To visit the Kitano Ijinkan district, please get off at bus stop 10, “Kitano Ijinkan”.
After climbing a gentle slope, you will reach the Kitano Ijinkan, which are mansions built between the late 19th century and early 20th century by foreign residents.
While the Old Foreign Settlement that stretches along the port area became the business district of foreigners living in Kobe, the Kitano district became the residential area where foreigners lived. The foreign residents who moved to the area form the late 19th century created a truly unique atmosphere, of which much is still preserved to this day.
In the past, foreigners who had left their homelands and settled in Kobe built their mansions high in the hills, where they could enjoy spectacular views of the ocean, as they had enjoyed in their homelands. This led to the creation of the unique Kitano area, which is on a hill.
These types of old Western-style mansions that are still standing in Kitano can be seen in other port cities such as Hakodate and Nagasaki. All of these mansions share a common feature, and that is, they are all built on hills.
Kitano is proud to have the highest concentration of foreign-resident mansions still remaining in Japan, with 20 of them opened to the public for viewing. For example, there is the Weathercock House (Kazamidori no Yakata), famous for its weathervane of a cock placed on top of a pointed roof of the house. And not to be missed is the Green House (Moegi no Yakata), with its striking light-green exterior.