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Hyogo Prefecture is located in the Kansai Region, surrounded by Kyoto, Osaka, Okayama, and Tottori. This economic engine paves way to imports and exports as this is where the Port of Kobe is located, catering to international exchange. It is also the home to the world’s longest suspension bridge, Akashi Kaikyo.
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Japan’s pride and honor are clearly seen in its buildings, modern technologies, people, and the economy. One place that has this in abundance in this country is Hyogo Prefecture, with Kobe as its prefectural capital. This place is within reach by sea and air by anyone who is interested in economic growth and cultural diversities, and its central location makes it more open to people.
Kobe, recognized as its capital, became a treaty port in 1868 and eventually an international trading hub to various countries in Asia, giving rise to a big breakthrough of custom, tradition, and lifestyle exchange.
There are three urban areas in Hyogo - Kobe, Hanshin, and Harima serve as the breeding ground of steel, shipbuilding, and machinery. Kobe, as Hyogo Prefecture’s major rising international tradeport, makes it a center of international exchange, as mentioned before.
The prefecture is home to many companies and organizations with international affiliations, such as Kobe International Center for Cooperation and Communication (KIC). It also houses numerous cultural and historical sites, including the remnants of foreigns settlements making an ample contribution to the nation’s national fortune. When it comes to climate, industries, leisure activities, and festivals, Hyogo Prefecture has countless. This makes it even a better attraction to tourists, including its inhabitants.
Hyogo Prefecture awes people with how it survived catastrophes at times of wars and great earthquakes. The resiliency of the people amid painstaking events makes the place venerable. Hyogo Prefecture experienced immense damage when the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.3, hit the coast in January 1995. Various restorations were made, not only in the hopes of reconstructing the area but reinstituting it to a greater state.
Albeit severe damages and thousands of lives lost, the area was fully restored. Transactions and operations from infrastructures down to network connections, railroads, etc. were brought to life again. Owing to the fact that the place made relations and built a steady rapport with its neighboring countries, with an extension to other nations, it made it possible for Hyogo to overcome the tragedy. The extensive restoration gave rise to urban infrastructures and even met the people's needs, especially of the elderly, and its economy more efficiently than before. In a span of three years, the effort to rebuild what the earthquake had dismantled was called a success.
As this remarkable prefecture of Japan continuously attracts tourists of different intentions around the world, traveling to Hyogo is made possible. Travelers can arrange for a convenient arrival to the place through the Kobe Airport, as well as the Osaka International Airport situated in Itami.
If you want to take the train, Shinkansen bullet trains are available to reach both Kobe and Himeji easily. Travel time to reach your destination will depend on your starting station, of course. If you are a traveler from Tokyo, your ride would usually take almost 3 hours.
However, if you came from Nagoya using the JR Nagoya Station, it would take only an hour and five minutes to travel, and barely 30 minutes if you are coming from Kyoto Station. You also have the choice to get off the bullet train in Shin-Osaka and travel to Kobe by regular train, or to take the bullet train directly to Shin-Kobe Station or Himeji Station.
There are other options to arrive at Hyogo Prefecture: by highway buses either by day or overnight, by car through the expressway of Meishin and Hanshin from Nagoya and Osaka respectively, or by ferry.
Hyogo Prefecture’s abundance of natural and human resources, undoubtedly is the channel of exchange with its neighbouring prefectures. The abundance in agricultural and other food products are one of the reasons the port flourished. This also accounts for higher employment ratings in the country. Two of the main commodities of Hyogo in its urban areas are fruits and dairy products. Harima has the largest production of sake rice in the country. This urban area is also the major producer of clams, oysters, and other aquatic resources. Famous black soybeans are also a local produce of Hyogo. Other goods include Awaji onions, the famous Kobe beef from Tajima cattle and many more.
Hyogo is famous for its cultural heritage and breathtaking attractions. This is not just a site for businesses and global exchange but also a great booster of tourism in the country.
One of the most well-preserved heritage sites in Hyogo is the marvelous white castle sitting on a hilltop - the Himeji Castle. Built in the year 1333, the castle never lost its elegance to this day. This palace served as a fortress in the medieval era, when wars were still rampant.
Read more about Himeji Castle in our article here: A Visit to Japan’s National Treasure: Himeji Castle
Nankin-machi is Kobe’s Chinatown, one of the attractions in Hyogo, and is a very busy place where tourists crowd. Many Chinese people reside in this area as Chinese salesmen first developed it in the past. It is where many visitors choose to have meals in Kobe since it’s the home of the popular steamed buns, ramen, and other delicious Chinese foods that is sure to fill one’s stomach.
Another tourist attraction in the prefecture is the “castle floating in the sky” - the Takeda castle ruins. It is high above sea level, which makes it look suspended in a collection of clouds if the weather is right. Viewers are encouraged to head to the attraction first thing in the morning to have a glance at the imaginary floating castle.
Lastly, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is recognized as the world’s longest suspension bridge. It connects Kobe in Honshu Island to Iwaya, located on Awaji Island. You can even walk under just a little part of it in the Maiko Marine Promenade!
Hyogo Prefecture, located in the Kansai region, has economic powers under its sleeves. Based on the history of resilience and human resource efforts, it is clear that it's hard to bring the prefecture down to its knees. Its various industries have made and continue to make the economy grow. Relationships with other countries, just by being the site of international exchange and a major trading port, continue to widen and remain solid. Furthermore, its tourism continues to flourish, making Hyogo Prefecture unwavering.
And Hyogo today persists in catering to the world for its services, tourist destinations, diverse culture, and amazing histories that are worth keeping for. Enthusiasts, businessmen, and job hunters over the globe will never be disappointed in traveling to Hyogo. Clearly, great opportunities are waiting in this place.
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