About Meriken Park
In the Japanese city of Kobe, which is a port, you’ll find the waterfront park known as Meriken Park. It serves as a beacon of the city’s growth and development in addition to being a well-known destination for tourists. In 1961, as a part of the city’s regeneration efforts, the park was established, and in 1981, it was given the name Meriken Park for good. The word “American,” rendered in Japanese as “Meriken,” is a reference to the fact that this location was formerly utilized in the past as a port of call for ships belonging to the United States.
The park is home to a number of attractions, such as the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel, the Kobe Maritime Museum, and the Kobe Port Tower. The observation deck atop the Kobe Port Tower, which is 108 meters (354 feet) tall, provides visitors with breathtaking panoramas of the city as well as the countryside that surrounds it. The history of Kobe’s port and the maritime industry are the subjects of study at the Kobe Maritime Museum, which is located in Kobe. The Meriken Park Oriental Hotel in Kobe is a luxurious hotel that features an interesting sail-shaped building architecture.
Picnics, strolls, and taking in the beautiful scenery of the port and the surrounding area are all common things to do in Meriken Park, which is another reason it’s so popular. The park is home to a number of sculptures and monuments, one of which is a statue of the American architect William Merrell Vories, who worked and resided in Kobe in the early 20th century. At night, when the Kobe Port Tower is adorned with LED lights and the surrounding region is illuminated by the lights of the city, the park is exceptionally stunning in its aesthetic appeal.
History time line of Meriken Park
- 1868: After the opening of Kobe Port for foreign trade, the area where Meriken Park is now located was used as a landing spot for ships.
- 1883: A customs office was built on the site, and it served as the entrance to Kobe Port.
- 1907: The land was developed as a pier for small boats and cargo ships.
- 1929: The Great Depression caused a decline in trade, and the area fell into disuse.
- 1961: The city of Kobe decided to create a park on the site as part of the city’s revitalization efforts.
- 1981: The park was officially named Meriken Park (meaning “American” in Japanese, a nod to the area’s former use as a landing spot for American ships).
- 1987: The Kobe Port Tower was completed and opened to the public in Meriken Park.
- 1995: The Great Hanshin Earthquake devastated the city of Kobe, including Meriken Park. Many of the buildings in the park were destroyed or damaged.
- 1997: The park was reopened after extensive renovations and restoration efforts.
Today, Meriken Park is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of the city’s recovery and resilience in the wake of the devastating earthquake. It is home to several attractions, including the Kobe Port Tower, the Kobe Maritime Museum, and the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel. It is also a popular spot for picnics, strolls, and enjoying the views of the harbor and the surrounding area.
How to reach Meriken Park
The park known as Meriken Park can be found in Kobe, Japan, which is a port city, and it is quite convenient to get to using public transit.
If you prefer to travel by train, the Kobe Station on the JR Kobe Line is approximately 2.5 kilometers distant from Meriken Park, making it the closest train station. You can reach the park by taking a bus, a cab, or walking from there. There is also the option of taking the Kobe City Subway to the Minatomotomachi Station on the Kaigan Line. From there, the park is about a 10-minute walk away.
If you prefer to travel by bus, there are numerous bus lines that stop close to Meriken Park. One of these routes is the City Loop Bus, which makes stops at several of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. Either the Sannomiya Station or the Kobe Station are accessible by the City Loop Bus.
By taxi: There is no shortage of taxis in Kobe, and it won’t be difficult for you to hail one and take it to Meriken Park no matter where you are in the city.
If you are traveling to the park by automobile, the best place to park is at the Kobe Meriken Park Underground Parking Lot, which is situated in close proximity to the park.
After you have arrived at Meriken Park, you will find that the park is easily navigable on foot, and you will be able to go from one attraction to the next while doing so. You may hire bicycles at a shop that is located nearby if you want to go cycling in the park, which is another activity that is very popular there.