The Kobe Animal Kingdom is an amazing place to both interact with various exotic animals as well as watch them interact with each other. While most zoos have the animals contained in their own enclosed area, the Kobe Animal Kingdom has large spaces where animals can freely roam and you can walk among them! It's truly an amazing experience!
The Outside Park
The space is divided into zones. The outside park is an open pasture, with sheep, a camel, an alpaca, kangaroos, and penguins. They even have a horse you can ride! You can even feed the kangaroos and the alpaca!
The Inside Park
The inside park is still loosely divided into zones. There's a domestic section with dogs and cats that you can sit with and pet as much as they like. Next, there is a zone where small birds can sit in your hand and eat the seeds.
The Bird Show
Finally, there's an exotic bird show, featuring hawks and parrots. These birds will fly so close, you can actually feel the wind from their wings. The trainers do explain (in Japanese) the different characteristics of each bird, and then they fly directly over the audience's heads.
To get here, take the JR Line to Sannomiya Station. At Sannomiya, change to the Port Liner train line, which will go to the park. Be careful, though, as one line will take you to IKEA before heading back, but the other will take you to the Animal Kingdom (before heading on to the airport).