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Kobe Harborland and Meriken Park at night

26 November2016

We went to the Kobe Harborland and Meriken Park on our second evening in Kobe. These places were best visited at night as you could see from the photos.

Kobe Harborland is a shopping and entertainment district between JR Kobe Station and the waterfront of Kobe's port area. There were a few ways to get to Harborland – walk, subway or train. We took the JR train from Sannomiya Station (See Note below) to the JR Kobe station as it was cheaper than taking the subway.

Coming out the JR Kobe Station, we walked along the road lined with keyaki (zelkova) trees that were lit up with some 80,000 white bulbs. The light up occurs in December every year.

Kobe Harborland

December light up along the road lined with keyaki (zelkova) trees. 

Kobe Harborland

Kobe Gaslight Street - One of the lampposts with gas lanterns. The lights come in many shapes: Some look like sailors' caps; others resemble flower petals.


This 350 meter long street is also known as the Kobe Gaslight Street and it led us towards umie. The large ferries wheel marked the destination, so it was easy to find our way.

Kobe Harborland

 The Elvis Presley statue along Kobe Gaslight Street near Harborland.

This Elvis Presley statue was originally erected in Harajuku, Tokyo in 1987, ten years after his death. In August 2009, the statue was moved to Harborland which turned into new "sacred spot" for Elvis’s fans. 

Kobe Harborland

The most prominent shopping complex in Kobe Harborland is Umie which consists of three parts: Mosaic, South Mall and North Mall.  The South Mall and North Mall are enclosed shopping malls featuring a department store and more various smaller shops. We went to explore the Mosaic instead.

Entering into the Mosaic Mall.

Mosaic stretches along the waterfront and offers a wide selection of restaurants. Many of the eateries overlook the harbour with views of iconic red colour Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum across the water.

Kobe Harborland

Kobe Harborland

  Takahama Quay with a cruise ship docked and embarking diners for a dinner cruise. 

  Iconic red colour Kobe Port Tower and the green colour Kobe Maritime Museum across the water as seen from the Mosaic waterfront mall.


Kobe Harborland

Waterfront at the Mosaic Mall.

It started to drizzle shortly after the above photo was taken. So outdoor dining was not feasible. Else that would have been very nice and romantic. We chose to eat at an Italian restaurant called the Frantz, located on the second floor and overlooking the quay.

Kobe Harborland

Kobe Harborland

It was a nice change to have Italian pasta for dinner instead of Japanese cuisine.

At the southern end of Mosaic stand a Ferris wheel and the Anpanman Museum, a museum dedicated to the popular manga and anime series about the bread-headed superhero.

Ultraman! This was the superhero that we grew up with.

After dinner, it was still drizzling, so we explored the Mosaic Mall. 

Fortunately, the drizzle stopped and we made our way to the Meriken Park where the red Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum were located. Kobe Port Tower is a unique, red-painted steel structure that has become a symbol of the port and the city. Built in 1963, the tower is 108 meters tall. Visitors may take an elevator up to its five top floors where two of the floors house a restaurant and a rotating cafe, while the other three house observation decks that provide 360-degree views of the city from approximately 100 meters above ground.

  Kobe Port Tower.

For us, a view of the beautifully lit tower from below was sufficient. 

Looking across the harbour, the night views of Harborland with its Ferris wheel was stunning. The lights of the Ferris wheel kept changing every few minutes. We spent many minutes on a park bench to watch the display.

Views of Harborland with its Ferris wheel  from Meriken Park.

Collage of photos from Meriken Park and Harborland waterfront.

Where we stayed in Kobe: Sannomiya Terminal Hotel,  conveniently located at the Sannomiya Station, the transportation hub in Kobe.

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