Rokkō Island

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Rokkō Island (六甲アイランド Rokkō Airando) is a man-made island in Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Japan. It is located in the southeast region at Port of Kobe. The island has a 3.4 km by 2 km rectangular shape, and covers 5.80 km² or 1,400 acres. The residential area of the island, featuring apartment buildings -- many with views of the sea -- and single family homes, is located in the center of the island. A green belt separates the residential area from industrial and port activities. The two international schools located on the island attract many foreign residents to the island.

Rokkō Island
Native name:
六甲アイランド
Night view of Rokkō Island and Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Japan.jpg
Rokkō Island viewed from Mt. Rokko.
Rokkō Island is located in Hyogo Prefecture
Rokkō Island
Rokkō Island
Location within Hyōgo Prefecture.
Geography
LocationOsaka Bay
Coordinates34°41′N 135°16′E / 34.683°N 135.267°E / 34.683; 135.267Coordinates: 34°41′N 135°16′E / 34.683°N 135.267°E / 34.683; 135.267
Total islands1
Area5.80 km2 (2.24 sq mi)
Length3.4 km (2.11 mi)
Width2.0 km (1.24 mi)
Highest elevation2 m (7 ft)
Administration
WardHigashinada-ku
CityKobe
PrefectureHyōgo

Moving Mountains to Create an Island[edit]

Kobe is a long and narrow city wedged between the coast to the south and the Rokkō Mountains to the north. As Kobe’s population grew, there was no more space to expand. Kobe's situation was a microcosm of the situation faced by the entire island nation. Japan has an abundance of dense forests and a shortage of livable land. Urban planners in Kobe came up with an ingenious way to solve this problem: move mountains to create new land.[1]

Workers sliced off the tops of some of the heavily wooded local mountains to the northwest of the city. A ten-mile long underground conveyor belt was created to take the reclaimed land to its new home in the sea. A conveyer carried the rock and earth to barges, which dumped the contents into two miles out into the sea. The massive undertaking took almost twenty years, from 1973 until 1992, to construct. The 1,400-acre island is shaped like a rectangle.

Rokkō Island is not the first island that Kobe city planners had built. Port Island was completed a decade before Rokkō Island. In 1173, Taira no Kiyomori, a military leader of the late Heian period of Japan, built an island known as Kyogashima in 1173.[2]

Access[edit]

There are two main forms of public transportation to the island. The Rokko Liner, an automated and elevated monorail, runs over the center of the island and whisks people on and off. The Rokkō Liner stops at three stations on the island: Marine Park, Island Center, and Island Kita-Guchi. It connects Rokkō Island to Minami Uozaki, Uozaki Station on the Hanshin Line and Sumiyoshi Station on the JR Kobe Line. The Kobe Minato Kanko Bus is another option.

Rokko Liner

The Harbor Highway is a toll road which links in Sannomiya and Port Island from Rokko Island. The Hanshin Expressway Route 5 Wangan Route heads to Osaka.

Limousine buses depart from the Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel to Kansai Airport or to Universal Studios Japan.

Ferry boats (Hankyu Ferry and Ferry Sunflower) leave the island every day for Kyushu and Shikoku.

Economy[edit]

The major business on the island is related to the Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation which operated both port container terminals, port liner berths and port ferry terminals.[3] Several manufacturing companies also operate on the island including the chocolatier, Morozoff Ltd. The Asia One Center used to house the P&G Japan Head Office. Rokkō Island also features businesses catering to the local residents and tourists including two hotels, shopping, and restaurants.

Rokko Island port

Education[edit]

Universities[edit]

Kobe International University (university website)

Kobe International University


Public schools[edit]

Rokkō Island High School (神戸市立六甲アイランド高等学校)

Kobe City Koyo Junior High School (神戸市立向洋中学校

Rokkō Island Elementary School (神戸市立路六甲アイランド小学校

Rokkō Island Elementary School

International schools[edit]

Canadian Academy (school website)

Canadian Academy

Deutsche Schule Kobe/European School (school website)

Culture and recreation[edit]

Sports and leisure[edit]

Residents can walk, run, or bike on the 5 km long green belt pathway that encircles the island. The loop takes you through trees and at Marine Park, you’ll get a view of a row of Palm Trees and the Pacific Ocean.[4] The River Mall is an artificial river about 1 km long that flows through the center of the island.[5] In the summer, many children play in the wading pool. There are also several playgrounds on the island.

Rokkō Island – River mall


The is a community fitness center with exercise equipment, classes, and an indoor lap pool. Residents can play tennis or take lessons. There is an indoor skateboarding park. There are also several places to play futsal, indoor soccer. A waterpark opens in the summer.

Museums[edit]

Two museums are located on Rokkō Island. Kobe City Koiso Memorial Museum of Art is a small museum that commemorates the works of Kobe botanical artist Ryohei Koiso. The museum features a replica of his art studio, an art library, and three exhibition rooms.

Koiso Memorial Museum of Art

The island is also home to the Kobe Fashion Museum, located in a futuristic looking building, which has exhibits on the history of fashion, seasonal exhibitions, and a library.

Kobe Fashion Museum

Events on the island[edit]

Various events are held throughout the year for island residents and visitors including a farmer’s market and Christmas caroling.[6] RIC Summer Evening Carnival features people of various nationalities dancing the bon odori together during the festival. The Rokko Island Halloween and Harvest Festival is an annual event featuring a costume parade, costume contest, pumpkin carving, a haunted house, live shows, and trick-or-treating.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Halloran, Richard (July 21, 1975). "Japanese moving mountains to expand Port of Kobe". New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "Reclaimed land in Japan". Japan Property Central. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "Facilities of Hanshin Port". Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "About Rokko Island (Japanese)". Rokko Island.com. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  5. ^ "Rokko River Mall" (PDF). Nikken Sekkei Civil Engineering Ltd. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "Rokko Island City events (in Japanese)". Rokko Island City. Retrieved November 30, 2018.