals more enjoyable. They are great as a souvenir, both for yourself or as a gift for your family.
3. Glass Factory Kobe
Glass Factory Kobe is an eyewear store with glasses that perfectly reflect Kobe's local style. They stock the latest designs as soon as they're released, and have a range of original frames, so there's plenty to choose from.
Glasses are not usually considered a souvenir gift, but since they're a hot fashion accessory right now, why not gift a stylish pair to someone? There is a wide range of designs available, so you can have some fun picking out the perfect pair.
4. Kobe Frantz
Kobe Frantz is a sweets store that sells many original products including their Kobe Magic Pot Pudding, strawberry truffles, and half-baked cheesecake. Kobe Frantz has received a Monde Selection Grand Gold Award, and is often crowded with repeat customers!
Their Magic Pot Pudding is a famous Kobe specialty. Made with plenty of cream and silky custard, this smooth-textured pudding melts in your mouth. It's a popular choice for a souvenir, and an exciting gift to receive!
5. Kobe Kitano Kazamidori
Kobe Kitano Kazamidori's main store is located in the Kitano area, one of Kobe's top sightseeing destinations. Hordes of visitors come to the store to buy their famous signature Kazamidori Cheesecake, which has been featured on TV and in magazines.
While the flavor is quite rich, the Kazamidori Cheesecake melts instantly in your mouth. The fluffy texture and gentle aroma of cheese makes for a delicious cake. At around 600 yen for a box of three, these cheesecakes are also affordably priced and would be great to bring to work as a souvenir!
Top 5 Kobe Lifestyle Stores
Voyageur is a store that sells original fashion accessories. Apart from their own products, you can also buy jewelry-making parts, or choose your own parts to have a unique accessory specially made for you in the store. The prices are affordable, so your wallet will leave happy as well!
This is a great place to find a truly one of a kind souvenir that will make a great gift for a friend or special someone. Of course, there are plenty of pre-made accessories to buy as well, so you're sure to find the perfect piece.
2. Tiny Atelier Tsubomino
Tsubomino is an adorable shop that looks like something out of a picture book. There are many handmade items to browse inside, and all of them have been carefully and uniquely crafted by hand. The items are beautiful even just to browse, so the shop is highly frequented by visitors.
There are many items to choose from at Tsubomino, including silhouette artworks and tiny dolls. Don't be surprised if you have trouble choosing which one to buy for a souvenir! The wide selection of items makes Tsubomino a great place to find a gift for anyone.
3. Tsubakuro Variety Shop
Tsubakuro Variety Shop sells items made by many designers, from fashion accessories and tableware. Each item is individually made, so the products are all full of the uniqueness of each creator.
There are items here you won't find being sold anywhere else, but you might also find some pieces by your favorite designers. This is a great to shop for a piece or two for yourself, or to find the perfect souvenir, so take your time as you browse their selections!
4. De La Nature
De La Nature is such a stylish store, you may find yourself wondering if you've been transported to France! The owner imports the items sold here from Europe, and there is a wealth of stylish accessories to browse. This shop's popularity has led it to being featured on TV and across media.
The wide variety of elegant items sold here are enjoyable even just to look at. There are plenty of store exclusives too, so take your time to pick out a wonderful souvenir that your friends or family will love.
5. JOE'S SOAP
JOE'S SOAP originated in Manhattan, New York. After its long-awaited opening, this store now sells its range of stylish soaps in Kobe. Each soap is individually handmade, so they are highly original and full of charm.
There are plenty of stylish designs to choose from, and the soaps are made from carefully-selected ingredients to ensure that they are gentle on the skin and suitable even for sensitive skin types. Why not bring some beautiful soap back as a souvenir from your travels in Kobe?
Find the Perfect Souvenir in Kobe!
These were our picks for the very best souvenirs in Kobe! There is a wealth of choice here, from local products to internationally famous products, so have a think about what your friends and family may like as you hunt for the ultimate souvenir. Souvenir shopping is a wonderful experience in Kobe, and you can enjoy some sightseeing in the lively shopping streets while you're at it!
Header Image: Sanga Park / Shutterstock
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.