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Kobe City Museum


A museum located in the former foreign settlement in a port town, Kobe, with the theme of “International cultural exchange"

Kobe City Museum was opened as a museum of humanities in the Former Kobe Foreign Settlement in 1982.
The building for the Kobe branch of the Yokohama Specie Bank which was completed in 1935 was renovated for the museum. The building was designed by Kotaro Sakurai, the first Japanese who bore the title of British chartered architect. The building features the massive appearance of the neoclassical architecture. Now, it is designated as a national tangible cultural property.
The basic theme of the museum is "International cultural exchange, culture contact and acculturation of Eastern and Western culture." The permanent exhibition shows the aspects of cultural exchange between Japan and foreign countries from ancient times through modern times focusing in Kobe under 6 major themes. Kobe, a port town, flourished as a place of cultural exchange with Europe and the United States since its opening of the port in the mid-19th century. As the Former Foreign Settlement where the museum is located in is the center place of Kobe, the museum also put emphasis on an exhibit of Kobe after the opening of the port. Visitors can see how Western culture which had come in all at once was integrated into Japanese traditional culture from various perspectives, from industry to fashion.
Some of the main collections are: “Bronze Bells and Halberds from Sakuragaoka" (national treasure) which were unearthed in 1964, “Portrait of St. Francis Xavier" (important cultural property) which appears in Japanese textbooks and “Small Map of Western Japan by Ino." The museum houses about 40,000 items such as archeological and historical materials; Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch arts and old maps. (Exhibit of historical materials, arts and old maps are limited from the perspective of preserving the materials. Please contact the museum about the specific schedule for the exhibition.)

In the permanent exhibition rooms, there are theme descriptions in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese. How about letting your mind drift back to the history of Kobe in the area which still carries the atmosphere of the Foreign Settlement period?


Address: 24, Kyo-machi, Chuo-ku, Kobe-city, Hyogo
Phone: 078-391-0035
Hours open to visitors: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(Open until 7:00 p.m. on Fridays)
Admission Fee: 200 yen

From Tokyo:[Rail]About 3 hours by JR Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shin-Kobe Station, about 10-min by car from Shin-Kobe Station
About 2-min by Subway from Shin-Kobe Station to Sannomiya Station, about 10-min walk from Sannomiya Station or Motomachi Station

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