Kobe Port Tower and Meriken Park 神戸ポートタワー・メリケンパーク


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A symbol of Kobe, Kobe Port Tower was built in 1963 on the fringe of the waterfront Meriken Park. The tower is 108 meters high, designed like the tsuzumi taiko shoulder drum. Meriken Park is Kobe's waterfront park that includes Kobe Maritime Museum, South American emigration monument, outdoor sculptures, and the preserved dock that was damaged by the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995.

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Kitano Ijinkan 北野町山本通・異人館


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Near Sannomiya Station, Kitano is a district dotted with numerous Western-style homes built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when foreigners were allowed to reside in Kobe. Many homes are open to tourists.

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Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction 神戸市立海外移住と文化の交流センター


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Large, multi-purpose facility that includes exhibition rooms showing Kobe's history of Japanese immigration, especially to South America. Art studios, art gallery spaces, and meeting rooms are also provided for cultural exchange. It is also a consultation center for South American residents of Kobe. Operated by the city of Kobe, the facility opened on June 3, 2009 in the building that was formerly the Kobe Immigration Center (神戸移住センター) where Japanese immigrants stayed before traveling mainly to South America (especially Brazil) by boat.
The center was used from 1928 to 1971 and it is Japan's only surviving building used for sending Japanese immigrants. A few of the old rooms used by the immigrants have been restored. Otherwise, there are numerous rooms for rent, including an event hall, meeting rooms, and gallery spaces.
15-min. walk from JR Motomachi Station (East Exit) on the JR Tokaido/Kobe Line. Walk straight along Koikawa-suji road (鯉川筋). Or 10-min. walk from Kencho-mae Station on the subway line. From JR Shin-Kobe Station (shinkansen), 10-min. taxi ride. Hours: 10:00 am -5:00 pm (enter by 4:30 pm), closed Mon.

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Great Hanshin (Kobe) Earthquake 阪神大震災


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On Jan. 17, 1995, the Kobe area was devastated by a huge earthquake, killing over 6,000 people. I visited Kobe 10 days after the quake hit. I show these photos on the 15th anniversary of the killer quake.

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