OWL Magazine Korea

“Kobe, Waterfront Park – Meriken Park”

Kobe stands as one of the prominent port cities, and when one thinks of Kobe, a place that naturally comes to mind is the area around the iconic “Kobe Port Tower.” The Kobe Port Tower finds its home in the “Meriken Park.”

Meriken Park is a picturesque waterfront park created by reclaiming the sea between the bustling Meriken Wharf and the Naka-Rokko Seawall during the opening of the port. Embracing Kobe Port Tower, Kobe Maritime Museum, Kawasaki World, and Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park, the park offers a dazzling view, especially during the sparkling night.

Since its opening in 2017, Starbucks has become an emblematic presence in Meriken Park. The building, featuring motifs of ships and the harbor, is impressive, providing a panoramic view of Meriken Park through glass windows from its tables. Notably, the term “Meriken” in Japanese refers to the past term for “American.”

“How to Get to Meriken Park in Kobe”

I rushed from Kitano Ijinkan to Meriken Park. Visiting a port city like Kobe without witnessing the coastal scenery and the symbol of Kobe, the Kobe Port Tower, would leave much to be desired.

Getting to Meriken Park is relatively simple. It is conveniently located about a 10-minute walk south from Motomachi Station, where the JR Kobe Line stops.

“Meriken Park, Heavily Damaged in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake”

Meriken Park suffered significant damage during the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Like other areas in Kobe, it went through recovery efforts and returned to normalcy. Part of the coastline in the park that experienced earthquake damage remains unrepaired, forming the Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park.

“An Area Hosting Various Attractions, Including Kobe Port Tower”

Meriken Park offers a variety of attractions, including the Kobe Port Tower mentioned earlier, the Kobe Maritime Museum, and places showcasing diverse contemporary art, such as memorials for the victims of the Hanshin Earthquake. However, as Meriken Park was the last stop on this trip and I had limited time, I couldn’t explore all these places, leaving me with a sense of regret.

Furthermore, the symbol of Meriken Park, the Kobe Port Tower, was under renovation during my visit, and unfortunately, I couldn’t see it. In fact, the main reason I hurriedly visited Meriken Park was to catch a glimpse of the “Kobe Port Tower,” and it was disappointing not to see it upon arrival.

“BE KOBE Sculpture at Meriken Park”

In Meriken Park, another notable sculpture is the “BE KOBE” monument. Erected to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, it carries the message, “The charm of Kobe lies in its people.” The sculpture provides a great backdrop for photography.

“Meriken Park, Kobe”

  • Address: 2 Hatobacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0042, Japan
  • Website: Meriken Park
  • Operating Hours: 24 hours