Kobe is a beautiful city located between mountains and the sea in central Japan, it is not far from Osaka and it is the sixth largest city in the country.
Earliest records of settlements in this area point to Kobe being continually populated since the 2nd century, although it has mainly served as a port it was briefly the capital of Japan in 1180.
The Studio Ghibli movie Grave of the Fireflies was inspired by the bombing of Kobe during World War Two with the use of incendiary bombs. This movie is considered to be one of the most powerful war films ever made, and never fails to bring anyone to tears.
In 1995 tragedy hit Kobe when at 5.46am the city was hit by a massive earthquake measuring 7.3 on the JMA magnitude scale. About 4,600 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were made homeless. It is possible to see the damage at the Earthquake Memorial Park near the port as shown in the 6th to 10th photos below.
Today Kobe is a thriving city with beautiful shrines and paths up the mountains on one side, and a constantly busy port on the other side. In the below pictures you can see the famous red Kobe Port Tower plus some other sights around the port.