Future of the Urban Center of Kobe[Future Vision]

  • CONCEPT
  • Landscapes
  • Liveliness
  • Living and housing
  • Industry
  • Tourism and Culture
  • Disaster reduction
  • Environment and energy
  • Transportation

Future of the Urban Center of Kobe

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【Future Vision・Area】


To boldly revitalize the City of Kobe, the “Future of the Urban Center of Kobe [Future Vision]” plans have been drawn up, stretching from Shinkobe and Sannomiya to Motomachi and Kobe Harborland.

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【将来ビジョン・都心の将来像を表現する3つの柱】

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【将来ビジョン・都心に備える8つの軸】

  • Transportation

    Development into a city where people can enjoy a comfortable environment appealing to their five senses, the hospitality extended to them, and the history and culture as a port city

  • Environment and energy

    Development into an environmentally-friendly, sustainable city that will make smart use of energy

  • Disaster reduction

    Development into a resilient and strong city that can respond to unexpected disasters

  • Tourism and culture

    Development into a city where people can enjoy a comfortable environment appealing to their five senses, the hospitality extended to them, and the history and culture as a port city

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  • Landscapes

    Development into a city where Kobe’s unique characteristics will be observed everywhere

  • Liveliness

    Development into a city that will attract visitors one after another and generate new encounters

  • Living and housing

    Development into a city where residents will forge ties with each other, fit in with other members of their communities, and enjoy living in their own way

  • Industry

    Development into a city where the integration of people and ideas will create new value

【Three pillars for the future of the urban center】

【Three pillars for the future of the urban center】

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【Eight axes of the urban center】

【Eight axes of the urban center】

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  • Transportation

    Development into a city where people can enjoy a comfortable environment appealing to their five senses, the hospitality extended to them, and the history and culture as a port city

  • Environment and energy

    Development into an environmentally-friendly, sustainable city that will make smart use of energy

  • Disaster reduction

    Development into a resilient and strong city that can respond to unexpected disasters

  • Tourism and culture

    Development into a city where people can enjoy a comfortable environment appealing to their five senses, the hospitality extended to them, and the history and culture as a port city/p>

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  • Landscapes

    Development into a city where Kobe’s unique characteristics will be observed everywhere

  • Liveliness

    Development into a city that will attract visitors one after another and generate new encounters

  • Living and housing

    Development into a city where residents will forge ties with each other, fit in with other members of their communities, and enjoy living in their own way

  • Industry

    Development into a city where the integration of people and ideas will create new value

Landscapes Development into a city
                    where Kobe’s unique
                    characteristics will be
                    overserved everywhere

Enabling people to feel Kobe’s
                    unique atmosphere and design
                    while strolling through the city

Enabling people to feel Kobe’s
                    unique atmosphere and design
                    while strolling through the city

We will strive to realize a people-oriented landscape design featuring Kobe’s unique characteristics, and to ensure that people can enjoy such landscapes while strolling through the city.
We will also aim to ensure that the routes taken by visitors when strolling through the city will have a special atmosphere that cannot be appreciated in their daily lives, by attracting shops, galleries and other facilities that will create liveliness, to the lower parts of buildings located on the routes.
In addition, we will strive to preserve and further improve Kobe’s unique street landscapes established over its long history, including the scenery of Kyu-Kyoryuchi (Old Foreign Settlement) and Kitano.
Moreover, we will aim to generate new landscapes featuring a beautiful harmony with their surroundings, by establishing the Landscape Design Code.

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Preserving and further improving the beautiful scenery of the sea and mountains

Preserving and further improving the beautiful scenery of the sea and mountains

To preserve and further enhance Kobe’s unique beauty accentuated by the Inland Sea of Japan and Rokko Mountains, as well as to maintain and further improve the urban center’s attractive features and landscapes, we will aim to introduce regulations on building heights and initiate measures to generate the pleasure of strolling, with consideration given to how the city should be 50 years and 100 years ahead.

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Ensuring that Kobe’s unique
                    atmosphere can be felt even at the
                    gateway of the city

Ensuring that Kobe’s unique
                    atmosphere can be felt even at the
                    gateway of the city

Sannomiya, a transportation hub that always draws many passengers for railways and buses, serves as the gateway of Kobe. What is required in this area is an integrated design with an excellent harmony between streets, squares and the buildings around them, to create a comfortable atmosphere.

Accordingly, we will strive to form landscapes in line with the redevelopment of Sannomiya and its environs.

