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Museum Road, a walk through the streets of Kobe to encounter art.

The mountains and the sea coexist in beautiful harmony in Kobe, just a short distance from the city centre. From the Oji Zoo on the mountain side, a gentle slope leads down to the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art on the sea side. This 1.2 km-long path was named "Museum Road" in 2010 on the initiative of the director of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art at the time, with the cooperation of Hyogo Prefecture and Kobe City.Many innovative works by well-known artists such as YANOBE Kenji and NAWA Kohei appear on Museum Road. The artworks, which can be viewed while feeling the mountains, the sea and people's lives, have a different appeal from those indoors.


Artwork in harmony with the streets and sea of Kobe.

Artworks suddenly appear along roads where people and cars pass by. The variety of expressions, from novel to colorful, makes it a pleasure to walk along the road and wonder "What will appear next?"




Stylish sign monument 《MUSEUM ROAD》, EIMOTO Masahiro.

The Museum Road sign monument appears as soon as you exit the ticket gates of JR Nada Station and go down the stairs on the south side of the station. It was created in 2018 by EIGEN Masahiro (1969-), a professor at Kobe Design University. The wavy sign, whose texture changes with the light, attracts visitors.




Multifaceted glowing in the sunlight 《Wind Dance》 MATSUNAGA Tsutomu

If you continue south along Museum Road, you will come across an impressive object installed in front of Iwaya Station on the Hanshin Electric Railway. The sculptor MATSUNAGA Tsutomu (1948-) created this 《Wind Dance》 in 1990. The stainless steel material reflects the surrounding scenery and the sunlight makes it appear as if it is dancing. It is recommended to take photos from this position, as the promenade faces the roadside.




The colorful Hanshin "Iwaya" station, named after the "beautiful frog".


The colorfully decorated Iwaya Station in the background of 《wind dance》 also catches the eye. The decoration is color-matched to the Museum Road's symbolic object, the " Mikaeru ", and the illustrations in white lines were drawn by local schoolchildren. According to station staff, the decoration has been in place for about 10 years. The nearby vending machines and lottery ticket booths are also decorated in the same colors and are gorgeous. Iwaya Station is also a must-see spot for photography.




A giant green monster !?《pease cracker》 TSUBAKI Noboru.


Passing under the overpass of the Hanshin Expressway and continuing straight ahead, a huge artwork appears, surprising you with its intense visuals. The bright green object is said to be inspired by a pea pod. The object in the shape of a pea that has fallen from its pod can be sat on as a chair. It was created in 2014 by TSUBAKI Noboru (1953-), a contemporary artist who used to live and work in Kobe. At approximately 4 m high and 8.6 m wide, it is a powerful object that you should definitely experience up close. On the other side, the red modeling stands out and gives a different impression.





Symbol of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art and Museum Road. 《Mikaeru》 Florentin Hoffmann.


As you continue forward, you come to an overpass, and as soon as you exit the Nada Station ticket gates, you come closer to 《Mikaeru (Kobe Frog)》, installed on the roof of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, which had been visible from a distance. It was created by Dutch artist Florentin Hoffmann (1977-) in 2011.The frog balloon is approximately 8 m high and 10 m wide and has a large impact. The name, which was chosen from a public competition, is based on the word "Kaeru"(means Flog in Japanese)' for resurrection, meaning recovery from the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and on the hope that visitors will continue to visit the museum after leaving the museum and 'return to see it*

(*same pronunciation 「Kaeru」in Japanese)'. Photography is recommended from the overpass.




A statue of a shining young girl with a powerful standing figure! 《Sun Sister》Nickname: "Nagisa" YANOBE Kenji.

Turning to the seaward side of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, a large, silver statue of a young girl appears at the bottom of the grand staircase. This work was created by contemporary artist YANOBE Kenji (1965-) in 2015 as a monument to the 20th year of the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.The girl holds a shining sun, a symbol of hope for the future. The 6 m high statue of a young girl is a powerful and fascinating sight. Nicknamed "Nagisa", she is a very popular piece of artwork.




The shape of the supports is impressive 《Kiiro to Buruu(Yellow and Blue)》 MOTONAGA Sadamasa.


Right next to《 Sun Sister》 is an artwork in two brightly coloured shades. It was created in 2011 by MOTONAGA Sadamasa (1922-2011), a well-known avant-garde artist and picture book author both in Japan and abroad. The artwork is reminiscent of the world of picture books and evokes a sense of warmth.

When photographed from the staircase side, the two artworks, 《Sun Sister》 and 《Kiiro to Buruu》 can be photographed from behind, with a view of the sea.





《Ether(family)》, in harmony with the greenery of the park, by NAWA Kohei.


In the Nagisa Park area, right next to the Grand Staircase, there is an artwork that seems to blend in with the greenery. 《Ether(family)》 was created by contemporary artist NAWA Kohei (1975-) in 2021. It consists of a set of four pieces measuring approximately 4 m, 3.3 m, 2.6 m and 1.7 m high. The sculptures are 3D models of drops of water falling to the ground and spreading out, and are stacked upside down. The four sculptures nestled together seem to represent a family.




