Kobe, Hyogo

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April 10th 2014
Published: April 11th 2014
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Ijinkan Kazamidori-no-Yakata <Mansion with a weathercock>Ijinkan Kazamidori-no-Yakata <Mansion with a weathercock>Ijinkan Kazamidori-no-Yakata

This mansion was built by German; this is the only building which has brick wall. The weathercock on the roof is considered to be the symbol of Ijinkan Streets. There are various Western style buildings on the streets, so you might feel you are in another country.
Kobe city is the provincial capital of Hyogo; it is the 5th largest city in Japan. Hyogo province is located in western part of Japan, near the second largest town, Osaka. Kobe city is located in southeastern Hyogo, which faces to Osaka Bay (which is part of Seto Island Sea) to the south. There are Rokko Mts. from about 3km north the seashore, and this long and narrow area from west to east is the center of this city. The reclamation of the foreshore is promoting for recent years to expand the city area and harbor facilities. There are various tourism destinations such as museums on the island which draw many tourists. The climate in Kobe city is moderate, so it’s good for tourism. As for the public transportation, overseas tourists can’t get to Kobe directly by flights, but it’s very easy to access to the city from all over Japan by the Shinkansen (Bullet train), car, plane, and ferry. Many local trains and buses run very often, and also City Loop Bus connects famous tourism spots, so you can go around destinations within the city smoothly and efficiently.

Kobe has been developed as
Arima Hot SpringsArima Hot SpringsArima Hot Springs

The beautiful scenery and pleasant hot springs would sooth your tired body and feelings.
a harbor town for centuries. About 150 years ago, the Kobe port was reopened to foreign countries after the period of isolation. Since that time, the hinterland grew up bigger and bigger, because foreign people built settlement in the town, and Kobe has kept flourishing after World War II. However, in 1995, Kobe city was attacked by very large earthquake, which was said to be the most devastating earthquake in a postwar period. In the city, it was measured level 7, which is the highest in Japanese seismic intensity. People’s life, government, business, local transportation, Kobe port and tourism destinations, everything got serious damage by the earthquake, which led decrease of population and tourists. It has passed 19 years since then, Kobe now totally revived from the disaster, and attracts tourists as a beautiful town.

In Kobe, some tourist destinations are Ijinkan Streets, Chinatown, Harbor area, and Arima hot springs. On Ijinkan Streets, many western residences such as British, German, Danish, and Dutch, about a hundred years ago are preserved and exhibited. The beautiful western buildings with brick walls and stained glass capture our eyes, elegant art and furniture collections in each residence
Harbor LandHarbor LandHarbor Land

The harbor area is called Harbor Land, which has Kobe Port Tower, the landmark of Kobe. You can look out over Kobe city from the observation at the tower. Also, you can take a barge for excursion at this harbor.
tell us the graceful European life in Kobe. Many tourists visit there to enjoy exotic townscape and culture. 20 minutes north by bus or train from center of Kobe, there are celebrated Arima hot springs. Hot springs in this area are considered to be the oldest ones in Japan, people heal their body for a long time. Today there are several types of hot springs, such as public baths, open-air baths, and footbaths, so you can enjoy many hot springs in a fine town with lovely scenery. Delicious Japanese food with local products and traditional souvenirs also attracts tourists to the area.

Besides those destinations, shopping on the streets and large outlet malls, night view of the town and harbor, and Luminarie, which is an event in winter are also popular. In Kobe city, there are a bay, a port, busy streets, and mountains within 3km, so you can enjoy brilliant lights of the lively town from the mountains; this vies is said to be worth ten million dollars. As for Luminarie, which is held in every winter since 1995, is an illumination event to pray for victims of and revival from the

This is the corridor of light arches at Luminarie 2012. The designs for the arches and theater, and other small objects are different every year.
great earthquake. At the event, hundreds of people come to see the superb corridor of light arches for 270 meters, and excellent light theatre as well.

Kobe has various attractions for tourists, but they don’t fascinate that many people, especially from overseas, compared to other big cities. Overseas tourists often prefer “Japanese” for their experience, but Kobe, which has prospered as a western entrance, promotes itself as a foreign town in Japan. This big city is already replete with public transportation and accommodation, so if the city promotes another aspect, “Japanese”, such as Arima hot springs, Sake breweries, Japanese gardens, and local product like Kobe beef, more effectively, more and more people will be interested in Kobe.

Additional photos below
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City Loop BusCity Loop Bus
City Loop Bus

This retro-style green bus is called City Loop which connects several famous tourism destinations in Kobe. You can take this bus at 17 bus stops near destinations, such as Kobe Port Tower, Harbor Land, China Town, shopping mall, and Ijinkan Streets.

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