Kobe

Kobe was named UNESCO City of Design in October 2008. Kobe the capital of Hyogo Prefecture one of Japan’s ten largest cities. Kobe is blessed with great natural beauty being located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range. Kobe has been an important port city for many centuries. Its port was among the first to be opened to foreign trade in 1868 and an Old Foreign Settlement remains. Kobe’s port is connected with more than 130 countries and it continues to be an international city with 45,000 residents from 110 countries. It has convenient access by land, sea and air, and a high level of public security. Kobe is in the Kansai area, which includes Osaka and Kyoto with a population of 24 million. Around the city there are many signs and information in English, Chinese and Korean. There are more than 140 medical facilities, many providing service in other languages. Kobe reflects the world’s religions with places of religious observance for Christians, Muslims, Jews, Jains Buddhists and Shintoists. Kobe boasts the longest suspension bridge in the world and the oldest hot spring resort in Japan, with more than 1000 years of history. In 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed over 6400 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Today the city is completely rebuilt and has become even more creative and vibrant.