Kobe Harborland

Kobe is the sixth largest city of Japan. It lies on the north shore of Osaka bay and is the 4th busiest container port. Taking advantage of Kobe’s proximity to a water body, an ancient Kobe freight yard has been converted into a modern shopping center and entertainment district called the Kobe Harborland. It has numerous dining options, shopping malls, hotels, children’s museums and more. If you are visiting Kobe, then the Harborland is one of the must see places. It is interesting to see the Harborland area during the day and then at night, with all the colorful lights.

Some things that you must see when at the Harborland are:

– The iconic MOSAIC Ferris Wheel (an icon of Kobe city)

– The Kobe Meriken Oriental Park Hotel (a unique shaped hotel)

– The old Kobe Harbor signal tower (steeped in history, 46m high)

– Takahama Quay (there are rows of Meiji-era brickhouses along this quay now converted into retail/dining spaces)

– Maritime Museum (great to see at night with the green lights)

-The red coloured Ohashi Bridge

– Elvis Presley Statue

– Harbor Walk

– Beautiful Cruise Boats

– Kobe Port Tower (another icon in the Kobe skyline)


       (walking from JR Kobe station to Harborland)


      (walking towards Harborland as the Ferris Wheel becomes visible)


                         (Kobe Harborland waterfront)


                  (Kobe Ohashi Bridge – red, in the background)


                             (The old harbor signal tower – 46 m high)


      (the beautiful Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel – resembling a luxury boat)


                           (The iconic MOSAIC ferris wheel)


                   (business district in the surrounding area)


                     (standing on the famous Takahama Quay)


           (beautiful cruise boats offering 45 minute rides on the Osaka bay)

A short walk north from Harborland is Chinatown, an area bustling with street food, restaurants and other shops. It is a great place to grab some lunch and see all the interesting things that are cooking all around.


           (Chinatown – A great place to get some lunch)

Also near Harborland, slightly to the northwest is the Minatogawa shrine. It is normally a peaceful place, but new year celebrations meant that there was a festive atmosphere with drums beating, street food smell filing the air and lots of families on an outing to seek blessings of their Shinto gods.


(Minatogawa shrine – new years celebration meant that school kids were playing the drums in the balcony of this shrine building)


                      (a women selling various types of fruit candies)


  (inside the Kobe JR station – a food alley is aptly named ‘Noodle Road’)


                       (Ferris Wheel changing colours at night)


                       (Ferris Wheel changing colours at night)


                       (Ferris Wheel changing colours at night)


                       (Ferris Wheel changing colours at night)


                       (Ferris Wheel changing colours at night)


               (trees in the harborland area beautifully lit up)


           (Kobe Meriken Park Hotel lit up beautifully at night)


    (Kobe Port Tower and the Maritime Museum in green)


                 (The Concerto dinner cruise boat lit up)

Japan never ceases to amaze you with some unconventional mixtures of fun and technology. Video games are also not an exception to that. The Kobe Harborland area has a video game center with some of the most interesting machines/prizes that you will come across anywhere in the world.


                (Video game prizes in Japan also include food!)


                                    (A tetris-like game)


(Horse racing – yes those machines do run like real horses!)


                                  (Win a video handy cam)


(If you haven’t brushed your teeth, then you can play and win a toothbrush, or even a thermometer)

Do you have any interesting Kobe Harborland facts to share??


Items: Kobe Harborland (official website) (area map)

Price: Price to visit Harborland is free, food/shopping/museums vary in price

Location: 2-1 Dongchuan, Kawasaki-cho 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Kobe city, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan 650-0044 

Timings: Shopping and Dining: 10 am to 9 pm, others vary (see complete list here)

Telephone: (+81 078-360-3639 for main office) different numbers for various attractions, see list here.

Type: Tourist/Entertainment/Food

How to get there: Take JR line to JR Kobe station (Habrorland Station if coming by subway). Shin-Kobe station is a little bit far and so do not take that station. Once at the station, walk 5 mins east.

Language: Mainly Japanese.

Also visit: Osaka, Kyoto


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