5. Old Foreign Settlement (Kobe City Museum)

The Kobe City Museum is located on the southwest side of the bus stop. The museum exhibits artifacts and has displays showing the history of Kobe, and about its ties to East Asia and the rest of the world.

Its collection is especially famous for its ancient artifacts, which include “dotaku” (decorated bronze bells) and “doka” (bronze swords) that have been designated as national treasures. They date from just before and through the Yayoi Period (300BC-300AD). The Museum is also renowned for its old maps and “Namban Art”, a style of Japanese art of the 15th and 16th centuries, which developed from the influence of Europeans (Portuguese and Spaniards in particular) who came to Japan starting from the 1500s. One of the famous Namban pieces is the portrait of Saint Francis Xavier.

In addition, this bus stop area named the Old Foreign Settlement, flourished as a commercial district that was developed by foreign residents, who built numerous, impressive buildings out of heavy stone. When the buildings were originally built, they served as offices, banks, and social clubs where foreign residents enjoyed themselves surrounded in distinctive splendor and merriment.

These days, many of these spectacular buildings are dotted with fashionable cafes and boutiques.



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