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About Kobe City Museum

The museum opened in 1982 after renovating what used to be the Kobe branch office of Yokohama Specie Bank, which was built in 1935. Characterized by its classical architecture and granite exterior, the building was designated as an important cultural property (structure) in1998.
Kobe City Museum holds various special exhibitions and events. Besides, it has permanent exhibitions and facilities as follows.

History of Kobe1st Floor / Free

From a long time ago, Kobe was a pivotal point of diverse interactions. What kind of history does the city reveal? This exhibition demonstrates the cultural exchange that took place via the ocean and the port as well as its influence on history. The exhibition is divided by date into the following four sections: "Corridor in the Ocean: Interaction with East Asia", "From Owada no Tomari to Hyogo no Tsu", "Prosperity of Hyogo no Tsu", and "Opening the Port to the World".

Cultural Property of Kobe

This exhibition presents items that are crucial to the history of Kobe. Immerse yourself in the depth and diverse charms of the cultural properties of Kobe. Themes will be updated regularly.

  • Cultural Property of Kobe
  • Cultural Property of Kobe

Collection Room2nd Floor

Our collection boasts approximately 70,000 items, including 21 items from one national treasure and 76 items from seven important cultural properties. In our collection room, the items are organized and displayed by themes.

Sakuragaoka Bronze Bells and Bronze Halberds

  • Visitors will be able to see the 14 bronze bells and seven halberds that were discovered in the mountains in Nada Ward in 1964 up-close.

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St. Francis Xavier

  • This section exhibits the portrait of the saint that introduced Christianity to Japan for the first time and the history of Christianity in Japan.

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Fine Arts

This section exhibits the cultural encounter and transition between Japan and overseas through Namban artworks, Obaku paintings, Nampin-style Kacho (bird and flower) paintings, as well as western-influenced paintings. Themes will be updated regularly.

Old Maps

  • This section presents a variety of old maps from our collection, which is one of the finest in Japan in quality and quantity. Themes will be updated regularly.

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Biidoro, Giyaman, Glass

  • This section presents glass artworks that were crafted in the early and late modern period primarily from our "Biidoro Shiryoko Collection (Historical Biidoro Collection)". Themes will be updated regularly.

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Archaeology and History

This section navigates visitors through the history of Kobe from the primitive and ancient times to the late modern period with a wide variety of materials. Themes will be updated regularly.

The items in each section will be on display for a limited period of time depending on the theme and the condition of preservation. Please contact the museum if you have questions about the actual items on display or the duration of exhibitions.

Floor Plan


Hands-on StudioFree of Charge

Visitors will be able to experience and learn the history of Kobe while having fun. A wide range of history-related books for children are available on the shelves, and there is a large chronological table on the wall, which traces the history of Kobe. Visitors can place the images of the items from the collection onto the chronological table using magnets. In addition, replicated bronze bells, a model of the ancient pit dwelling (Tateana Jukyo), and a set of large puzzles are available.

Books and DatabaseFree of Charge

  • "Collection Search" allows the users to search items through the collection of Kobe City Museum while "Cityscapes of Kobe" stores data regarding visual materials that portray Kobe in the early and late modern period. Moreover, "Map of Kobe History" guides through the historical sites and relevant facilities in the Kobe municipal area, and lastly, "Video Library" introduces the background history of the collection and the city of Kobe.

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Shop and Café

  • The new café accentuates the functional beauty of Art Deco and invites visitors into a comfortable space filled with the ambience of 1935—the year when the original architecture was built. There is also a special room that has incorporated materials from the Thomsen House, one of the western-style residences of the Meiji era known as Ijinkan. In the museum shop, a wide range of items, including exhibition catalogs, research articles, and special souvenirs inspired by the collection, are available.

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Public Transportation

    • ・10-minute drive south from Sanyo-Shinkansen Shin-Kobe Station
    • ・18-minute train ride from Kobe Airport to Sannomiya Station by Port Liner
    • ・10-minute walk southwest from JR Line Sannomiya Station, Hankyu Railway Kobe-Sannomiya Station, Port Liner and  Seishin-Yamate Line Sannomiya Station, and Hanshin Railway Kobe-Sannomiya Station
    • ・10-minute walk southeast from JR Line and Hanshin Railway Motomachi Station
    • ・5-minute walk southeast from Kaigan Line Kyukyoryuchi-Daimarumae Station
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Further Information

Museum Hours: 9:00 - 17:30 *Admission until 17:00 for exhibition room on the 2nd and 3rd floors
The Museum stays open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.
*Admission until 19:30 for exhibition room on the 2nd and 3rd floors

Closed: Mondays *Museum hours and closures are subject to change.
If you have questions regarding our special exhibitions, museum hours and closures, or admission fees, please visit our official website listed below or contact the museum directly.

24 Kyomachi, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0034, Japan
Telephone: 078-391-0035
FAX: 078-392-7054