Kobe City Profile

Population 1.5 million
Location Kobe is located in the western area of Japan’s main island, Honshu, west of Tokyo, the capital
city of Japan
Time difference
1 hour behind Brisbane
Official Language
Gross Regional Product $74.3 billion (2009 AUD)
Unique selling point Kobe is home to one of Japan’s first international trading ports and still remains one of the busiest container ports in Japan
Snapshot of key industries Biotechnology, Aged Care, Education, Tourism

About Kobe

Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyogo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshu, approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population of about 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.

Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan port city. While the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake diminished much of Kobe’s prominence as a port city, it remains Japan’s fourth busiest container port. Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Kobe Steel, as well as over 100 international corporations with Asia or Japan headquarters in the city such as Eli Lilly & Company, Procter & Gamble, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Nestle. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef as well as the site of one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts, Arima Onsen.

Kobe Industry

Kobe port is both an important port and manufacturing center within the Hanshin Industrial Region. Kobe is the busiest container port in the region, surpassing even Osaka, and the fourth busiest in Japan.

As of 2004, the city’s total real GDP was 6.3 trillion, which amounts to thirty-four percent of the GDP for Hyogo Prefecture and approximately eight percent for the whole Kansai region. Per capita income for the year was approximately 2.7 million.Broken down by sector, about one percent of those employed work in the primary sector (agriculture, fishing and mining), twenty-one percent work in the secondary sector (manufacturing and industry), and seventy-eight percent work in the service sector.

The value of manufactured goods produced and exported from Kobe for 2004 was 2.5 trillion. The four largest sectors in terms of value of goods produced are small appliances, food products, transportation equipment, and communication equipment making up over fifty percent of Kobe’s manufactured goods. In terms of numbers of employees, food products, small appliances, and transportation equipment make up the three largest sectors.