||Practical Guidelines, Traveling, and Tourist Information
VISA exemption and application
Visas are not required for those from 62 countries and regions (see table) for short term stays for such purposes as sightseeing and business trips.
Cases involving paid activities are excluded.
For people from other than these 62 countries and regions, an application
of visa is required in the home country well before the date of immigration.
You need certain documents issued by the conference. Please consult the instruction by the ministry of foreign affairs (MoFA) of Japan (links to embassy and consulates general of Japan therein, possibly
in your language) and also contact the conference (see "contacts"
on the left). Please keep in mind that it takes a few weeks for issuing
How to reach Kobe and the Kobe University
Most of you will stay in Sannomiya, the city centre of Kobe. The venue
of the conference, Kobe University, is located on a hill, by about 5 km
north-east of Sannomiya.
The way from airports / cities to Sannomiya / Kobe University is best explained
on a university web page: please consult there for detail. Here key points are described.
1. Reaching from abroad to Kobe city centre
a) The best: through Kansai International Airport(KIX), Osaka
- Coach from the airport (every 15-30 min) to Sannomiya (65-75min)
(On the web page, click #5 for time table and fee)
- Other possibilities: by train or by a shuttle service
- Renting a car is not recommended. Parking in Kobe is very expensive.
Also parking inside Kobe University is restricted. In addition, driving
with any amount of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Japan.
Arriving at Kansai airport by far the easiest way for you to reach Kobe.
It is better to fly first to an airport in your area with direct flight
to Kansai airport. Flights are available from:
- Europe: Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Rome
- North America: Detroit, Los Angels, San Francisco, Honolulu
- Middle East: Dubai, Doha etc.
- South-east Asia: Bangkok, Denpasar, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur etc.
- and from Hongkong, Taipei, Seoul, Beijin, Shanghai and many other major
cities in China and Korea
b) If your flight from your continent arrives at Narita International Airport(NRT), Tokyo
- Strongly recommended: book a connecting flight to Osaka International Airport(ITM), Osaka, then come to Sannomiya by coach or come directly to the university by monorail+Hankyu railway (see instruction here).
- If that is not possible, you need to use train from Narita to Kobe via
Tokyo (about 650km, 4-4.5 hours total - still relatively simple) or move
to Tokyo International Airport ("Haneda" airport, mostly for
domestic flight) to Osaka international airport (quite complicated: not
recommended unless the domestic flight Haneda-Osaka is included without
You will get your travel plan at http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/ (type from "Narita-Airport" to "Sannomiya", choose
"Narita-Airport" and "Sannomiya(Hyogo)").
2. From Sannomiya to the conference site in Kobe University
A) Take Hankyu Railway from Hankyu Sannomiya station (Hankyu guide in pdf) to Rokko Station (only with local service, third stop. Do not
take express or rapid services) in the direction of Osaka Umeda. Then take
municipal bus service (green) number 36. The bus stop at the Rokko station
is located on the hillside. See also the bottom of this page)
B) Take Japan Railway (JR) from Sannomiya station to Rokko-michi station,
in the direction of Osaka. The local and rapid service will stop at Rokko-michi
(second and first station, respectively), while the "special rapid"
service not. Then take municipal bus service number 36. The bus stop at
the Rokko station is located on the north = hillside, see also the bottom
of this page).
Once you take the bus #36, get off at the "Shindai-BunriNougakubu-Mae"
bus stop, the third stop from Hankyu, which is indicated at the middle
of campus map . The building number 32 in the map, in the direction of downhill, is
the conference site, the Rokko Hall.
Note that you need to a buy ticket to take train and pay 200yen for bus,
separately. You might consider buying a rechargeable smart card ICOCA available
on ticket vending machine at JR stations (ex. Sannomiya JR station). It
is 2000 yen with 500 yen deposit, which will be returned when you give
it back to ticket vending counters at JR west stations. It works similarly
as the Oyster Card in London, although there is no reduction in fare. You
can take almost all the public transportation media in Kansai (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe)
area by touching the reader at the gate (train) or when getting off (bus).
More information on ICOCA, see a Wikipedia entry or a page by JR group in Japan .
Weather in August/September
Weather in most part of Japan in summer is very humid and hot, because
of wet monsoon from south. Despite of that, it is not very rainy: 5 out
of 7 days are fine on average in Kobe. When it rains, however, it is strong,
either like shower or continues for a day or so. Typhoon approaching Japan
in this season is not rare, but Kobe is well protected by islands located
in south-west (Shikoku) and disaster is very seldom, although it may rain
very hard with strong wind.
The sun shines strongly even in September: Kobe is at 34°41'N, as south
as Los Angels, Atlanta or Cyprus. Because of its humidity you may survive
without protection for slightly longer time compared to these cities.
Temperature: High: 28-33°C, Low: 24-27°C
Carrying a small umbrella is recommended. A compact, foldable one (<
1000 yen) is often available at many of so-called convenience stores and
kiosk, located in or nearby train stations. Rain coat is not as useful,
since you may feel steamed.
Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) : General idea on traveling and sightseeing and explanation of transportation
system. Available in some major languages.
Japan-guide.com : many practical information like transportation network etc. For example, information on moving from Kansai airport to Kobe is on this page.