Travel guide

to the Department of Mathematics,

Kobe University


<< This page contains some Japanese letters, but they are not essential to understanding the contents. >>

The address of the department of mathematics of Kobe University is Rokko-dai 1-1, Nada-ku, Kobe, 657-8501, Japan. Campuses of the Kobe university are on the slope of Mount Rokko (the upper part of the Mount Rokko is a national park). The department of Mathematics belongs to the faculty of science, which is on the lowest campus as shown in this map (illustration campus map, PDF). The department of mathematics is in building B and the secretary's office is on the fourth floor in room B416.

Links: Kobe Convention and Visitors Association , A free illustration map of Kobe.

From anywhere in Japan to Kobe by bullet train (Shinkansen)

    The Shinkansen is very easy to use. Everything is marked in English as well as Japanese, and announcement are made in English as well as Japanese. Just take the Shinkansen to Shin-Kobe station (this is the first station after Shin-Osaka station in Osaka when coming from the east). Be careful, because not all trains will stop in Shin-Kobe, so you might have to change to a slower train in Osaka if you are coming from the east. (If you are coming from the west, then you probably are already familiar with the Shinkansen system.)
    After arriving in Shin-Kobe, you can take a taxi to our department as described below.

From locations in Kobe to our department by taxi

    To take a taxi, tell the driver to go to Bun-ri-nou campus of Kobe University at Rokko: show this map (a png file) to the driver ( a picture of the building B from south).
    From Shin-Kobe station, a taxi takes about 15 minutes and the cost is about 2,000 yen (in 2012). From Hankyuu-Rokko station and also from Rokko-Michi JR station, a taxi takes about 5 minutes and the cost is about 700 yen (in 2012). Taxis can be easily found outside any of these three stations. It is more difficult to get a taxi once you are away from a station, as some taxis might not stop for you.
    If you are coming into Kobe by bullet train (Shinkansen), then you will arrive at Shin-Kobe station, and there is no simple way to get from Shin-Kobe station to our department. There are cheaper ways to get to our department (you can walk to Sannomiya in about 15 minutes and then take a train from there, or you can take a bus to the bottom of the hill below our university if you are familiar with the bus route), but if you are making this trip for the first time, we recommend that you take a taxi.

From Sannomiya (Kobe center) to Hankyu-Rokko station via the Hankyu train line

    From the Hankyuu-Sannomiya station you can take the Hankyuu train bound toward Osaka (eastward bound, leaving from tracks 3 and 4) to get to Hankyuu-Rokko station, which is the third station out from Sannomiya. The Limited express trains (the ones with red destination signs on each car), do not stop at Hankyuu-Rokko station, but the slower trains (those with yellow or black destination signs) do stop there. (Generally, the slower trains leave from track 3.) The trip only takes at most 12 minutes, and costs 180 yen. There are machines next to the entrance wickets where you can buy a ticket, just put 180 yen (or more) into the machine and push the button that has 180 written on it (the machine will give you change). Make sure you grab the ticket when it pops out of the wicket machine as you go through the wicket, because you will need the ticket to get out of the station at Hankyuu-Rokko.
    Once you are at the Hankyuu-Rokko station, then you can cheaply take a taxi to our department as described above.
    Please do not mistake the Hanshin train line for the Hankyuu line. Unless you happen to be staying somewhere right on the Hanshin line, you will have no need to use the Hanshin line.

From Sannomiya (Kobe center) to Rokko-Michi station via the JR (Japan Railway) train line

    From the JR-Sannomiya station you can take the JR train bound toward Osaka (eastward bound) to get to Rokko-Michi station, which is the second station out from Sannomiya. The express trains (special rapid service) do not stop at Rokko-Michi station, but the semi-express (rapid service) and local trains do stop there. The trip only takes at most 6 minutes, so if in doubt it is best to just take the local train. The ticket costs 160 yen. There are machines next to the entrance wickets where you can buy a ticket, just put 160 yen (or more) into the machine and push the button that has 160 written on it (the machine will give you change). Make sure you grab the ticket when it pops out of the wicket machine as you go through the wicket, because you will need the ticket to get out of the station at Rokko-Michi. From Rokko-Michi station, you can cheaply take a taxi to our department as described above.