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Providing pleasant soundscapes

Providing pleasant soundscapes

The sound of a steam whistle reminds listeners of the fact that Kobe is a port city. JAZZ makes the audience feel that Kobe is a stylish city.

By reducing the noise generated in the urban center, we will aim to design Kobe’s unique soundscapes.

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Illuminating the city

Illuminating the city

At night, providing atmosphere for adults, Kobe shows a different aspect. The illumination of flowers and greenery turns the city into a museum.

By pushing forward with the Museum of Light (illumination project) on the Flower Road and other projects, we will aim to enhance the attractiveness of the urban center’s illuminated landscapes, which will evoke drama and stir the emotions of the viewers.

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Liveliness Development into a city
                    that will attract visitors
                    one after another and
                    generate new encountersDevelopment into a city
                    that will attract visitors
                    one after another and
                    generate new encounters

Developing parks so that each
                    individual can use them in
                    their own way

Developing parks so that each
                    individual can use them in
                    their own way

We will strive to revitalize parks and squares located in the urban center, such as Higashi Yuenchi Park, so that many more people can enjoy using them.

We will aim to develop such parks and squares into green spaces that people can use in their own ways. It might be good to work there using their PCs, to relax together with their families and friends, or to read books. We will also aim to ensure that such spaces will serve as places of interaction.

We will also strive to ensure that such parks will be loved by everyone, by encouraging citizens to organize and hold events under their leadership

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Generating a relaxing waterfront atmosphere available only in a port city

Generating a relaxing waterfront atmosphere available only in a port city

We will strive to create liveliness on the Waterfront, by launching a new project for developing the main area of Shinko Pier No. 1 in the western zone of Shinko Pier, which used to be a warehouse district. This will be followed by the hotel construction project completed at Shinko Pier No. 1.

We will aim to develop the Waterfront into a typical Kobe location where visitors can appreciate a tranquil calmness in the morning, the liveliness of the port during the day, and the brightness of the scenery at night, while feeling the port city’s distinctive atmosphere.

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Enabling visitors to feel the sea and
                    mountains, to appreciate the liveliness,
                    and to relax

Enabling visitors to feel the sea and
                    mountains, to appreciate the liveliness,
                    and to relax

We will strive to develop streets commanding fine views of the sea and mountains, as well as routes taken by visitors when strolling through the city, into hubs for generating liveliness where many people will stay for a long time and will interact with each other.

We will review how to use street spaces, shifting our focus from automobiles to pedestrians.

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Involving citizens in creating and
                        improving the city’s attractive features

Involving citizens in creating and
                    improving the city’s attractive features

While encouraging citizens to establish organizations for improving the city, we will aim to promote a Kobe-version of area management using the BID system and other initiatives.

We will strive to realize community revitalization through partnership between the public and private sectors, by ensuring that citizens will also be responsible for enhancing attractive local features, especially in locations drawing many visitors, such as open spaces and shopping streets

*BID (Business Improvement District):Organization providing services necessary for enhancing the real estate value :of the relevant area, using joint expenses borne by the land owners in the areas

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Developing the city’s full potential to
                    create liveliness

Developing the city’s full potential to
                    create liveliness

We will consider ensuring that new gates will be established at railway stations, as a way to enhance the attractiveness of the urban center’s areas whose full potential has not been fully demonstrated yet.

We will aim to realize the establishment of these gates, which we believe will spur the growth of the urban center and lead to generating new attractive destinations and businesses.

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Living and housing Development into
a city where residents
will forge ties with each other,
fit in with other members of their
communities, and enjoy living in
their own ways

Ensuring that everybody can
gather and enjoy practicing the
concept of local production for
local consumption

Ensuring that everybody can
gather and enjoy practicing the
concept of local production for
local consumption

Kobe, a city located close to a wide variety of production centers.
If producers and consumers have even closer interaction, it means that they will have even more extensive and firm ties.

Kobe, therefore, should adopt a style in which producers and consumers cooperate with implementing the concept of local production for local consumption.

Opportunities for consumers to meet producers, and to buy and eat items produced in Kobe ‒ this is what we would like to provide in the urban center, by organizing farmers’ markets and other events.

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Accommodating a wide variety of needs

Accommodating a wide variety of needs

We will aim to ensure that in Kobe, people can go shopping or work in the urban center, even right after appreciating the city’s rich nature, such as by jogging while feeling the wind from the sea, and by climbing the mountains while relaxing in the greenery.

We will strive to establish runners’ stations and other urban fun facilities where people can satisfy a wide variety of needs, interact with their friends, and obtain necessary information.

