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Meriken Park (メリケンパーク) is a nice waterfront park in Kobe's port area. Built on an outcropping of reclaimed land, the park is covered in grassy lawn and open courtyards dotted with a collection of modern art installations and fountains. It is home to some of the city's more iconic contemporary architecture such as the red Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum.

The park was devastated by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, but has now become a popular spot for locals and tourists again. A small memorial commemorates the many victims who were killed in the port during the earthquake. A short section of damaged waterfront has been left unrepaired as a reminder of the earthquake's tremendous destructive power.

The Kobe Maritime Museum stands at the center of the park in a building topped by a dramatic white steel framework meant to evoke the image of sails. Half of the building is devoted to shipping. The first floor explains how Kobe Port functions and exhibits models of modern ships. The second floor introduces the history of the port and how it has been an important connection between Japan and the outside world. Actual historic boats are on display outdoors around the museum.

The other half of the Maritime Museum building is occupied by the Kawasaki Good Times World, the corporate museum of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, manufacturer of various mechanical components and vehicles including shinkansen trains, jet planes, helicopters and motorcycles. The museum exhibits the history of the company and its many successful products, and visitors can have hands-on experiences with some of the vehicles.

To the west of the Maritime Museum stands the Kobe Port Tower, a unique, red-painted steel structure that has become a symbol of the port and the city. Built in 1963, the tower stands 108 meters tall and has observation decks approximately 100 meters above ground. The tower is currently closed to visitors until around spring 2024 for renovations.

Next to the tower, between Meriken Park and Kobe Harborland, sits the Nakatottei Chuo Terminal from where multiple companies operate sightseeing cruises around Kobe Bay, starting at 1500 yen for a 45 minute cruise.

Getting there and around

Meriken Park is about a ten minute walk south of Motomachi Station or just across the sightseeing cruise terminal from Kobe Harborland.

