Kobe Chinatown – Hyogo | Travel Information

Kobe Chinatown, is a historic region of the city of Kobe. Given it’s close proximity to the Kobe Port, Kobe Chinatown was settled in 1868 by a band of Chinese merchants shortly after the port was open to international trade. The area is also referred to as Nankinmachi in Japanese. 

The area is decorated with vibrant red lanterns and banners that legitimately make you feel as you have entered 17th century China. Kobe chinatown is the front for the Chinese community in the Kansai region.


Kobe Chinatown is most famous for the souvenirs and assorted chinese foods for sale at the shops which line the streets. The central plaza of Kobe Chinatown has large stone statues of the Chinese Zodiac signs for you to view and take pictures with. The plaza is located in the center where the two main roads of Chinatown intersect and meet with each other. A pavilion sits in the middle of the plaza, which has a couple seats where you can eat the tasty snacks you bought on the street.


Average visit to Kobe Chinatown is between 20-40 minutes.


Hours and Admission

  • Hours: 24/7 (Most Shops Close around 11:00pm)
  • Free

Accessing Kobe Chinatown

Kobe Chinatown is easily accessed by foot from Motomachi Station along the Hanshin Line. The walk is only about 2-5 minutes depending on which exit you departed the station from. Alternatively, Sannonmiya station is nearby, being only about a 10-15 minute walk. Sannomiya Station is a JR station, so if you have a JR pass, please use this station as the JR Rail pass will not cover the Hanshin Line.

Where To Stay


Nearby Kobe Chinatown

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle is a prime example of Japanese Architecture, culture, and history. The castle is located near the heart of Himeji city, Hyogo – a very short walk away from Himeji station.  Himeji Castle was registered as a World Heritage site as of December 1993.

Kobe Port Tower

The construction for the Kobe Port Tower concluded in 1963, making it 55 years old! It was actually the world’s first tower designed using metal tubes, and at the time was an engineering marvel, winning a prize for design in 1963 upon completion.