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Strengthening community ties through the
smiles of children

Strengthening community ties through the
smiles of children

We will strive to establish facilities for children, thereby aiming to enable children to enjoy themselves in the urban center without worry, and aiming to establish platforms for childrearing support and local interaction.

We will also strive to establish child nurseries, through which we will form a local community consisting of child-rearing urban residents, the number of whom is increasing today, and to create liveliness.

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Providing careful consideration
to various elements of the city

Providing careful consideration
to various elements of the city

If we would like visitors to stay longer in the city, we need to ensure that they can take a rest in a comfortable environment.

On top of installing well-managed benches, garbage cans, and rest rooms almost everywhere in the city, we will aim to establish diaper-exchange spaces and breast-feeding rooms as a way to support child-rearing visitors, and also to accommodate foreign tourists’ needs by providing information and establishing facilities for them.

We will also strive to establish comfortable powder rooms and rest rooms where people can make up, groom, and relax.

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Continuing to be an attractive urban center

Continuing to be an attractive urban center

In the area serving as the gateway welcoming visitors, we will aim to promote the accumulation of commercial and business functions. We will strive to make the area the city’s symbol with attractive urban features and presence.

Regarding the area featuring all the commercial, business, and residential functions, we will strive to attract many more residents to the area, thereby aiming to maintain and enhance the urban center’s attractiveness and liveliness.

In addition, taking advantage of our history as a city containing the former foreign settlement, we will aim to establish a comfortable living environment for a wide variety of residents.

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Industry Development into a city
                    where the reaction and
                    integration of people and
                    ideas will create new value

Helping to turn ideas into
concrete results

Helping to turn ideas into
concrete results

For example, even if it seems a small idea, the idea can demonstrate its full capacity in Kobe.
To enable a wide variety of ideas to be incubated in Kobe, we will aim to launch the Acceleration Program as an active support initiative, and to establish a network for providing effective support.

We will also strive to provide active support for young people with infinite potential who will be able to create new ideas from a new perspective, thereby aiming to ensure that young entrepreneurs will be fostered in the city.

In addition, taking advantage of what was demonstrated in the medical industrial zone in Port Island, where a wide variety of advanced efforts are underway, we will attract many more foreign companies and promote even wider extensive business matchmaking in the urban center as well.

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Providing opportunities to meet new people and new ideas

Providing opportunities to meet new people and new ideas

A comfortable city draws individuals with attractive features.
Creative people meet and stimulate each other, and generate new ideas and businesses in a convenient location within the urban center
this will be the Kobe Start Up Office.

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No hierarchy, but just meritocracy

No hierarchy, but just meritocracy

Although even a single person alone can start a business in the IT industry, we will strive to promote cooperation between the public and private sectors based on our outlook for invigorating IT-related industries.

Moreover, we will make even more active use of open data and big data, thereby aiming to generate new services and businesses.

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©Masamune Shiro ‐ Production I.G/
Kodansha – the production committee of Ghost in the Shell

Awakening the expectation that
                    something fun will happen even at night

Awakening the expectation that
                    something fun will happen even at night

By enabling people to have a fun time in Kobe even at night, we will aim to ensure that they will stay longer in the city, appreciating the city’s world-class night scenery and enjoying the city’s liveliness.

An active nightlife means interaction between local residents and merchants, leading to the invigoration of local commerce.

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Tourism Development into a city where
                    people can enjoy a comfortable
                    environment appealing to their
                    five senses, and the hospitality
                    extended to them

Development into a city where
                    people can enjoy a comfortable
                    environment appealing to their
                    five senses, and the hospitality
                    extended to them

Development into a city where
                    people can enjoy a comfortable
                    environment appealing to their
                    five senses, and the hospitality
                    extended to them

Kobe’s night scenery is a unique feature that the city can boast to the world.
This beauty is available only in Kobe, a city with the sea and mountains, and with an exotic atmosphere.

To enhance the attractiveness of Kobe, a city of light, we will further improve the city’s night landscapes, by illuminating the Waterfront to highlight the form of the port beautifully, and by illuminating dockyard cranes.

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Extending hospitality even at the gateway

Extending hospitality even at the gateway

We will aim to improve the gateway, the first thing that visitors will see after arriving at Kobe. We will strive to show visitors our hospitality, by welcoming them in a bright, beautiful space with the city’s unique atmosphere.

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Providing necessary information
on Kobe

Providing necessary information
on Kobe

The first thing to do after arriving at Kobe is to go to the information center.

