Kobe – 神戸市
Kobe is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan’s ten largest cities.
Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is also considered one of Japan’s most attractive cities. Kobe has been an important port city for many centuries.
Its port was among the first to be opened to foreign trade in the 19th century alongside the ports of Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hakodate and Niigata.
With a population of about 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.
The Port of Kobe is a Japanese maritime port in Kobe, Hyōgo in the greater Osaka area, background-ed by the Hanshin Industrial Region.
In 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed over 5000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings.
Today the city is completely rebuilt, and few signs of the terrible event remain.
On January 17, 1995, an massive earthquake measuring at 7.2 on the Richter magnitude scale occurred at 5:46 am near the city. 6,434 people in the city were killed, 212,443 were made homeless, and large parts of the port facilities and other parts of the city were destroyed.
The earthquake destroyed portions of the Hanshin Expressway, an elevated freeway that dramatically toppled over.
In Japan, the earthquake is known as the Great Hanshin Earthquake (or the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake). To commemorate Kobe’s recovery from the 1995 quake, the city holds an event every December called the Luminarie, where the city center is decorated with illuminated metal archways.
The 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake diminished much of the port city’s prominence when it destroyed and halted much of the facilities and services there, causing approximately ten trillion yen or $102.5 billion USD in damage.
Kobe was one of the world’s busiest ports prior to the earthquake, but despite the repair and rebuilding, it has never regained its former status as Japan’s principal shipping port. It remains Japan’s fourth busiest container port.
Meriken Park is a nice waterfront park in Kobe’s port area. Built on an outcropping of reclaimed land, the park is covered in grassy lawn and open courtyards dotted with a collection of modern art installations and fountains. It is home to some of the city’s more iconic contemporary architecture such as the red Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum.
The park was devastated by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, but has now become a popular spot for locals and tourists again. A small memorial in the park commemorates the many victims who were killed in the port during the earthquake. It preserves a short section of damaged waterfront as a reminder of the earthquake’s tremendous, destructive power.
The Kobe Maritime Museum stands at the center of the park in a building topped by a dramatic, white steel framework meant to evoke the image of sails. Half of the building is devoted to shipping.
The first floor explains how Kobe Port functions and exhibits models of modern ships. The second floor introduces the history of the port, and how it has been an important connection between Japan and the outside world.
Actual historic boats are on display outdoors around the museum. The other half of the Maritime Museum building is occupied by the Kawasaki Good Times World.
Kawasaki Good Times World is the corporate museum of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, manufacturer of various mechanical components and vehicles including shinkansen trains, jet planes, helicopters and motorcycles.
The museum exhibits the history of the company and its many successful products, and visitors are encouraged to have hands-on experiences with some of the vehicles.
To the west of the Maritime Museum stands the Kobe Port Tower, a unique, red painted steel structure that has become a symbol of the port and the city.
Built in 1963, the tower stands 108 meters tall and visitors may take an elevator up to its five top floors. Two of the floors house a restaurant and a rotating cafe, while the other three house observation decks that provide 360 degree views of the city from approximately 100 meters above ground.
Kobe is most famous for its Kobe beef and Arima Onsen (or “hot springs”). Notable buildings include the Ikuta Shrine as well as the Kobe Port Tower.
It is well known for the night view of the city, from mountains such as Mount Rokkō, and Mount Maya as well as the coast.
Kobe is also known for having a somewhat exotic atmosphere by Japanese standards, which is mainly as a result of its history as a port city.
The city is also widely associated with cosmopolitanism and fashion, encapsulated in the Japanese phrase, “If you can’t go to Paris, go to Kobe.”
The biannual fashion event Kobe Fashion Week, centered around the Kobe Collection is held in Kobe. The jazz festival “Kobe Jazz Street” has been held every October at jazz clubs and hotels since 1981.
These are a full list of towers that can be found in japan.
Each one looks very different from another, and just by looking at the structure, you could probably tell which era it was built in.
I love their unique structures.
More pictures of Port Kobe and it’s surroundings.
Getting buzzed 100m up above ground. =3
The transition from day to night here looks spectacular!~
I spy with my little “eye“…
Beautiful, ain’t it?
Kobe Tower, all lighted up and looking really beautiful!