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  • Writer's pictureLeo Grebot

Welcome to the charming Kitano district of Kobe!

Updated: Mar 23

Let me take you on a virtual journey through this historic district full of history, stunning architecture, and a charming atmosphere. Get ready to immerse yourself in a little piece of Europe in the heart of Kobe.


Kitano-cho is a small historic district located at the foot of the Rokko mountain range, where foreign merchants and diplomats once resided. This place has a unique atmosphere that will transport you to another time. Imagine walking through the cobblestone streets surrounded by beautiful Western-style houses that make you feel like you are in Europe.


One of the most notable places that you cannot miss in Kitano-cho is the famous Weathercock House. This house was built in 1909 by the German merchant Gottfried Thomas and has become an icon of the district. Its most striking feature is the rooster that crowns the roof, rotating with the wind and pointing in the direction. It is a perfect place to take photos and capture that European charm.


The Kitano district extends around Kitano Street and Yamamoto and Oranda-zaka avenues. Here you will find around twenty former diplomatic residences of Western architecture that have been converted into museums and are open to the public. These houses are a testament to Kobe's international past and allow you to appreciate the beauty and elegance of European architecture. Each house has its history and style, and exploring them is like travelling back in time.


Imagine walking through the streets and discovering each of these ancient residences, as if you were a privileged visitor. Each house has its personality and gives you a unique perspective on life in times past. You can admire the architectural details, the carefully designed gardens and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of bygone eras. Some of these houses have been converted into museums and display art, history and culture, allowing you to learn more about life in the Kitano district.


In addition to the impressive houses, the Kitano district also offers a variety of activities and interesting places to visit. You can explore the picturesque pedestrian streets, where you will find souvenir shops, cosy cafes and charming restaurants. If you are a music lover, you will be happy to know that most of the clubs with live music are concentrated in the Kitano district, and every October the "Kobe Jazz Street" festival is held. This festival is a perfect opportunity to enjoy good music in a unique atmosphere.


Of course, you can't miss trying Kobe's delicious cuisine while exploring the Kitano district. The city is famous around the world for its Kobe beef, known for its unmatched flavor and tenderness. You will find a wide variety of restaurants serving this exquisite meat, as well as other local and international dishes to satisfy all tastes.


In short, the Kitano district in Kobe is a special place that transports you to a bygone era. Walking through its cobbled streets and admiring the old European-style residences is like going back in time. I invite you to explore this charming corner of Kobe, enjoy the impressive architecture, immerse yourself in history and delight in the delicious local cuisine. Kitano-cho is a treasure that you should not miss during your visit to Kobe.



Kobe, Japan historic houses and skyline from Kitano District at dusk
Kobe, Japan historic houses and skyline from Kitano District at dusk

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