To enable visitors to Kobe to feel that way, we will aim to establish a system in which visitors can obtain easy-to-understand-and-use information.

We will also aim to improve the current guidance signage system and Wi-Fi environment.

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Ensuring that foreign
individuals as well can
make themselves at home

Ensuring that foreign
individuals as well can
make themselves at home

Foreign residents and tourists feel happy to be in Kobe ‒ this is a part of the city’s identity.

We will aim to ensure that the urban center of Kobe will be a place of interaction of people with a wide variety of nationalities.
At a hub for foreign visitors, tourists from around the world will be able to share the latest information that will be unavailable through travel guidebooks, including information to solve problems generated due to religious and cultural differences.

We will make careful arrangements for establishing such an activity base for foreign residents and travelers.

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Ensuring that a shopping street will consist of only
duty-free shops

Ensuring that a shopping street will consist of only
duty-free shops

In a shopping street, there are many shops carrying unique and stylish items.

To enable foreign visitors to Kobe to buy excellent items in the city without any hesitation, we will strive to ensure that a shopping street or a commercial area will consist of only duty-free shops.

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Culture Development into a city where
                        people can enjoy a comfortable
                        environment appealing to their
                        five senses, and the history and
                        culture as a port city

Offering a time of elegance
                    through the port city’s
                    history and culture

Offering a time of elegance
                    through the port city’s
                    history and culture

Kobe has a history and culture as a port city.

People drop in on a space with an intelligent and sophisticated atmosphere, especially on their way from work, read books of their choice depending on their mood of that day, drink some wine that will go well with the books, and relax alone against the background of Kobe’s symbolic scenery.

This is what we would like to create in the city. We will aim to establish such a space where people will be able to appreciate the city’s history and culture, and enjoy a luxurious time.

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Filling the city with pleasant and quality music

Filling the city with pleasant and quality music

Quality music being played in the city with the background of the beautiful landscapes of Rokko Mountains and a sea breeze from the port.

To establish a comfortable environment appealing to people’s five senses, and to create hangouts where people can enjoy music, we will aim to ensure that high quality street music will be played at lively locations in the city.

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Providing world-class local food

Providing world-class local food

Kobe is synonymous with Kobe Beef! But, actually, the city is more than that.

As a gastropolis, we will disseminate to the world the excellence of our food culture that can be achieved through a superb combination of seasonal vegetables, fresh fish and meat from areas near the urban center, and the amazing skills of its chefs and patissiers that the city boasts to the world.

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Enabling our history to be learned in the city

Enabling our history to be learned in the city

“This is my favorite place, but I’m wondering how it used be in the past?”

“Though a new building has been constructed here, was this site damaged as well at the time of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake?”

We will aim to provide information using AR, in order to enable people to review the history of Kobe and to learn various facts that they don’t know and events that must never be forgotten.

*AR: Augmented reality

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Provided by the Kobe City Archives (Refardt’s Collection of Photographs)

Disaster reduction Development into a
                        resilient and strong city
                        that can respond to
                        unexpected disasters

Preparing for natural disasters,
and ensuring safety as the
cornerstone of the city’s liveliness

Preparing for natural disasters,
and ensuring safety as the
cornerstone of the city’s liveliness

Since Kobe has experience of suffering serious damage at the time of an earthquake, we must take it for granted that we are fully prepared for natural disasters.

Regarding the capability to reduce disaster damage not as a selling point, but as a matter of course, and ensuring safety on the basis of not visible but reliable capability to reduce disaster damage ‒ this is the disaster reduction approach that will best serve Kobe.

Since it is expected that many people will be stranded due to the failure of transportation systems at the time of a natural disaster, we will establish open spaces for them near stations.

In addition, we will consider storing underground water and rainwater, which will play an important role in terms of disaster reduction.

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Ensuring that multi-lingual information will be available even at the time of an emergency

Ensuring that multi-lingual information will be available even at the time of an emergency

As an international city, we will introduce a multi-lingual signage system. No matter where a natural disaster occurs, the system will guide people with a wide variety of nationalities to safe places.。

To the digital signage of public phone booths and vending machines in the city, we will aim to add a function of disseminating emergency information smoothly at the time of an emergency.

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Protecting people even from
                    torrential rain

Protecting people even from
                    torrential rain

To respond to torrential rain due to global warming and other factors, we will aim to install a temporary rainwater retention system for rivers running through the urban center. Thus, we will strive to protect the city behind the scenes.

