Meriken Park

Description: 

It is said that all the aroma and beauty of the port city Kobe can be fully enjoyed only in and from Meriken Park. Located at Kobe Port on the foot of Rokko Mountain and overlooking the wide space of sea water, Meriken is a beautiful seaside public park, stretcching a long distance from Meriken Wharf to Naka Pier. Meriken park was constructed in about 1986 on an outcropping of reclaimed land, following the opening of Kobe port for foreign traders in 1868. Initially, the Tower of Kobe port was built on a pier staying about 300 meters west away from the Meriken Wharf. After that, the sea area between Meriken Wharf and the pier consisting of the Kobe Port Tower was filled with land and turned into Meriken Park as today. At that time, the US Consulate General was located right next the Wharf then they used the word American, which was sounded like Meriken to name the park.

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As a piece of Kobe city, Meriken Park also keeps a piece of the Great Hanshin Earthquake 1995 memory with a small memorial park dedicated to those who lost their lives during the earthquake. Meriken Park is an open space of grassy lawns and courtyards, dotted by fountains and some of the city’s iconic pieces of contemporary architecture, an easy-to-see result of the cultural import from other countries right on the modern port. Modern art installations can be mentioned including two typical and even symbolic constructions of the city, the Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum.

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Rising up to the height of about 108 meters from the ground, the impressive architecture of a huge red drum easily helps Kobe Port Tower become the symbol of Kobe city. Featuring 5 observatory floors and 3 specialty floors, Kobe Port Tower is a perfect and unique combination of shopping, cuisine and entertainment. Next to the tower, Kobe Maritime Museum also owns a special figure of a white fishing net. It is one of the most important and meaningful construction with the port city, showing the brilliance of technology and the importance of craftman ship. Actual watercraft exhibited outside at the outdoor exhibition area are something you can only see in Meriken Park.

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Another attraction in Meriken Park is Meriken Theater monument. The monument was built in 1987 in memory of the very first performance of a foreign movie in Japan as well as the arrival of Charlie Chaplin at the park. 42 Japanese and foreign film stars were selected to be enrolled on 42 black granite stones arranged in front of the monument. There is a bronze statue called Setting Sail for Hope on the southern end of Meriken Park describing a family with 3 members of a father, a mother and their child, honoring the emigrants to Brazil in large numbers from the Port of Kobe.

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Meriken Park is often chosen as a romantic spot for couples to enjoy sunrise as well as sunset with the most splendid and dazzling light of the sun falling down to the vast area of water. To make a perfect city of light, Meriken Park itself turns into a masterpiece of illumination at night and overlooking an other brilliant pearl of Harborland on the opposite side.

Open time: 
Kobe Port Tower:
-From March to November: from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm (Last admission at 8:30 pm) 
-From December to February: from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Last admission at 6:30 pm)
Maritime museum:
-From 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Last admittance at 4:30 pm)
-Closing day: Mondays or the following day if Monday is a holiday, New Year’s Holiday (from December 29th to January 3rd)
Admission: 
Kobe Port Tower:
For adult:
-Adult: 700 yen
-Children: 300 yen
 
Kobe Maritime Museum:
-Adult: 600 yen
-Children: 250 yen
 
Multi-use ticket for visiting both the Museum and Kobe Port Tower
-Adult: 1000 yen
-Children: 400 yen
 
How to access: 
From Shin-Kobe Station: take the Kobe Municipal Subway Seishin-Yamate Line to Sannomiya Station then change to JR/Hanshin line to Motomachi Station and take a 15-minute walk from the station.
From Hanakuma Station: take a 15-minute walk  on Hankyu line
From Kenchomae Station: take a a 20-minute walk on Kobe Municipal Subway Seishin-Yamate Line.