From Hankyuu-Rokko station to our department via the bus or walking

    If you are planning to make this trip only once, then we recommend that you just use a taxi, which is simplest. You can take the bus that is numbered 36, and this costs only 210 yen. The bus stop is just north of the Hankyu-Rokko station and is in front of the instant cash machine called "MUFJ". (To find the bus stop: after exiting through the ticket wickets, go down the escalator, then walk north past the taxi stands and toward the mountains for about 50 meters, and the MUFJ ATM should appear on the west side of the street. The bus leaves from the bus stop on the west side of the street and initially goes in the direction of the mountains, not the ocean.)
    Get off the bus at the bus stop "Shindai bun-ri-nougakubu mae (神大文理農学部前 in Japanese)". If the bus is crowded and it is hard to get off at the stop, you may get off at the next stop "Shindai honbu-kogakubu mae (神大本部工学部前 in Japanese)". The next stop is one minute walking distance and more than quarter of the passengers will get off at this stop.
    You can also reach the campus in about 15 minutes by walking up the hill (see this map). (Note: This map will actually take you to building C, where the mathematics department used to be. We are now in building B, which is a 1 minute walk from building C. The building B is the next to building C in the direction of the ocean, away from the mountains.)

From Rokko-Michi station to our department via the bus

    You should take the bus numbered 36. The bus stop is at the north of the station. There are two bus stops for the line 36. One is for going down and the another is for climbing up the hill. You want to climb up the hill (i.e. go in the direction away from the ocean). Wait at the bus stop for buses bounded for "Tsurukabuto Danchi (鶴甲団地 in Japanese)". Get off the bus at the bus stop "Shindai bun-ri-nougakubu mae (神大文理農学部前 in Japanese)".

From Osaka or Kyoto to Kobe by JR lines (not bullet train)

    From Osaka, you can take a JR (commuting) train as follows: Take a westward bound Shinkaisoku (新快速 in Japanese), which is the fastest commuting train. This train goes from Kyoto to Kobe through Osaka (Osaka is right on the way), and it stops at Shin-Osaka, Osaka (Umeda), Amagasaki, and then in Sannomiya (Kobe center). The simplest plan is to go to Sannomiya, and then follow the directions above to get to our department.
    A slightly more involved but somewhat faster way is to get off the train at Amagasaki and change to a slower train. Then get off the slower train at Rokko-Michi (六甲道 in Japanese) station. Then take a taxi or bus or walk to our department, as described above.
    Note that the following inequality holds for JR trains:
    fast ----- slow
    新快速 > 快速 > 普通.
    Some JR trains have an English sign such as 普通 (local) and 快速 (rapid service) to specify the kind of trains, but some do not have it. Please remember the Kanji characters to specify the kind of trains;
    新快速 (shin-kaisoku) > 快速 (kaisoku) > 普通 (futsu).
    You do not need to buy the extra ticket (Tokkyu-ken) to take shin-kaisoku, kaisoku and futsu trains.

From Osaka or Kyoto to Kobe by the Hankyuu train lines (not bullet train)

    If you come from Umeda station in Osaka, take the fastest train to Sannomiya (Kobe center), which is called "Tokkyu" (特急 in Japanese) and means "limited express". If you come from (Shijyo-)Kawaramachi (Kyoto), take the fastest train to Umeda and change trains at Juso to the fastest train (Tokkyu 特急 --- limited express) to Kobe (Sannomiya, Kousoku Kobe, Shinkaichi, Sumarikyu and so on). It will stop at the stations Juso and Nishinomiya-kitaguchi.
    You can either go all the way to Sannomiya and then follow directions above to our department, or you can change trains at Nishinomiya-kitaguchi to a slower train "Kyuko (急行) --- express " or "Futsu-densha (普通) --- local", and get off the train at "Hankyu-Rokko (阪急六甲)", and then follow the directions as above. The second way is usually only a few minutes faster.
    Note that the following inequality holds for Hankyu trains:
    fast ----- slow
    特急 > 急行 > 普通.
    All Hankyu trains have an English sign to specify the kind of trains. You do not need to buy the extra ticket for limited express (Tokkyu-ken) to take HANKYU limited express trains.

