Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get from Tokyo to Kobe by Train (using the JR Pass):
1. Make your way to Tokyo Station. To save time, travel to Kobe using the Shinkansen service, which runs several lines across the country. Tokyo Station is served by the JR Tokaido line, while Shin-Kobe Station in Kobe City is served by the Sanyo Shinkansen line.
2. Purchase your ticket.
**Important Note: The Shinkansen train network classifies their trains depending on their speed. Nozomi is the fastest train on the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Lines, while the Hikari is the second fastest.
If you have the JR Pass you can take the Hikari train on JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen WITHOUT having to pay MORE.
3. If you do not have the JR Pass, consider getting a Nozomi train, which is the fastest Shinkansen train on JR Tokaido/Sanyo lines. It will cost you more, but if time is of the essence or if you want to go on the fastest bullet train for the experience; then take the Nozomi.
The travel time from Tokyo to Kobe is around 160 minutes.
Ticket Price: around 15,000 yen (reserved seat)
4. Arrive at Shin-Kobe Station.
Shin-Kobe Station is not located in downtown Kobe. If you want to go to the city center, you have to take the subway going north to Sannomiya Station.
Sannomiya Station is the busiest railway station in Kobe, being served by regular Japan Railways (JR) trains and other private train services.
BUT WAIT! If you will arrive at Shin-Kobe Station, don’t go to the city center just yet! Consider visiting the hidden waterfalls of Nunobiki. The waterfall is just minutes away at the back of Shin-Kobe Station so you can walk there easily.