Kitano is an elevated area at the foot of
mountains, and is located about 1 km northwest of San'nomiya station.
Many Western-style residences built from the 1890s to the 1930s are
here, and this area is one of the most popular spots in Kobe.
In Japanese, these residences are called "Kitano-ijinkan" collectively.
When Kobe port was opened as an international port in 1868 after long
national isolation, the foreign settlement was constructed near Kobe
Port. It is the current Kyu-kyoruchi
But it had taken time to construct the settlement, so many foreigners
built their residences at the other place.
And some of them were built in Kitano area.
In 1945 during World War II, the main area in Kobe was destroyed by air
raids, but Kitano area wasn't attacked because of the foreigner's
So most of the original residences remain here.
The formal town names in this area are Kitano-cho and Yamamoto-dori,
and the area is about 800 meters from east to west and about 400 meters
from south to west in width.
A total of 34 old Western-style residences are designated as important
Most of the residence charge 300-1,000 yen.
The discount tickets that we can enter several paticular residences are
(500 yen two residences / 1,300 yen for three residence / 3,500 yen for
Main residences in Kitano area
/1/ : Former Thomas House (1909).
"Kazamidori" means "weathercock", and the residence has a weathercock
on the steepletop.
This is the most famous residence in Kitano area, and is designated as
a national important cultural property.
The owner was Gottfried Thomas, a German trading merchant.
/2/ : Former Sharp House (1903). "Moegi"
The owner was Hunter Sharp, US Consul-General.
- Oranda-kan /3/
: Former Erion's House (1949). "Oranda"
means "the Netherlands".
The owner was Charlie Erion, a Dutch trading merchant.
/4/ : Former rented house for foreigner (1905).
"Uroko" means "fish scale", and the walls of the house look like fish
Uroko Museum is next to the house, and has many paintings by well-known
House /5/ : The resident of a Russian trading merchant
The first floor is a cafe.
- Former Panama
Consulate /6/ : Former Hilton House (the
It was used as Panama Consulate after World War II.
/7/ : Former Drewell House (1915).
The nickname was chosen from among the public in 1978. Exactly, we can
see many lines on the walls.
- Eikoku-kan /8/
: The residence of the British (1909).
"Eikoku" means "British".
There is a gorgeous bar in the residence.
- France-kan /9/
: The rented house built in Kyu-kyoryuchi in 1908. Later it was moved
The interior design is French style.
/10/ : Originally it was the residence built in 1907.
It was destroyed by the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, and this
house was rebuilt with following the original house.
The first floor is a cafe.
How to get to here
- About 10 minutes from Shin-Kobe
station on Shinkansen and subway.
- About 15 minutes from
San'nomiya station on JR, Hankyu and Hanshin Lines.
Copyright © travel-around-japan.com
All Rights Reserved.