Kobe, Hyogo

Template:Japanese city

Kobe tower on the night of April 28, 2003
Port Tower at night

Kōbe (Japanese: 神戸市; -shi) is a city in Japan, located on the island of Honshu. Kobe is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with the ports of Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, and Tokyo. It is in the Kansai region of Japan, in Hyogo Prefecture to the south-west of Osaka. It was one of the first cities to open for trade with the West, as of 1868. The cosmopolitan port city has a population of 45,500 foreign residents from more than 100 countries.

The city is a part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan sprawl.



Downtown Kobe from a harbour cruise boat
Downtown Kobe from a harbour cruise boat

Wedged in between the coast and the mountains (Rokko Mountain), the city of Kobe is long and narrow. The landmark of the port area is the red steel Port Tower. A giant ferris wheel sits in nearby Harbor Land, a notable tourist promenade, and offers spectacular views of the surroundings including the bay area, especially at night. Two artificial islands, Port Island and Rokko Island, have been constructed to give the city room to grow.

Away from the seaside at the heart of Kobe lie the Motomachi and Kokashita arcades as well as Kobe's Chinatown Nankinmachi, all well-known retail areas. A multitude of train lines cross the city from east to west. The main transport hub is Sannomiya Station, with the eponymous Kobe Station located towards the west and the Shinkansen Shin-Kobe Station to the north. Nankinmachi is Kobe's Chinatown, and is particularly lively at night.

Mt Rokko overlooks Kobe with an elevation of 931 metres: during the autumn season, Mt Rokko is famous for the rich change in colours of its forests. Mt Rokko is also the site of Japan's first golf course, established by the Englishman Arthur Groom in 1903.

Kobe serves as one of the most important seaports in Japan. It is famous for its Kobe beef, the Arima Onsen (hot springs), nightview of the city both from the coast and the mountain, and the exotic atmosphere which mainly came from its history as a port city. Kobe is also home to Kobe University, which traces its roots back to 1902. To the east is the expensive and elite city of Ashiya.

Most of the movie Sayonara takes place in Kobe.



Missing image
Sunset over Kobe.

Kobe was briefly the capital of Japan in 1180 A.D. at the end of the Heian period. Taira no Kiyomori moved his grandson Emperor Antoku to Fukuhara. The exact location is uncertain, but is probably the neighborhood of the same name in Hyogo-ku. The emperor returned to Kyoto after about five months.

The city was founded on April 1, 1889 and was designated on September 1, 1956 by government ordinance.

During the course of World War II, Kobe was fire-bombed by 331 B-29 bombers on March 17th, 1945, killing over 8,000 residents and burning the city into black ashes.

On January 17, 1995 an earthquake measured at 7.2 on the Richter Scale occurred at 05:46am JST near the city killing 6,433, making 300,000 homeless and destroying large parts of the port facilities and other parts of the city. It was one of the most costly natural disasters in modern history. The earthquake notably destroyed the Hanshin Expressway, an elevated freeway which dramatically toppled over: within Japan, the earthquake is known as the Great Hanshin Earthquake (or the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake).

Kobe was the second busiest port in the world and Asia's busiest port until the Great Hanshin Earthquake occurred. Since then, the port of Yokohama became Japan's busiest port. Kobe's world ranking has dropped down to the twenty-ninth busiest port (as of 2002). Kobe has, however, recovered to become Japan's third busiest port.

To commemorate Kobe's recovery from the 1995 quake, the city holds an annual event called the Luminarie, where every December the city hall is decorated with illuminated metal archways.


Kobe has 9 wards (ku):


As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 1,513,967 and the density of 2,755.77 persons per km². The total area is 549.38 km².

Universities in Kobe city

Public Universities

  • Kobe University
  • University of Hyogo (Prefectural university) [1] (http://www.u-hyogo.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe City University of Foreign Studies [2] (http://www.kobe-cufs.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe City College of Nursing [3] (http://www.kobe-ccn.ac.jp/)

Private Universities

  • Konan University [4] (http://www.konan-u.ac.jp/)
  • Konan Women's University [5] (http://www.konan-wu.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe Kaisei College (Women's university) [6] (http://www.kaisei.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe Gakuin University [7] (http://www.kobegakuin.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe Design University [8] (http://www.kobe-du.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe International University [9] (http://www.kobe-kiu.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe Shoin Women's University [10] (http://ksw.shoin.ac.jp/~kshome/)
  • Kobe Women's University [11] (http://www.yg.kobe-wu.ac.jp/info/yondai/)
  • Kobe Shinwa Women's University [12] (http://www.kobe-shinwa.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe Pharmaceutical University [13] (http://www.kobepharma-u.ac.jp/)
  • Kobe Yamate University [14] (http://www.kobe-yamate.ac.jp/)
  • University of Marketing and Distribution Science [15] (http://www.umds.ac.jp/)

Major Company Headquarters in Kobe

World Headquarters

Japanese Headquarters

Sport Teams

Sister cities

See also

External links


Template:Hyogoar:كوبي de:Kōbe es:Kobe eo:Kobe fr:Kōbe hi:कोबे id:Kobe it:Kōbe he:קובה (עיר ביפן) nl:Kobe ja:神戸市 no:Kobe pl:Kōbe pt:Kobe simple:Kobe sv:Kobe zh:神户市


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