From the bigger Osaka international airport (Kansai) to Sannomiya

    If someone is meeting you at the airport, then you will probably find them waiting for you just as you exit customs. Usually there are many people waiting there, so you'll know when you are in the right place to find the person you are looking for. Also, just outside of customs, there is a money exchange booth, and this is a good opportunity to get some yen. The exchange rate at this booth is basically as good as in a bank, so unless you are exchanging many thousands of dollars, you might as well do it right there at that convenient booth.
    If you are not meeting someone at the airport, then you will need to take a bus to Kobe. (There are other ways to get to Kobe by trains, but generally the bus is the fastest way, as is definitely the simplest way.) To catch the bus, go just outside the building on the lower level. There is a line of bus stops there. You want the stop (number 6) where the bus bound for Sannomiya (Sannomiya=Kobe center) departs. Before getting on the bus you need to buy a ticket, which costs 1800 yen (in 2012). The ticket machines are close by in the wall of the building that you just exited. Put 1800 yen (or more) in the machine and push the button marked "神戸三宮(Kobe, sannomiya) 1800" (the machine will automatically give you change). Then get on the bus.
    The bus takes about 65 minutes to get to Sannomiya, and makes at most a few stops (sometimes none, depending on the bus) before arrive at its final stop, which is Sannomiya. When you get off the bus, the JR (Japan Railway) station is on your right (as you stand facing the same direction (west) that the bus is facing). The Hankyuu train station is also on your right, but about 100 meters farther ahead down the road (go over the walking bridge directly in front of you, go straight down to the end of that bridge and then turn left, and that will take you into the Hankyuu station). Photo: north view from the bus stop.

To Kansai International Airport from Sannomiya

    To go to the Kansai international airport, take a limousine bus at the bus stop marked in this map . You cannot buy a ticket from your driver and you need to buy a ticket by a vending machine before boarding. The place of the machine is also marked in the map. Do not buy the ticket before the boarding day. The ticket is valid only for the day when you buy it.

From the smaller Osaka airport (Itami) to Sannomiya

    For this airport the procedure is virtually identical to the procedure described above for Kansai airport. If someone is meeting you, they will be in the obvious place just outside arrival gate. If you take a bus, you buy a ticket for 1020 yen just outside in the wall of the building and the bus stops are out on the street. You want the bus going to Sannomiya. It departs from bus stop number 15, and goes a couple hundred meters down the road to bus stop number 5, picks up more passengers, and then goes to Sannomiya. It leaves bus stop number 5 five minutes after it leaves bus stop number 15. If you have 12 minutes or so before the bus leaves stop number 5, you might want to walk down to stop number 15 and get the bus there, because sometimes the bus fills up at stop number 5 and some people have to wait for the next bus. The bus comes about every 20 minutes, and the departure times are clearly written at the bus stops. The buses usually depart right on time. Sannomiya is the last (and probably only) stop, and the trip takes about 40-50 minutes. The bus lets you out in exactly the same spot as the bus from Kansai airport does, so you can follow the directions above in description of the trip from Kansai airport to know how to find the train stations.

Cards to make the trip to the campus regularly

    If you stay in the Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe area for more than a week and use buses and Hankyu trains, we recommend you buy the "ICOCA" card ( how to buy ICOCA , movie). All local bus companies (except the airport limousine) and railway companies accept this card. You can buy the "ICOCA" card by ticket vending machines in JR stations or at JR ticket offices. You can charge the card by ticket vending machines at train stations including Hankyu railway. Refunding of the card is possible at JR ticket offices.