|First official record||201 AD|
|City Status||April 1, 1889|
|• Mayor||Kizō Hisamoto|
|• Designated city||557.02 km2 (215.07 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2021)
|• Designated city||1,522,188 (7th)|
|• Metro||2,419,973 (6th)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|Address||6-5-1 Kano-chō, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken|
|Website||City of Kobe|
Kobe ( // KOH-bay, [koꜜːbe] ;officially ⓘ 神戸市,Kōbe-shi) is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture,Japan. With a population around 1.5 million,Kobe is Japan's seventh-largest city and the third-largest port city after Tokyo and Yokohama. It is located in the Kansai region,which makes up the southern side of the main island of Honshū,on the north shore of Osaka Bay. It is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto. The Kobe city centre is located about 35 km (22 mi) west of Osaka and 70 km (43 mi) southwest of Kyoto.
The earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki ,which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD 201. For most of its history,the area was never a single political entity,even during the Tokugawa period,when the port was controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889. Its name comes from Kanbe (神戸,an archaic title for supporters of the city's Ikuta Shrine). Kobe became one of Japan's designated cities in 1956.
Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the 1853 end of the policy of seclusion and has retained its cosmopolitan character ever since with a rich architectural heritage dating back to the Meiji era. While the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake diminished some of Kobe's prominence as a port city,it remains Japan's fourth-busiest container port.Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS,Kawasaki Heavy Industries,and Kobe Steel,while over 100 international corporations have their Asian or Japanese headquarters in the city,including Eli Lilly and Company,Procter &Gamble,Boehringer Ingelheim,and Nestlé. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef,the home of Kobe University,and the site of one of Japan's most famous hot spring resorts,Arima Onsen.
Tools found in western Kobe demonstrate the area was populated at least from the Jōmon period.
The natural geography of the area,particularly of Wada Cape in Hyōgo-ku,led to the development of a port,which would remain the economic center of the city. Nihon Shoki ,which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD 201.Some of the earliest written documents mentioning the region include the
During the Nara and Heian periods,the port was known by the name Ōwada Anchorage (Ōwada-no-tomari) and was one of the ports from which imperial embassies to China were dispatched. The city was briefly the capital of Japan in 1180,when Taira no Kiyomori moved his grandson Emperor Antoku to Fukuhara-kyō in present-day Hyōgo-ku. The Emperor returned to Kyoto after about five months. Shortly thereafter in 1184,the Taira fortress in Hyōgo-ku and the nearby Ikuta Shrine became the sites of the Genpei War battle of Ichi-no-Tani between the Taira and Minamoto clans. The Minamoto prevailed,pushing the Taira further.
As the port grew during the Kamakura period,it became an important hub for trade with China and other countries. In the 13th century,the city came to be known by the name Hyōgo Port (兵庫津,Hyōgo-tsu). During this time,Hyōgo Port,along with northern Osaka,composed the province of Settsu (most of today's Kobe belonged to Settsu except Nishi Ward and Tarumi Ward,which belonged to Harima).
Later,during the Edo period,the eastern parts of present-day Kobe came under the jurisdiction of the Amagasaki Domain and the western parts under that of the Akashi Domain,while the center was controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate.It was not until the abolition of the han system in 1871 and the establishment of the current prefecture system that the area became politically distinct.
Hyōgo Port was opened to foreign trade by the Shogunal government at the same time as Osaka on January 1,1868,just before the advent of the Boshin War and the Meiji Restoration. At the time of the opening of the city for foreign trade,the area saw intense fighting resulting from the civil war in progress. Shortly after the opening of Kobe to trade,the Kobe Incident occurred,where several western soldiers sustained wounds from gunfire by troops from Bizen. The region has since been identified with the West and many foreign residences from the period remain in Kobe's Kitano area.
Kobe,as it is known today,was founded on April 1,1889,and was designated on September 1,1956 by government ordinance. The history of the city is closely tied to that of the Ikuta Shrine,and the name "Kobe" derives from kamube (神戸,later kanbe),an archaic name for those who supported the shrine.
