Occupying an outcropping of reclaimed land along Kobe’s waterfront, the green space called Meriken Park houses some of the city’s most recognizable contemporary architecture, such as the Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum, as well as numerous art installations and fountains speckled across the grassy lawns.
The 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake devastated the port, claiming numerous lives. Today, Meriken Park features a memorial to those killed at the port during the disaster, which includes a small section of the damaged waterfront left as it was found just after the earthquake as a reminder of the destruction.
The Kobe Maritime Museum, occupying the center of the park, houses exhibits on the port’s history and includes actual decommissioned boats on display outside and model ships indoors. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the Kobe Port Tower for panoramic views over the city.