Meriken Park is the park facing
Kobe Port, and is located about 0.8 km south of JR Motomachi station.
Nankinmachi is about 0.6 km to the north, and Kyu-kyoryuchi is about 0.3 km to the northeast.
The east side of the park facing sea was originally Meriken Wharf.
It was constructed by Japan government in 1868, after opening the port for foreign countries.
At that time, there was the US Consulate General near this wharf.
When Japanese people listened to their English first, "American" sounded like "Meriken" to Japanese people.
So this wharf was named as "Meriken Wharf".
In 1963, "Kobe Port Tower" was build on the pier about 300 meters west
of Meriken Wharf.
It is an observation tower for tourists, and the height is 108 meters.
We can enjoy the view of Kobe Port and Kobe city.
In the 1980s, the sea between Meriken Wharf and the pier with Kobe Port
Tower were landfilled, and Meriken Park was constructed in 1987.
Meriken Wharf and Kobe Port Tower are in the park, of course. And Kobe Maritime Museum and a few hotels were newly built on the park.
Kobe Maritime Museum is a museum focusing on the history of Japanese
shipping and Kobe harbor.
And in this museum, there is a section of Kawasaki Good Times World. It is the corporate museum of Kawasaki Heavy Industries producing motorcycles, railcars, ships, helicopters and the other various machines.
The Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck Kobe and the surrounding area
in 1995 destroyed Meriken Wharf, too.
To leave the lesson of the great earthquake and the efforts of the restoration by many people for posterity, the destroyed wharf has been preserved.
And it became "Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park" in 1997.
To the west of Kobe Port Tower, there is a pier.
Several sightseeing ships touring around Kobe Port leave from here.
Get off at Motomachi station on
JR, Hankyu, and Hanshin Lines.
About 15 minutes from there.