OWL Magazine Korea

Kobe, Birthplace of Arcade Shopping Streets – “Motomachi Shopping Street”

In Japan, it’s easy to find covered arcade-style shopping streets with ceilings. Even when visiting Osaka, various shopping streets around Dotonbori showcase this feature, allowing shoppers to continue their activities regardless of the weather. Kobe also has such a shopping street, known as “Motomachi Shopping Street.”

“Kobe, the Origin of Japanese Arcade Shopping Streets – Motomachi Shopping Street”

At first glance, Motomachi Shopping Street in Kobe may seem like an ordinary shopping district, but it holds a remarkable history of over 140 years. It is considered the origin of the arcade-style shopping streets commonly seen throughout Japan.

Hosting over 300 shops, including longstanding businesses dating back to the Edo period, the shopping street spans a distance of 1.2 km. As you explore, you can naturally encounter distinctive and unique stores scattered throughout the area.

“Starting from the Intersection across from Daimaru Department Store”

Motomachi Shopping Street begins at the intersection in front of Daimaru Department Store, a 3-minute walk from JR and Hanshin Electric Railway Motomachi Stations. The arch-shaped stained glass structure at the entrance is a symbolic landmark.

While covered arcade-style shopping streets are now commonly found throughout Japan, just 60 years ago, Motomachi Shopping Street was the sole arcade-style shopping street, making it a pioneer and ancestor of such locations.

“Motomachi Shopping Street, Kobe”

  • Address: Part of Motomachidori, 1-6 Chome, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0001, Japan
  • Phone: +81783910831
  • Website: Motomachi Shopping Street