Sannomiya is a major shopping venue in the center of Kobe, including some big underground malls. There are plenty of hotels in the area as well, making this an excellent base for travelers.
The closest station to Sannomiya is Kobe-Sannomiya Station. From Kobe Station, it is a four-minute train ride on the Tokaido-Sanyo Line.
Taking its name from Sannomiya Shrine, Sannomiya is Kobe's downtown heart. Overlooking the area, the shrine is home to the god of safe navigation and flourishing commercial activities, a deity that has been worshiped broadly among the people of this port city through the ages.
Prior to the 1920s, this area was considered outside the city center, but following a retail evolution which saw Sogo Department Store relocate from Motomachi to Sannomiya in 1933, it became a central business district.
Today the area is filled with government agencies and marine trading companies as well as a diverse collection of large-scale and small independently run stores. If you do make it to Sannomiya, be sure to visit Sanchika, a popular shopping mall that's home to 120 stores and abuzz with local customers and tourists.