Where Cultures Meet
In the 17th century, Japan enforced a policy of banning trade with foreign countries, which lasted about 250 years. But in 1868, after repeated requests from foreign countries, finally the Port of Kobe was opened for overseas trade. The Kitano district in Kobe is especially popular with tourists. About 150 years ago, a foreign settlement was established and traders and international diplomats began living in the port city. Here, there are about 50 old buildings that were built during that time.
Gods of the World
43,000 foreigners from 131 countries live in Kobe. Various temples and churches stand close to each other. The oldest mosque in Japan built 80 years ago is in Kobe. There is a Jewish synagogue and the only temple in Japan of Jainism, a religion from India. The intermingling of a variety of religions and cultures gives birth to the unique vibrancy of Kobe.
Kobe's Hidden Gem
There is a hidden gem of Kobe known as Motokoh. It is a local shopping street that stretches for about 1 kilometer under a train overpass. The street is only 2 meters wide, and is tightly lined with 200 shops on both sides. From groceries and clothing, to toys and accessories, and even cars at one time, the shopping street has everything. Motokoh is convenient, but has a bit of a shady atmosphere.