During World War II,Kobe was lightly bombed in the Doolittle Raid on April 18,1942,along with Tokyo and a few other cities. Eventually,it was bombed again with incendiary bombs by B-29 Superfortress bombers on March 16 and 17, 1945,causing the death of 8,841 residents and the destruction of 21% of Kobe's urban area. This incident inspired the well-known Studio Ghibli film Grave of the Fireflies and the book by Akiyuki Nosaka on which the film was based. It also features in the motion picture A Boy Called H.
Following continuous pressure from citizens,on March 18,1975,the Kobe City Council passed an ordinance banning vessels carrying nuclear weapons from Kobe Port. This effectively prevented any U.S. warships from entering the port,policy being not to disclose whether any warship is carrying nuclear weapons. This nonproliferation policy has been termed the "Kobe formula".
On January 17,1995,a magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred at 5:46 am JST near the city. About 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,this earthquake is known as the Great Hanshin earthquake (or the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake). To commemorate Kobe's recovery from it,the city holds an event every December called the Luminarie,where the city center is decorated with illuminated metal archways.
The Port of Kobe was Japan's busiest port and one of Asia's top ports until the Great Hanshin earthquake. as of 2012 [update] ).Kobe has since dropped to fourth in Japan and 49th-busiest container port worldwide (
Wedged between the coast and the mountains,the city of Kobe is long and narrow. To the east is the city of Ashiya,while the city of Akashi lies to its west. Other adjacent cities include Takarazuka and Nishinomiya to the east and Sanda and Miki to the north.
The landmark of the port area is the red steel Port Tower. A ferris wheel sits in nearby Harborland,a notable tourist promenade.[ citation needed ] Two artificial islands,Port Island and RokkōIsland,have been constructed to give the city room to expand.
Away from the seaside at the heart of Kobe lie the Motomachi and Sannomiya districts,as well as Kobe's Chinatown,Nankin-machi,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 to the west and the Shinkansen Shin-Kobe Station to the north.
Mount Rokkō overlooks Kobe at an elevation of 931 m (3,054 ft). During autumn,it is famous for the rich change in colors of its forests.
Kobe has nine wards (ku):
|Wards of Kobe|
|Place Name||Map of Kobe|
|Rōmaji||Kanji||Population||Land area in km2||Pop. density |
Kobe has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot summers and cool to cold winters. Precipitation is significantly higher in summer than in winter,though on the whole lower than most parts of Honshū,and there is no significant snowfall. The average annual temperature in Kobe is 17.0 °C (62.6 °F). The average annual rainfall is 1,277.8 mm (50.31 in) with July as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August,at around 28.6 °C (83.5 °F),and lowest in January,at around 6.2 °C (43.2 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded in Kobe was 38.8 °C (101.8 °F) on August 5,1994;the coldest temperature ever recorded was −7.2 °C (19.0 °F) on February 27,1981.
|Climate data for Kobe (1991−2020 normals,extremes 1896−present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||19.2|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||3.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.4|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||38.4|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||0|
|Average precipitation days (≥0.5 mm)||6.0||7.1||10.0||10.1||10.4||12.1||10.9||7.4||10.3||8.8||6.4||6.8||106.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||62||61||61||61||64||72||74||71||67||64||63||62||65|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||145.8||142.4||175.8||194.8||202.6||164.0||189.4||229.6||163.9||169.8||152.2||153.2||2,083.7|
|Source:Japan Meteorological Agency|
|Climate data for Kobe Airport (2006−2020 normals,extremes 2006−present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.2|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.4|
|Record low °C (°F)||−3.6|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||33.3|
|Average precipitation days (≥1.0 mm)||4.6||6.6||8.3||8.8||8.6||9.8||10.2||6.0||8.8||7.9||5.7||5.8||91.1|
|Source:Japan Meteorological Agency|
|Foreigners in Kobe|
As of September 2007,Kobe had an estimated population of 1,530,295 making up 658,876 households. This was an increase of 1,347 persons or approximately 0.1% over the previous year. The population density was approximately 2,768 persons per square kilometre,while there are about 90.2 males to every 100 females.About thirteen percent of the population are between the ages of 0 and 14,sixty-seven percent are between 15 and 64,and twenty percent are over the age of 65.
