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  • Glynn

Kobe Port Tower

Updated: Jan 14

Standing at 108 meters, Kobe's Port Tower stands as if it were a portal between the sea and the sky.

A portal to other worlds

This unusual hyperboloid structure represents a Tsuzumi hand drum, which is often seen being played in many a Kabuki or Noh theatre. We can see similarly shaped wooden versions of two tsuzumi drums supporting the entrance gate to Kanazawa’s JR train station.

From the third to the fifth floors of the tower, you can enjoy spectacular 360-degree views over Kobe city and its busy port. Taking in the Rokko mountains to the North, Awaji Island to the West, Kansai Airport and the harbour to the South and Osaka and its new site for the 2025 World Exposition which were completed back in 1963.

On the third floor is a rotating cafe (rotating every 20 minutes) which makes it a lazy and relaxing way to enjoy a break from sightseeing and take in the views at the same time. And at the time of my visit you reached the fourth floor by elevator then took stairs to the fifth floor standing at 90 meters, where you can enjoy magnificent views, especially of the mountains cradling the city.

Sailing away... the Kobe Maritime Museum

So as to keep a slight motorcycle theme, I cannot help to mention the Kawasaki Good Times World Museum, just next door. You cannot miss the structure as it is another one of Kobe city’s landmarks, the white metal spinnaker shaped sails pointing skyward. The building combines itself with the Kobe Maritime Museum to display some of the engineering and shipbuilding skills and engineering brilliance that still exist to this day. Kawasaki Heavy Industries is still in full operation, with their ship yards just meters away from the tower.

Kawasaki H2... the BEAST! Naked!

Now to enjoy these splendid views and appreciate this 1960s structure you’ll have to be quick! As the tower will close from the 26th September 2021, because of renovation works that are likely to take up to two years, with a planned reopening in 2023! The ‘Heart of Kobe’ will be held as a last event prior to closing, which will comprise music and light shows only, as no spectators will admitted, because of the present state of emergency.

So I suggest you get to the port tower as soon as you can to enjoy the original structure and its 1960s ambiance and nostalgia.

Further details and admission fees can be below:


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