Kobe is an attractive, international port city with a long history of welcoming foreign residents and visitors. There is a large international convention center, ample accommodations and many international flights into nearby Kansai International Airport, with convenient transportation service to Kobe. The city is famous not only for European bakeries and Kobe beef, but also for abundant fresh seafood from the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. Conference attendees can enjoy daytrips to popular sightseeing spots like Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and even Hiroshima. By Shinkansen bullet train, visitors can also reach Tokyo in just over three hours.
CITY PROPORTIONS & FEATURES
Divided in two by the Rokko mountain range, the main part of Kobe lies to the south facing the calm Seto Inland sea. In contrast to the bustling modern city-scape, an older and more tranquil area of Kobe is nestled on the northern side of the range, connected by lifts, railway, and road tunnels. Kobe packs a sophisticated urban environment within its space (a mere 2 kilometers at the narrowest point). One of the artificial islands, Port Island, is home to Kobe’s Convention Center.
Located in Mid-West Japan (called the Kansai region) on Japan’s main Honshu Island. Kobe is a port city and the main city within Hyogo Prefecture. The city is near Japan’s most well known historical treasures in Kyoto, Nara, and Himeji, as well as just 40 km from Osaka, the nation’s second largest metropolis.
ANCIENT HISTORY / DOORWAY TO THE GODS
Kobe was once Japan’s capital city (briefly) and still retains pockets of that ancient history. (The name Kobe translates as “doorway of the gods”). The mountain hotsprings of Arima, within Kobe, are a historical health retreat.
COSMOPOLITAN MODERN HISTORY
Japan was isolated for much of its history but in 1868 Kobe was opened to the West – a rare exception. As such, the city is also characterized by a markedly progressive and modern culture. Home to just over 1.5 Million people, there is a significant international population. Design is another city feature, and Kobe is a member of the UNESCO Creative cities network.