The figure standing at dusk evokes nostalgia, 《Animal 2021-01-B(KOBE Bear)》MISAWA Atsuhiko.


In Nagisa Park, there is a work installed in 2021, the same year as 《Ether(family)》. It is a huge bronze bear sculpture by contemporary artist MISAWA Atsuhiko (1961-). If you look closely at the face, you can see that the right eye is green and the left blue. It is said to represent the reflection of the green of Mount Rokko and the blue of the sky. It was just dusk when the photo was taken, so the atmosphere was nostalgic.




《Green Apples》ANDO Tadao, with a message from the architect.


The corridors and terrace areas of the museum are free to enter, and artworks can be viewed. On the seaside deck is a giant blue apple object created in 2018 by architect ANDO Tadao (1941- ), who designed the museum. Made of fibre-reinforced plastic and measuring approximately 2.5 m in height, width and depth, the panel next to the artwork bears Ando's message: 'Our aim is not a sweet red apple, but the spirit of a green apple, unripe and sour but full of hope for tomorrow'.




Continuously moving 《Faraway Rhythm》 SHINGUU Susumu.


Also located on the seaward deck of the museum is a unique work of art with four orange wings that slowly rotate and constantly change shape. The work was created in 1979 by SSHINGU Susumu (1937-), world-renowned for his works that are powered by natural forces such as wind and water. Blending in with the landscape behind it, it looks like a single work of art. The material used is steel and aluminium.




Exterior view of Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art



Stop off between art viewings, Recommended cafés and restaurants around Museum Road

If you want to take a break from walking along Museum Road, how about a cup of tea or a bite to eat? Here are some of the best cafés and restaurants in the vicinity of Museum Road.



Also offers a menu of beautiful frog sandwiches! 'Ricoh', with delicious charcoal coffee.


'Ricoh' is a very cosy coffee shop with a relaxed atmosphere. Many visitors come here on their way home from the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art. The shop has racks of exhibition catalogues from the museum's past exhibitions, which can be viewed freely. A notable menu item is the Mikaeru Sandwich, which was conceived when Museum Road was created. It is a sandwich of tomato, basil sauce and cheese on savoury bread, with a colourful representation of a beautiful frog. It goes perfectly with a cup of rich charcoal coffee.





'Ricoh'

Address

5-1-1 Iwayakita-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan

Access from nearest station

approx. 4 min walk from JR 'Nada' station. Approximately 1 min walk from Hanshin Electric Railway 'Iwaya' station. 

Tel

078-882-6648

Opening hours

  • [Weekdays] 9:00-19:00

  • [Weekends and holidays] 9:00-18:30

Closed

Mondays, irregular holidays




Exotic Taiwanese-style "DAN DAN NOODlES.ENISHI", a specialty restaurant specialising in tan dan noodles.


The red lanterns create an exotic atmosphere at DAN DAN NOODLES.ENISHI, a popular Taiwanese-style noodle shop. The signature dish, dan dan noodles, is soupless and loaded with ingredients. The spiciness can be selected, so even those who don't like spicy food can enjoy it. The Taiwanese-style fried chicken with a spicy flavour and raayu (Chinese chili oil) is also recommended. You can taste the authentic Taiwanese taste, which is different from the Japanese-style fried chicken.





DAN DAN NOODLES.ENISHI

Address

1F Sunny Heights Nada, 5-2-32 Iwayakita-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture

Access from nearest station

3 min walk from JR Nada Station, 3 min walk from Hanshin Electric Railway Iwaya Station.

Tel

078-861-7776

Opening hours

11:00-22:00

Closed

Tuesdays at the end of the month after 15:00

Official website




Mixed fries are sometimes sold out! 「Yoishoku SAEKI」, a favourite of the locals.


Yosoku SAEKI is a favourite with locals of all ages. The mixed fries, featuring large fried prawns, are so popular that they sell out quickly. The fried horse mackerels are more reliable if you make a reservation, as the supply of horse mackerels is limited.

The fact that the lunch and dinner menus remain almost the same and are offered at the same price is another point of the menu's popularity.



YOSHOKU SAEKI

Address

SI Heights Iwaya, 5-2-13 Iwayakita-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo

Access from nearest station

3 min walk from JR Nada Station, 3 min walk from Hanshin Electric Railway Iwaya Station.

Tel

078-882-2667

Opening hours

  • 11:00-15:00 (L.O 14:30)

  • 17:00-21:00 (L.O 20:00)

Closed

Monday and Tuesday (closed even on public holidays)





Art that can be enjoyed in a walking atmosphere while feeling the city of Kobe.

In cooperation with Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture is working to create a bustling atmosphere along Museum Road by disseminating information on the diverse tourist resources along the route, including Museum Road with the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art at its core, Mount Rokko and the coast. One of the attractions of the public art that can be viewed on Museum Road is that its impression changes depending on the weather and time of day. It is also recommended to find your own favorite angle to take photos. It is a good distance to walk, so take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the artworks in the city.




Basic information 'Museum Road'



Nearest stations

JR Nada Station, Hankyu Railway Oji Koen Station, Hanshin Railway Iwaya Station.

*This is a 1.2 km north-south road from Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art to Kobe Oji Zoo.



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