Approximately 44,000 registered foreign nationals live in Kobe. The four most common nationalities are Korean (22,237),Chinese (12,516),Vietnamese (1,301),and American (1,280).
The Port of Kobe is both an important port and manufacturing center within the Hanshin Industrial Region. Kobe is the busiest container port in the region,surpassing even Osaka,and the fourth-busiest in Japan.
As of 2004 [update] ,the city's total real GDP was ¥6.3 trillion,which amounts to thirty-four percent of the GDP for Hyōgo Prefecture and approximately eight percent for the whole Kansai region. Per capita income for the year was approximately ¥2.7 million. Broken down by sector,about one percent of those employed work in the primary sector (agriculture,fishing and mining),twenty-one percent work in the secondary sector (manufacturing and industry),and seventy-eight percent work in the service sector.
The value of manufactured goods produced and exported from Kobe for 2004 was ¥2.5 trillion. The four largest sectors in terms of value of goods produced are small appliances,food products,transportation equipment,and communication equipment making up over fifty percent of Kobe's manufactured goods. In terms of numbers of employees,food products,small appliances,and transportation equipment make up the three largest sectors.
The GDP in Kobe Metropolitan Employment Area (2.4 million people) is US$96.0 billion in 2010.
Japanese companies which have their headquarters in Kobe include ASICS,a shoe manufacturer;Daiei,a department store chain;Kawasaki Heavy Industries,Kawasaki Shipbuilding Co.,Mitsubishi Motors,Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (ship manufacturer),Mitsubishi Electric,Kobe Steel,Sumitomo Rubber Industries,Sysmex Corporation (medical devices manufacturer) and TOA Corporation. Other companies include the confectionery manufacturers Konigs-Krone and Morozoff Ltd.,Sun Television Japan and UCC Ueshima Coffee Co.
There are over 100 international corporations that have their East Asian or Japanese headquarters in Kobe. Of these,twenty-four are from China,eighteen from the United States,and nine from Switzerland.Some prominent corporations include Eli Lilly and Company,Nestlé,Procter &Gamble, Tempur-Pedic,Boehringer-Ingelheim,and Toys "R" Us. In 2018,April,Swift Engineering USA,an American aerospace engineering firm established their joint venture in Kobe called Swift Xi Inc.
Kobe is the site of a number of research institutes,such as the RIKEN Kobe Institute Center for developmental biology and medical imaging techniques,and Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS,home of the K supercomputer),the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) Advanced ICT Research Institute, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, and the Asian Disaster Reduction Center.
International organizations include the WHO Centre for Health Development,an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organization. The Consulate-General of Panama in Kobe is located on the eighth floor of the Moriyama Building in Chūō-ku,Kobe.
Itami Airport,in nearby Itami,serves mainly domestic flights throughout Japan,Kobe Airport,built on a reclaimed island south of Port Island,also offers mainly domestic flights,while Kansai International Airport in Osaka mainly serves international flights in the area.
Sannomiya Station is the main commuter hub in Kobe,serving as the transfer point for the three major intercity rail lines (see external map). The JR Kobe Line connects Kobe to Osaka and Himeji while both the HankyūKobe Line and the Hanshin Main Line run from Kobe to Umeda Station in Osaka.
SanyōElectric Railway trains from Himeji reach Sannomiya via the Kobe Rapid Railway.
In addition,Kobe Municipal Subway provides access to the SanyōShinkansen at Shin-Kobe Station.
Other rail lines in Kobe include Kōbe Electric Railway which runs north to Sanda and Arima Onsen. Hokushin KyūkōRailway connects Shin-Kobe Station to Tanigami Station on the Kobe Electric Railway. Kobe New Transit runs two lines,the Port Island Line from Sannomiya to Kobe Airport and the Rokko Island Line from JR Sumiyoshi Station to Rokko Island.
Over Mount Rokkō,the city has two funicular lines and three aerial lifts as well,namely Maya Cablecar,RokkōCable Line,RokkōArima Ropeway,Maya Ropeway,and Shin-Kobe Ropeway.