How to get to and around Kobe

Hours and Fees

Kobe Maritime Museum and Kawasaki Good Times World

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Kobe

Top rated in Kobe
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    • Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland
      Luxury
      Located at the waterfront of Kobe Harborland, Hotel La Suite offers spacious rooms with ocean views and a spa bath. It features concierge service, a French restaurant and massage treatments. Free Wi-Fi/wired internet and free videos on demand are available in the rooms. This hotel was selected as one of Top 25 Hotels in Japan by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2013. Luxurious rooms come with a large flat-screen TV, a DVD player and extra long beds. Bathrooms have a TV and a hot tub, some with sea views. Amenities include a bathrobe, a humidifier with aroma diffuser and Phytomer brand bath salt. Guests at La Suite Kobe can lounge on comfortable sofas on the rooftop terrace. The hotel offers laundry and baby-sitting services. Bicycle and laptop rentals are available, and a free internet-PC is provided at the lobby. Creative French cuisine is presented in a decor of soft carpeting and wide windows at restaurant Le Coeur, while cafe Grand Blue serves a wide range of drinks and light meals. Restaurant Kokoro offers contemporary Japanese cooking inspired on traditional dishes. Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland is a 4-minute walk from Minato-Motomachi Station. It's only a 3-minute walk from Kobe Tower, and a 6-minute stroll from Meriken Park. Kobe Airport is a 15-minute drive away.
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    • ORIENTAL HOTEL
      Luxury
      Overlooking the beautiful Kobe Harbour, Oriental Hotel offers luxurious accommodation in the heart of the historic Kyu-Kyoryuchi area. Guests can work out at the free-use fitness centre, or relax with beauty massages at the on-site salon. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Rooms with chic d?cor are fitted with stylish furnishings, and feature a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle. The en suite bathroom includes a bath tub and free toiletries. Most rooms boast views of either the harbour or the city. The 24-hour front desk at the Hotel Oriental offers luggage storage services for free. In-room massages can be arranged at an extra charge. A range of items like a DVD player, humidifier and iron can be borrowed from the reception. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from both JR Sannomiya and Motomachi stations. Shin-kobe Shinkansen (bullet train) Station is a 5-minute drive away. Kobe City Museum is situated right next to the hotel, and Meriken Park can be reached within a 5-minute walk. Main Dining by the House of Pacific serves sophisticated Western dishes, while Kanesaka offers delicately prepared sushi. Teppanyaki can be enjoyed at Steak House Medium Rare, and The Bar J. W. Hart lets guests savour cocktails with the gorgeous harbour views.
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    • Arima Onsen Tocen Goshobo
      Luxury
      Founded in the 12th century and beloved by Junichiro Tanizaki and other Japanese novelists, Tosen Goshobo is the oldest of the hot-spring inns at Arima. Standing beside the Taki River, it features outdoor hot-spring baths and traditional in-room meals and is a 5-minute walk from Arima Onsen Train Station. The Japanese rooms have traditional futon bedding and a minibar. The 20 rooms at Arima Onsen Tosen Goshobo include tatami (woven-straw) floors and shoji paper screens. Guests can relax at the seating area and enjoy the zen atmosphere with a cup of green tea. Bathing facilities are shared. Right next to the Hankyu Highway Bus station, the ryokan is a 3-minute walk from the Arima Toys and Automata Museum. Zuihoji Park is 900 metres away. Shin-Kobe Shinkansen Station is a 45-minute train ride. After going hiking, guests can recover with a massage. A library-salon and tea-ceremony-style open-air bath are on site. Bar Poco D'Ouro boasts excellent Japanese sake and an international selection of wines. Breakfast is Japanese-style, and dinner features specialties such as Kobe beef, fresh fish from Akashi-Ura port, and black-bean tofu.
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    • Arima Onsen Taketoritei Maruyama
      Luxury
      Taketoritei Maruyama is a non-smoking Japanese-style accommodation featuring natural hot spring baths for private use and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. From its hilltop location a 15-minute walk from Kobe Electric Railway Arima Onsen Station, it offers sweeping views of Arima Onsen. Guests at Maruyama Taketoritei can privately unwind in a hot spring bath, or relax with a massage treatment. Facilities include drinks vending machines, while a free shuttle service is available to/from Kobe Electric Railway Arima Onsen Station and Arima Onsen Bus Stop. Air-conditioned rooms feature a seating area with a tatami (woven-straw) floor and a low table with seating cushions. Some rooms offer beds, while others have traditional futon bedding. All rooms are equipped with an LCD TV, yukata robes and a fridge. The property is a 10-minute walk from the Arima Onsen area. Osaka’s Umeda station is a 55-minute bus ride away.
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    • Kobe Guesthouse MAYA
      Budget-friendly
      Offering air-conditioned rooms in the Nada Ward district of Kobe, Kobe Guesthouse MAYA is 3.6 km from Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is non-smoking and is set 9.3 km from Noevir Stadium Kobe. The units feature a shared bathroom, a hairdryer and bed linen. The area is popular for hiking, and bike hire is available at the hostel. Mount Maya is 16 km from Kobe Guesthouse MAYA, while Onsen-ji Temple is 16 km away. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 10 km from the accommodation.
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    • Tabiyu Abrigo
      Mid-range
      Tabiyu Abrigo is located in the Arima Onsen district of Kobe, a few steps from Arima Toys and Automata Museum, 100 metres from Onsen-ji Temple and 200 metres from Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Featuring mountain and city views, this aparthotel also offers free WiFi. This 3-star aparthotel offers private entrance. All units in the aparthotel are fitted with a kettle. Complete with a private bathroom equipped with a bidet and slippers, the units at the aparthotel have a TV and air conditioning, and selected rooms come with a balcony. At the aparthotel, every unit includes bed linen and towels. The aparthotel is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Guests at the aparthotel will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kobe, like hiking. Popular points of interest near Tabiyu Abrigo include Gokurakuji Temple, Zempuku-ji Temple and Tosen Shrine. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 23 km from the accommodation.
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    • Arima Grand Hotel
      Luxury
      Boasting an open-air hot springs bath and spacious garden, Arima Grand Hotel is located a 10-minute walk away from Arima Onsen Station. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Free private parking is also available on site. The entire property is non-smoking, while guests can smoke in the designated smoking area. All air-conditioned rooms come with a flat-screen TV, hairdryer and a mountain view. For guests' comfort, slippers and free toiletries are provided. Some rooms include a private bathroom. A seasonal outdoor pool, various spa and wellness facilities are available at a surcharge. Guests can enjoy the public hot springs bath free of charge. There is also a hot springs bath that is available for private use upon prior reservation at an additional fee. Arima Grand Hotel is situated a 40-minute car ride away from Kobe city and a 25-minute car ride away from Rokko Mountain Snow Park. This accommodation can be reached from Kobe Airport by a 30-minute drive. Mt. Maya is a 35-minute car ride away.
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    • Hotel Hanakoyado
      Mid-range
      Offering stylish rooms with shoji paper screens and Western beds, Hotel Hanakoyado is only a 6-minute walk from Arima Onsen Train Station. It features hot-spring baths and a massage service. The air-conditioned rooms at Hanakoyado Hotel include a fridge and tea maker. Each has an attached toilet, and bathing facilities are shared. Arima Toys and Automata Museum is just 100 metres from the ryokan. JR Sannomiya Train Station is a 35-minute train ride away. Reservable baths for private use are available 24/7. Guests can take a break from the baths to go fishing or hike along one of the area’s trails. Meals are served at Shunju Dining Room and feature grilled fish and meats.
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    • Daiwa Roynet Hotel KOBE-SANNOMIYA PREMIER
      Luxury
      Featuring 4-star accommodation, Daiwa Roynet Hotel KOBE-SANNOMIYA PREMIER is set in Kobe, 5 km from Noevir Stadium Kobe and 19 km from Emba Museum of Chinese Modern Art. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a shared lounge and a 24-hour front desk, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is 1.5 km from Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction, and within 200 metres of the city centre. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a wardrobe, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Daiwa Roynet Hotel KOBE-SANNOMIYA PREMIER every room has bed linen and towels. Mount Rokko is 21 km from the accommodation, while Mount Maya is 21 km away. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 10 km from Daiwa Roynet Hotel KOBE-SANNOMIYA PREMIER.
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    • ゲストハウス神戸やまとむすび
      Budget-friendly
      Guesthouse Kobe Yamatomusubi is located within a 3-minute walk from JR Shin-Kobe Station. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. There are 2 different bus stops within a minutes' walk from the property, each with buses departing to Sannomiya, Motomachi and Maya Cable Station. All rooms have air conditioning. Bathroom and toilet facilities are shared. There is a shared lounge area at the property. There are several convenience stores and a small-scale supermarket within a 2-minute walk from the property. Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum is just a 2-minute walk from the property. Nunobiki Herb Garden Ropeway, Bottom Station is a 10-minute walk from Guesthouse Kobe Yamatomusubi, while Nunobiki Falls and Kitano Ijinkan-Gai are a 15-minute walk away.
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Experiences around Kobe

Top rated in Kobe