Sannomiya is the center of Kobe city. The immigration office, Citibank branch, etc., are located there.
The area has a variety of restaurants and shops. Motomachi has many shops with a long history, and there is also a China Town (Nankinmachi). You can find name brand boutiques and fashionable shops in the Old Foreign Settlement.
North of Sannomiya is called the Kitano area, and there are many residences which were built by foreigners decades ago after the port of Kobe was opened. Since there are historical western style buildings as well as shops, restaurants and cafes, it is a very pleasant area to just walk around. . It is also close to Shin Kobe Station where one can access the Shinkansen (bullet train).