Kobe is a transportation hub for a number of expressways,including the Meishin Expressway (Nagoya –Kobe) and the Hanshin Expressway (Osaka –Kobe).Other expressways include the SanyōExpressway (Kobe –Yamaguchi) and the Chūgoku Expressway (Osaka –Yamaguchi). The Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway runs from Kobe to Naruto via Awaji Island and includes the Akashi KaikyōBridge,the longest suspension bridge in the world.
Sub Area Activity Hanshin is one of the Japan Maritime-Self Defense Force facility which provide monitoring across Osaka Bay and Harima-nada Sea.
The city of Kobe directly administers 169 elementary and 81 middle schools,with enrollments of approximately 80,200 and 36,000 students,respectively.If the city's four private elementary schools and fourteen private middle schools are included,these figures jump to a total 82,000 elementary school students and 42,300 junior high students enrolled for the 2006 school year.
Kobe also directly controls six of the city's twenty-five full-time public high schools including Fukiai High School and RokkōIsland High School. The remainder are administered by the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education.In addition,twenty-five high schools are run privately within the city. The total enrollment for high schools in 2006 was 43,400.
Kobe is home to eighteen public and private universities,including Kobe University,Kobe Institute of Computing and Konan University,and eight junior colleges. Students enrolled for 2006 reached 67,000 and 4,100,respectively.Kobe is also home to 17 Japanese language schools for international students,including the international training group Lexis Japan.
International schools serve both long-term foreign residents and expatriates living in Kobe and the Kansai region. The schools offer instruction in English,German,Chinese,and Korean. There are three English-language international schools:Canadian Academy,Marist Brothers International School,and St. Michael's International School.
Kobe is most famous for its Kobe beef (which is raised in the surrounding Hyōgo Prefecture) and Arima Onsen (hot springs). Notable buildings include the Ikuta Shrine as well as the Kobe Port Tower. Nearby mountains such as Mount Rokkō and Mount Maya overlook the city.
The city is widely associated with cosmopolitanism and fashion,encapsulated in the Japanese saying,"If you can't go to Paris,go to Kobe."The biannual fashion event Kobe Fashion Week,featuring 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. It also hosts both a Festival,as well as a statue of Elvis Presley,the unveiling of which was heralded by the presence of former Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi. Kobe is well-known in Japan as being a city for the affluent,as many high-end stores and mansions line its streets.
Kobe is the site of Japan's first golf course,Kobe Golf Club,established by Arthur Hesketh Groom in 1903, ijinkan ( 異人館 ) –from the 19th century still stand in Kitano and elsewhere in Kobe. Museums include the Kobe City Museum and Museum of Literature.and Japan's first mosque,Kobe Mosque,built in 1935. The city hosts the Kobe Regatta &Athletic Club,founded in 1870 by Alexander Cameron Sim, and a prominent foreign cemetery. A number of Western-style residences –
The dialect spoken in Kobe is called Kobe-ben,a sub-dialect of Kansai dialect.[ citation needed ]
|Orix Buffaloes||Baseball||Pacific League|| Kobe Sports Park Baseball Stadium |
|Vissel Kobe||Football||J. League|| Noevir Stadium Kobe |
Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium
|INAC Kobe Leonessa||Football||L. League|| Noevir Stadium Kobe |
Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium
|Deução Kobe||Futsal||F. League||World Hall||1993|
|Kobelco Steelers||Rugby||Top League|| Noevir Stadium Kobe |
Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium
|Hisamitsu Springs||Volleyball||V.Premier League||1948|
|Dragon Gate||Professional wrestling||Kobe World Memorial Hall||1999|
Kobe hosted the 1985 Summer Universiade,the 1991 Men's Asian Basketball Championship,which was the qualifier for the 1992 Summer Olympics Basketball Tournament. Kobe was one of the host cities of the 2002 FIFA World Cup,hosting matches at Noevir Stadium Kobe (then known as Wing Stadium Kobe),which was renovated to increase its capacity to 40,000 for the event. Kobe was one of the host cities for the official 2006 Women's Volleyball World Championship.
