Kobe, Japan's sixth largest city is designated as a Creative City of Design by Unesco’s Creative Cities Network.
Kobe, Japan's sixth largest city is designated as a Creative City of Design by Unesco’s Creative Cities Network.
Image: 123RF/Sean Pavone

All eyes will be on the tiny Pacific island of Japan his September as it plays host to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Land Rover will be there too, as global partner to the world’s biggest rugby spectacle and proud partner to our own boys in green and gold. 

Before the Springboks head off to the land of the Rising Sun, why not plan your own visit? Because we’re Wanted, we’ve curated the coolest, smartest and most unique itinerary for you – taking inspiration from the Range Rover Sport.

Designed for beauty and for performance, the fuel-efficient sports SUV’s technology is leagues ahead of the rest, and it is just as comfortable cruising around the city as it is negotiating tricky terrain. 

This week, as part of a three-part series on Japan, we celebrate design, world firsts and technology. 

Kobe, Japan’s sixth- largest city, is designated as a Creative City of Design by Unesco’s Creative Cities Network and is committed to using design as a tool to address the challenges of today’s society. But Kobe beef remains one of the main reasons visitors add the city to their itineraries.

1. LOCAL GUIDANCE | VIAHERO 

Planning a trip can be overwhelming, especially when a country has so much to offer — like Japan. Which hood is the hippest? How do I get from the airport to my Airbnb if I’m landing in Tokyo at 12am? All these questions can be answered by ViaHero, an app that links you with a like-minded local expert who uses in-country insights to plan your trip, and most importantly, keeps you off the beaten tourist track.

Ikuta Shrine in Kobe is the oldest in the country.
Ikuta Shrine in Kobe is the oldest in the country.
Image: 123RF/Bee32

You start by selecting the categories that most interest you — for example street food, museums, outdoor activities — then you get matched with a local “hero” who will compile an itinerary for you at a cost of $30-$40 per day, depending on the package you choose. Both the premium and basic packages include unlimited correspondence with the hero, direct booking links to all the recommended activities, transportation arrangements, and a guide book. Your hero can also arrange a guide for you. 

2. PROMOTING FARMING | EAT LOCAL KOBE 

Eat Local Kobe is a “platform to create a new communication by conveying Kobe’s agriculture and marine products and food to consumers [...] from the following perspectives: local, seasonal, people, challenge, lifestyle, and design.”

The community initiative was developed as a response to a call to promote agriculture in Kobe. Traditionally, farmers’ markets are central to urban planning and have a social and financial function. Hiroaki Koizumi, who was part of the team that ran a census of Kobe farmers, said that although Japan has a large infrastructure for food, the vegetable transport system was not working for young or organic farmers. 

He told the Japan Times: “I’m trying to build an infrastructure for younger farmers. I want to get different people involved, not just for sales but to make connections, like restaurants buying from farmers. Young farmers tend to be alone. Here, they meet other people on a regular basis... If young farmers participate, we hope the younger generation will take an interest in farming.”

The Saturday morning farmers’ market in Higashi Yuenchi Park offers everything from fresh, organic produce, healthy snacks, cheese, ice cream, and tofu to coffee and craft beer, and attracts at least 1,000 visitors every week.

A city to watch is Fukuoka, positioned as Japan’s answer to Silicon Valley. It’s situated at the northern tip of Kyushu island and is billed as the country’s tech start- up city.
A city to watch is Fukuoka, positioned as Japan’s answer to Silicon Valley. It’s situated at the northern tip of Kyushu island and is billed as the country’s tech start- up city.
Image: Supplied

Themed “Designing Future Society for our Lives”, Expo 2025 will be held in Osaka. World Expo themes are typically designed to raise awareness of and find responses to the universal challenges of our time — and share them with the world. 

Visit the Land Rover website for more information. Join the #DrivenBeyond conversation on Twitter and Instagram.

This article was paid for by Land Rover, proud vehicle partner to the Springboks.

© Wanted 2019 - If you would like to reproduce this article please email us.
X