Place Names

Kobe, Japan

Kobe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kobe
神戸市
Designated city
Kobe City
From top left: Port of Kobe, Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, Kitano-chō, Kobe Chinatown, night view from Kikuseidai of Mt. Maya, Kobe Port Tower
From top left: Port of Kobe, Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, Kitano-chō, Kobe Chinatown, night view from Kikuseidai of Mt. Maya, Kobe Port Tower
Flag of Kobe
Flag
Official logo of Kobe
Logo
Location of Kobe in Hyōgo Prefecture
Location of Kobe in Hyōgo Prefecture
Kobe is located in Japan KobeKobe 
Coordinates:
34°41′24″N 135°11′44″E / 34.69000°N 135.19556°E / 34.69000; 135.19556Coordinates:
34°41′24″N 135°11′44″E / 34.69000°N 135.19556°E / 34.69000; 135.19556
Country Japan
Region Kansai
Prefecture Hyōgo Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Kizō Hisamoto
Area
 • Total 552.23 km (213.22 sq mi)
Population (May 1, 2015)
 • Total 1,536,499 (5th)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City symbols  
• Tree Camellia sasanqua
• Flower Hydrangea
Phone number 078-331-8181
Address 6-5-1 Kano-chō, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken
650-8570
Website City of Kobe

Kobe (神戸市, Kōbe-shi, Japanese: [koːꜜbe]) is the sixth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay and about 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.

The earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD 201. For most of its history, the area was never a single political entity, even during the Tokugawa period, when the port was controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889. Its name comes from "kanbe" (神戸), an archaic title for supporters of the city's Ikuta Shrine. Kobe became one of Japan's 17 designated cities in 1956.

Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the 1853 end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan port city. While the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake diminished much of Kobe's prominence as a port city, it remains Japan's fourth busiest container port. Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Kobe Steel, as well as over 100 international corporations with Asian or Japanese headquarters in the city such as Eli Lilly and Company, Procter & Gamble, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Nestlé. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef, as well as the site of one of Japan's most famous hot spring resorts, Arima Onsen.