Kobe - Wikipedia
Periods Nara and Heian . Kamakura period. Major corporations and institutes . Transportation. High-speed rail. Rapid Railway. Other rail lines. International relations. Twin towns - Sister cities. Cities of friendship and cooperation. External links.
Kobe (/'koUbeI/ KOH-bay, Japanese: [ko]be]) is Japan’s seventh-largest, third-largest port after Yokohama and capital of Hyogo Prefecture. It lies on the south side of Honshu's main island, along the shores of Osaka Bay. It is about 30km (19 mi) west Osaka. The city, which has a population of 1.5 million, is located in the Keihanshin metropolitan region with Osaka & Kyoto. 
The Nihon Shoki contains the earliest recorded records about the area. It describes the founding by Empress Jingu of the Ikuta Shrine in AD 201.  The area has never been a single political entity throughout its history, even during the Tokugawa Period when it was directly controlled by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Kobe was not in its current state until 1889 when it was founded. Kanbe (Shen Hu), an archaic title given to supporters of the Ikuta Shrine, is its name.  Kobe was designated as a Japanese city in 1956.
After the 1853 end to the policy of isolation, Kobe became one of the first cities to allow trade with the West. It has been known since as a cosmopolitan port city and a nuclear-free zone. Although Kobe's status as a port city was diminished by the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake, it is still Japan's fourth busiest container port. ASICS, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kobe Steel are just a few of the companies based in Kobe. There are also over 100 multinational corporations with Asian or Japanese headquarters, including Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Procter & Gamble.  Kobe is the city that gave birth to Kobe beef and also the home of Arima Onsen, one of Japan's most renowned hot spring resorts.