Kobe City Museum


Kobe City Museum is the unify of Municipal Archaeological Art Museum and Municipal Namban Art Museum together on the theme of International Culture Exchange - Contact between Eastern and Western Cultures and Their Changes by the Interaction as the perfect conclusion of human culture in such the international port area of Kobe. Kobe City Museum was opened in 1982 with the architecture designed over the former Kobe branch of Tokyo Bank Yokohama. Influenced by the Western architecture, the building is some kind of a sound palace with giant columns standing imposingly in front. This structure of six Doric styled columns makes the construction like a Greek shrine in some moment, considered as one of the most excellent  in Showa period. One more noticeable characteristic is that, the imposing establishment lies just in a crossroads then when you walk through the area, you will be surprised by this impressive appearance, just like an dazzling illusion you get cause you are being so tired of walking and walking.


The concept of of International Culture Exchange and Contact between Eastern and Western Cultures are displayed fully in Permanent Exhibitions which you can enjoy inside Namban Art Museum, Educational Room and Library. The exhibitions turn around the focus of Kobe city in the relationships of cultural exchange with other countries, arranged into 6 themes inside different Exhibition rooms on the first and the second floor. The space of East Asia Room is specialized by ancient tools used from the beginning of mankind as well as the beginning of rice planting culture. The Room also display the same tradition of building tombs or religious sites, especially the way of importing Buddhism into Japan from Asian Continent. You will see how the Asia culture was ferried across the ocean inside sake jars in models of ancient ships, see how Japanese used foreign techniques to make simple items like match to furniture and buildings.


Museum collection will be shown sometimes on special occasions. It is a huge collection of about 40000 items of archaeological artifacts, art and Namban styled works. Bronze bells and halberds were unearthed at Sakuragaoka to be brought to the Museum, exhibited along with color woodcut prints and Western works. There is also a large collection of historical documents, old maps and geographical materials. The diversified art reflects beautifully through paintings of the great Commander Nobunaga Oda or the Christian missionary Saint Francis Xavier, paintings of how Christianity put its very first step into Japan or what happened with a ship arriving at Kobe port. You can learn more about Kokan Shiba, the typical Western styled painter with various works born in the late Edo period. Actually, he was the father of Japanese copper etching. The most remarkable of Museum Collection seems to be the Map of the world Byobu as a scientific product but in an artistic figure.

Open time: 
From 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)
Closing day: Mondays, National holidays, New Year holidays
Adult: 200 yen
Student: 150 yen
Children: 100 yen
Museum Card: for exhibitions throughout a year
Adult: 2000 yen
Student: 1500 yen
Children: 1000 yen
How to access: 
From Tokyo Station: take JR Shinkansen for about 3 hours to Shin-Kobe Station then take a 2 minute by Subway from Shin-Kobe Station to Sannomiya Station and take a 10 minute walk from Sannomiya Station.
From Kyukyoryuchi-Daimaru-mae Station: take a 5 minute walk on Municipal Subway.
Or take a 10 minute walk from Motomachi Station on Subway Lines.