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“Study Survival”‒ Helping people enjoy studying how to secure their survival

“Study Survival”‒ Helping people enjoy studying how to secure their survival

We will organize events designed for participants to enjoy inheriting the memory of and important messages regarding the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. By holding such events as City Camps in parks that will serve as regional evacuation centers at the time of an emergency, we will aim to provide opportunities for people to enjoy obtaining the skills necessary to survive even if lifeline services are disconnected.

Let’s prepare for natural disasters, which will surely occur sometime in the future.

Study Survival

Environment and energy Development into an
                    environmentally-friendly,
                    sustainable city that will
                    make smart use of energy

Expanding the comfort of the Forest of Ikuta into the urban center

Expanding the comfort of the Forest of Ikuta into the urban center

The Forest of Ikuta once extended in the current urban center of Kobe.

We will aim to generate a comfortable space filled with flowers, greenery, and creatures that will be something akin to an extension of the forest.

To generate a sense of spaciousness in the space-limited, compact city, we will aim to make a three-dimensional use of the city, for example establishing rooftop gardens, thereby striving to extend a network of flowers and greenery.

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Making a smart choice of highly-efficient and powerful energy

Making a smart choice of highly-efficient and powerful energy

A lot of power is consumed during the daytime in some buildings, and at night in others.

While some buildings want to dissipate their heat to cool down themselves, others want to generate heat to warm up themselves.

While some buildings have their own power-generation facilities, others do not.

We will aim to establish power and heat interchange systems that will cover these buildings so that they will be able to make an effective and resilient response to natural disaster.

We will strive to enhance the international business competitive edge of the urban center, where business continuity will be ensured even at the time of an emergency.

Making a smart choice of highly-efficient and powerful energy

Showing the spirit of enterprise even in energy policies

Showing the spirit of enterprise even in energy policies

In addition to hydrogen, which was once called a future clean energy source, there are many other energy sources that have not been fully utilized yet

To make Kobe the most energy-efficient city in Japan, we will aim to realize a society in which people will use energy sources that have not been utilized fully yet and that are expected to contribute to the development of Kobe.

Showing the spirit of enterprise even in energy policies

Ensuring that environmentally-friendly bicycles
will be fully utilized

Ensuring that environmentally-friendly bicycles
will be fully utilized

We will aim to ensure that instead of driving cars, people will use the Community Cycle system, especially for making short trips, while enjoying the city landscapes.

We will increase the number of bicycle ports and bicycles for the system, while striving for an improvement in users’ manners.

地球に優しい自転車を使いこなす

©THE KOBE SHIMBUN

Transportation Development into a city
                    that will provide
                    transportation means easy
                    for everyone to use,
                    and with a focus on
                    pedestrians

Encouraging the use of vehicles
                    friendly to people and the city, to
                    enhance the city’s attractiveness

Encouraging the use of vehicles
                    friendly to people and the city, to
                    enhance the city’s attractiveness

The best way to appreciate the attractive features of the urban center of Kobe is walking.
We believe that streets are space for people.

Accordingly, placing the first priority on pedestrians and public transportation means, we will strive to establish an effective transportation system which will enable people to make comfortable trips to their destinations without using automobiles.

We will be active in considering the introduction of a wide variety of transportation means, from LRT to personal mobility, as well as new schemes such as a sharing service and an automatic operation.

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Enabling visitors to stroll through
various areas with distinctive features

Enabling visitors to stroll through
various areas with distinctive features

The first location that tourists arriving at Shin-Kobe will head for will be the Kitano Ijinkan (foreign residence) district. After that, they will enjoy themselves in Harborland, and then go to the Motomachi Shopping Street.

We will strive to enable visitors to enjoy strolling around the city’s various areas with distinctive features, without any problems finding their way to the next destination.

To do so, we will aim to establish the necessary routes, for example, a deck connecting Shin-Kobe and Kitano.

Introducing a simple and reasonable
                    fee system and providing easy access
                    to transportation means

Introducing a simple and reasonable
                    fee system and providing easy access
                    to transportation means

We will aim to introduce a flat fee system within the designated zone. No matter how many times passengers use transportation means per day within the designated area of the urban center, the fee will be the same.

We will strive to enable such a system to be easily used even by foreign visitors who have never been to Kobe before.

By introducing this system, we will aim to ensure that visitors can stroll around the city without any problems.

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Establishing a bus terminal with easy access to other cities

Establishing a bus terminal with easy access to other cities

We will aim to establish a new bus terminal featuring stands for a wide variety of interurban bus lines from Kobe to other cities. We will strive to ensure that travelers to other cities can definitely find their transportation means at this terminal.

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