When you get off the Loop Bus here, you will see Minatogawa Shrine located straight ahead toward the northwest.
Minatogawa Shrine, which was built in 1872 on the orders of Emperor Meiji, is dedicated to Kusunoki Masashige. He was a 14th century military commander famous for continually fighting against the samurai leaders during the Kamakura Period in order to defeat them and restore rule to the emperor.
Within the peaceful and serene shrine premises is a treasure house where you can see artifacts and read about the history of the shrine.
The bus travels along Sakaemachi Dori (Sakaemachi Street), which is Kobe’s financial district. This district became so financially prosperous between the Taisho and Showa Periods (or between 1912 through the 1980s), that it became known as the Wall Street of the East.
Recently, the area has become home to fashionable boutiques and cafes catering to young people. With a blend of old and new styles of architecture, this part of Kobe is experiencing a rebirth, becoming a very vibrant and dynamic area.
Just past the Minato Motomachi bus stop, the red-brick and white-granite stone wall is now the entrance to Kobe Municipal Subway Kaigan Line’s Minato Motomachi Station’s West Exit.
It was built in 1908 as the Kobe Branch of the Daiichi Bank by Tatsuno Kingo, who also designed Tokyo Station. Since the building was partially destroyed during the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, or Kobe Earthquake, there were plans to tear it down completely. However, the citizens of Kobe protested against the idea and saved the building. It has taken
on a new life serving as an above-ground entrance to a subway station.