Famous for the beef that bears it name, Kobe is headquarters for numerous Japanese and international firms, and has long been an important port. It is also a short bullet train ride from Kyoto, ancient capital of Japan from the 8th to the 19th century. Here vestiges of the past are easier to find than in many of Japan's modern, high-tech cities: countless temples and shrines, the palaces and castles of shoguns and emperors, and narrow lanes paved in stone and lined with wooden buildings housing shops and restaurants that have been serving travelers for centuries.
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