"Perched on a hillside sloping down to the sea, Kōbe (神戸) is one of Japan's most attractive and cosmopolitan cities. It was a maritime gateway from the earliest days of trade with China and home to one of the first foreign communities after Japan reopened to the world in the mid-19th century. Kōbe's relatively small size makes it a pleasure for casual wandering and stopping in its high-quality restaurants and cafes. The most pleasant neighbourhoods to explore are Kitano-chõ, Nankinmachi Chinatown and, after dark, the bustling nightlife districts around Sannomiya Station."
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Kobe is a modern urban center set amidst a lush natural environment, located right in the heart of Japan. Facing the Seto Inland Sea and backed by the Rokko Mountains, the city developed into one of the world’s largest international ports. Today, it is a stunning mix of the latest modern architecture and old Western-style buildings that were once the residences of foreign merchants. The city has taken on a new international role with the establishment here of the WHO Center for Health Development, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Asian Disaster Reduction Center.
Extending approximately 36km from east to west and 30km from north to south, Kobe City has a total area of 55km2 and a population of about 1,530,000. The city is largely divided in two by the Rokko mountain range. The main urban area to the south of the mountains consists of a relatively narrow strip of piedmont terrace running from east to west and sloping down to a low-lying coastal plain with areas of reclaimed coastal land and artificial offshore islands such as Port Island and Rokko Island.
Kobe has developed as a trading port since ancient times. As early as the Nara period in the eighth century, the port, originally named Owada no Tomari, was already prospering as a gateway for trade with foreign countries beginning with China.
With the end of the more than two centuries of national isolation imposed during the Edo period, Kobe again opened up to the world. It has since flourished and grown as one of Japan's most important international trading ports. The vibrant culture and spirit of the city, which has been created by many visitors from around the world and through direct contacts with all kinds of foreign cultures, is very much alive in the streets of Kobe and in the minds of its citizens.
Thanks to its abundant natural surroundings, Kobe has a famous local cuisine that includes Kobe beef, seafood from the Seto Inland Sea and sake from the Nada region. Kobe’s Chinatown is filled with excellent restaurants, stalls and dim sum establishments, and the city’s history of international trade has left it with authentic restaurants from lands as diverse as Russia, India and Mexico. A vast variety of historical tourist spots such as the 1,400-year old Arima onsen hot springs, temples, shrines and museums makes it easy to plan themed parties and excursions. Passengers can enjoy dining while taking in the beautiful sunset and million-dollar night view.
Although the Japanese past is rich in events and interesting history, today’s Japan is just as fascinating with cutting edge technology and wonderful architecture, whilst still maintaining the country’s traditions.
Whether you want to experience food like you’ve never tasted (or seen!) or you want to go shopping in some of the world’s best shopping areas, Japan is the place to visit! Japan is famous for its temples and shrines - you could spend weeks in cities such as Kyoto or Nara feasting your eyes on architectural marvels and historic monuments.
If culture is more to your taste, you can’t get much better than Japan’s colorful and rich heritage including wonderful kabuki (Japanese performing arts) and traditional geisha. At Japan National Tourism Organization, you will find all the information you need to plan your perfect holiday to Japan.
Important Conferences in Kobe for 2017
A city on the shore of the Seto Inland Sea, Kobe's climate is characterized by comparatively mild winters and cool summers, not unlike a typical Mediterranean climate, with an average year-round temperature of 17.1℃. Check back a few days before the Meeting though for weather forecast updates.
The voltage in Japan is 100 Volt, which is different from North America (120V), Central Europe (230V) and most other regions of the world. Japanese electrical plugs have two, non-polarized pins. They fit into North American outlets.
Entering and remaining in Japan is allowed for tourism purposes for up to 90 days from the date of entry. Countries that do not require a visa to enter Japan are: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.
Health information for travelers to Japan