Kobe (?_??, Kōbe) is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan's ten largest cities. Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is also considered one of Japan's most attractive cities.
Kobe has been an important port city for many centuries. Its port was among the first to be opened to foreign trade in the 19th century alongside the ports of Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hakodate and Niigata.
In 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed over 5000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Today the city is completely rebuilt, and few signs of the terrible event remain.