Kobe China Town Nankin-machi

Kobe China Town, Nankin-machi 南京町

The China Town in Kobe, Nankin-machi, is one of Japan's three designated Chinatowns along with those in Yokohama (Yokohama Chukagai) and Shinchi in Nagasaki.

Nankin-machi is located south of Motomachi Station close to the Daimaru department store. There are over 100 Chinese shops and restaurants in Kobe's China Town as well as three Chinese-style gates, including the impressive Changan Gate (長安門), a pavilion and a Chinese temple.

Kobe China Town.
Changan Gate, Nankin-machi, Kobe

History of Kobe China Town

Nankin-machi was established in 1868 at the end of the Edo Period and beginning of the Meiji Period, when Kobe was opened as a Treaty Port, where foreigners could reside and carry on businesses. A settlement was set up for Westerners as a result of the peace treaties Japan had signed with various Western governments.

Chinese immigrants, though, did not enjoy this privilege and had to settle in a neighboring part of the city.

Nankin-machi was a vibrant, commercial area up until the 1920's and 1930's when Japan's war in China lead to many residents returning to China. Destroyed by US bombing in World War II, Kobe's China Town was rebuilt in the 1950's and remains one of Kobe's most popular tourist attractions.

Kobe China Town.
China Town (Nankin-machi), Kobe

Visitors flock to eat at Nankin-machi's many Chinese eateries and to shop for a variety of souvenirs including Chinese tea, incense, People's Liberation Army caps and bags, silk pyjamas and Chinese lanterns.

Original Chinese food is well-represented with dishes from Beijing including Peking Duck, Szechuan, Taiwan and Canton. There are also steak houses and Western-style restaurants, too!

The Kobe Plaza Hotel is very convenient for Nankin-machi.

Kobe China Town.
China Town (Nankin-machi), Kobe
Kobe China Town.
China Town (Nankin-machi), Kobe

Getting to Kobe China Town


JR Shinkansen bullet train stops at Shin-Kobe Station. About 1km south of Shin-Kobe Station, Sannomiya Station is the main rail hub for intercity Hankyu, Hanshin and JR trains to Osaka and Kyoto. Kobe China Town is a 10-minute walk from Sannomiya.

Nankin-machi is a 3-minute walk south of Motomachi Station. Motomachi Station is served by both JR and Hanshin trains on the JR West JR Kobe Line (Tokaido Main Line) and the Hanshin Electric Railway Main Line and Kobe Kosoku Line.

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