Kobe also hosted the World Darts Federation World Cup in October 2017. The event was held in the Exhibition Hall in Port Island with over 50 countries competing.
Kobe's sister cities are:
Kobe also cooperates with:
A memorandum of understanding on the possible establishment of sister city relations in the future was concluded in 2019 with Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
Kobe's sister ports are:
The Kansai region or the Kinki region lies in the southern-central region of Japan's main island Honshū. The region includes the prefectures of Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo and Shiga, often also Mie, sometimes Fukui, Tokushima and Tottori. The metropolitan region of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto is the second-most populated in Japan after the Greater Tokyo Area.
An earthquake occurred on January 17, 1995, at 05:46:53 JST in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, including the region known as Hanshin. It measured 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale and had a maximum intensity of 7 on the JMA Seismic Intensity Scale. The tremors lasted for approximately 20 seconds. The focus of the earthquake was located 17 km beneath its epicenter, on the northern end of Awaji Island, 20 km away from the center of the city of Kobe.
Hyōgo Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. Hyōgo Prefecture has a population of 5,469,762 and has a geographic area of 8,400 square kilometres (3,200 sq mi). Hyōgo Prefecture borders Kyoto Prefecture to the east, Osaka Prefecture to the southeast, and Okayama Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture to the west.
Kobe-Sannomiya Station, or simply Sannomiya Station, is a major interchange station located in the Sannomiya area in the heart of Kobe, Japan. This station is the main transport hub of Kobe.
Nishinomiya is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 November 2022, the city had an estimated population of 484,368 in 218,948 households and a population density of 4800 persons per km². The total area of the city is 99.98 square kilometres (38.60 sq mi). Nishinomiya is an important commercial and shipping city in the Kansai region with the third largest population in Hyōgo Prefecture. Nishinomiya is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball championship is held.
Mount Rokkō is the name of a range of mountains in southeastern Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.
Sannomiya (三宮) is a district of Chūō-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo, Japan. Sannomiya serves as the financial, commercial, and the entertainment center of Kobe. The district takes the name from Sannomiya Shrine, a branch of Ikuta Shrine.
Rokkō Island is a man-made island in Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan. It is located in the southeast region of the Port of Kobe. The island has a 3.4 by 2 km rectangular shape, and covers 5.80 km2 (2.24 sq mi). The residential area of the island, featuring apartment buildings—many with views of the sea—and single family homes, is located in the center of the island. A green belt separates the residential area from industrial and port activities. The two international schools located on the island attract many foreign residents to the island.
Chūō is one of 9 wards of Kobe, Japan. It has an area of 28.46 km², and a population of 127,602 with 74,814 households as of January 31, 2012. The ward was formed from the 1980 merger of the former Fukiai-ku (葺合区) and Ikuta-ku (生田区).
Hyogo is one of nine wards of Kobe, Japan. It has an area of 14.56 km2 and a population of 106,322.
Ashiya is a city in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 November 2022, the city had an estimated population of 95,485 in 45562 households and a population density of 5200 persons per km². The total area of the city is 53.44 square kilometres (20.63 sq mi).
Rokkō Station is a railway station in Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, on the Hankyu Railway Kobe Line operated by Hankyu Railway.
Okamoto Station is a passenger railway station located in Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by the private transportation company Hankyu Railway.
The Port of Kobe is a Japanese maritime port in Kobe, Hyōgo in the Keihanshin area, backgrounded by the Hanshin Industrial Region.
Sannomiya Station is a railway station in Nunobiki-chō, Chūō-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, and is operated by the West Japan Railway Company. The station is on the JR Kobe Line which runs between Osaka Station and Himeji Station; part of the Tōkaidō Main Line. As a part of the JR West Urban Network, the following IC cards are accepted: ICOCA, Suica, PiTaPa, TOICA, and SUGOCA.
Mikage Station is a passenger railway station located in Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by the private transportation company Hanshin Electric Railway.
Ishiyagawa Station is a passenger railway station located in Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by the private transportation company Hanshin Electric Railway.
Shinzaike Station is a railway station in Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.
Mikage Station is a passenger railway station located in Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by the private transportation company Hankyu Railway.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Kobe, Japan.