Hyogo is bounded by Osaka Bay to the south, Kita Ward to the north, Nagata Ward to the west and Chūō Ward to the east. It features the eastern portion of a network of canals named the "Hyogo Canals" (Hyogo Unga) in the south, and its northern border is at the base of the Rokko mountains.
The Hyogo Unga is the generic name for the network of five canals located along the southern coast of Hyogo and Nagata Wards, facing Osaka Bay. The canals have a total length of 6,470 metres and total area of almost 34 hectares, making it one of the largest canal netowrks in Japan. They were first planned in the 1870s and completed in December 1899. The five canals are:
- Niigawa Canal - The first canal to be completed, it was built between 1874 and 1876.
- Hyogo Canal
- Hyogo Feeder Canal
- Karumojima Canal - The longest canal at 2,200m
- Shinminatogawa Canal - The shortest canal at 320m
The features of the natural harbour around Wadamisaki peninsula has meant the port in Hyogo has been an important gateway to the Seto inland sea since the 8th century Nara period. In the 12th century, in the latter part of the Heian period, Taira no Kiyomori recognized the strategic benefit of the location and developed the harbour. Kiyomori, the de facto ruler of Japan between 1860 and 1880, had his official residence in Fukuhara, in what is modern-day Hyogo. Fukuhara became the capital of Japan for a brief period near the end of Kiyomori's rule. A monument erected shortly after his death, the Kiyomori-zuka, stands in the gardens of a shrine opposite Kiyomori Bridge, also named in his honour. In the mid-19th century, at the end of the Edo period, Hyogo port was one of the first to be opened to foreign vessels, ending Jana's 250-year long isolation.
Hyogo is one of the main industrial areas of Kobe. Fujitsu Ten is headquartered within the ward, and other large corporations including Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have manufacturing facilities in Hyogo. In particular, railcars for the bullet train are manufactured in Hyogo by Kawasaki.
Hyogo is served by the JR Kobe Line and Wadamisaki spur line, the Kaigan and Seishin-Yamate lines of the Kobe Municipal Subway, Shintetsu Arima Line of the Kobe Electric Railway, and the Tozai Line (which carries Hankyu, Hanshin and Sanyo services). National Route 2 is the main arterial road through the area.
As well as several monuments to Kiyomori, Hyogo is also the location of Nōfuku-ji temple, home of the Hyogo Daibutsu, an 11-metre tall statue of Buddha. Yanagihara Shrine is in the centre of Hyogo, close to Hyogo Station. It hosts the Tōka-Ebisu festival, an annual event from 9-11 January each year in honour of Ebisu, the Shinto god of fishermen and commerce in general. Tōka-Ebisu is the most important cultural event in Hyogo throughout the year.
Misaki Park Stadium is the home of the Vissel Kobe professional soccer and Kobelco Steelers professional rugby teams. The stadium hosted matches during the 2002 FIFA World Cup and will also be one of the hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Media related to Hyōgo-ku, Kobe at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website of Hyōgo-ku, Kobe (Japanese)
- "兵庫区の概要 (Outline of Hyogo Ward)". Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "兵庫運河の今昔物語" [The Hyogo Canals: The Story of Now and Then] (in Japanese). 25 March 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Fujitsu Ten Corporate Profile" (PDF). June 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Brooke, James (2 June 2002). "SOCCER; Legacy of World Cup May Be the Stadiums Left Behind". New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Japan's Venues Confrmed for 2019 Rugby World Cup". 2 March 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
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