It is one of the main stations serving the central business district of Kobe. The station is the closest access point to the Motomachi shopping district and to Nanking Town, one of Japan's three largest Chinatown districts.
The JR and Hanshin platforms are separated and no interchange is possible without completely leaving one building and entering another; therefore there are technically two separate Motomachi stations, although they are often treated as one.
The JR station is served by local and rapid trains.
The Hanshin station is the western terminus of the Main Line, although service continues west on the Kobe Rapid Railway.