06 September, 2010

Hyogo and The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

The view of Kobe Port

City of Kobe is the busiest city in Hyogo prefecture. It only takes about 20 minutes on the Special Rapid train from Osaka, and it’s got everything you need, from shopping and dinning to relaxing. Known as one of the most stylish cities in Japan, if you’re into art and fashion, this is the right place for you. Kobe is also ranked as one of Japan's best cities to live in.

The Old Foreign Settlement

The most popular spot in Kobe is probably the Old Foreign Settlement. This part of town was used as a housing and business district for foreigners that came to Kobe. Nostalgic buildings made from bricks still exist in the area, and you’ll find lots of unique and elegant cafes there.

                                The western gate of Chinatown          Central area of Chinatown

Another popular spot in Kobe is Nankinmachi, or Chinatown! There are so many vendors on the side of the road, it’s always fun to walk around and try different kinds of Chinese food. Visiting this lively part of town will be an experience you won’t forget.

Damages from the earthquake at the memorial park

I think it’s very difficult to imagine the state that this town was in 15 years ago. On January 17, 1995, a large earthquake hit this city. It destroyed buildings, burned down houses, and more than 6,400 lives were lost. Please visit the Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park in Meriken Park, or The Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution when you’re in town. I think it’s important that we always remember this event and the precious lives that were lost.

Here's the news of the earthquake:

This is the link to the Hito-to-Bousai-Mirai Center's English webpage:

Because I know what this town and its people have been through, I can truly appreciate the beauty of Kobe. I really hope everyone that visits this city will take the time to learn about its history. I guarantee that your experience in Kobe will be a lot more memorable.

Shark (Hyogo Tourism Association)