After Kyoto we headed South-West to Kobe – the 6th largest city in Japan with a population of 1.5 million and famous for it’s Arima Onsen (hot springs) and Kobe Beef!

Kobe is a port town sandwiched between the sea and the Rokko Mountain Range and is thought of as one of Japan’s most attractive cities.

After the chaos and crowds of Osaka and Kyoto it was nice to get back to a smaller city and although the population is substantial at 1.5 million Kobe has a small town feel.

Kobe is a thriving city with an active port and the juxtaposition of the industrial and the natural makes Kobe a beautiful place to spend a few days! In one direction the mountains rise high into the clouds and in other the cranes of the port are silhouetted against the backdrop of the sea!

Kobe is a city with filled with quirky architecture, art, sculptures and memorials and reminders of the tragedy of the 1995 earthquake.

Japan is located near several continental and oceanic plates and is therefore an extremely geologically active country with volcanoes, hot springs and frequent earthquakes!

The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake hit Kobe Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST, killing 6,000 and injuring 415,000 people. Over 100,000 homes were completely destroyed and 185,000 were severely damaged.

Kobe has since been rebuilt and has sensitively commissioned art, sculptures and public spaces in honour of those who lost their lives and it’s a stark reminder of the power of nature!

Continued in Part 2…

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