Not far from Kobe city is the Yamamura House which sits on a ridge overlooking the city of Ashiya. It was designed in 1918 by Frank Lloyd Wright for a local sake brewer and has survived each earthquake ever since.
The house in an interesting mix of traditional Japanese and Western Architecture – the bedrooms in particular are very traditional and resemble the layout of several temples I have visited.
Located on the Kobe waterfront is the Hyogo Museum of Art which was built as part of the reconstruction scheme after the Kobe earthquake in 1995 that destroyed much of the city.
The level of detailing especially inside was extraordinary, one of my favourite stops so far.
How to visit
Below is the map I used to navigate myself around Kobe.
View Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Awaji and Himeji in a larger map
Yodoko Guest House by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1918
Address: 3-10 Yamate-cho, Ashiya, Hyogo
I travelled to Ashiya by JR, getting off at the JR Ashiya Station from Kyoto. On leaving the station walk west until you hit the Ashiya River. Turn north and walk towards the mountains – you will soon spot the house sitting above the main road on a ridge. Check the http://www.yodoko.co.jp website for opening times.
Hyogo Museum of Art by Tadao Aando, 2002
Address: 1-1-1 Wakinohama Kaigan-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe
The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art is located in HAT Kobe, a newly developed city district east of the city center. It can be reached in a ten minute walk straight downhill from Iwaya Station on the Hanshin Main Line or a 15 minute walk from Nada Station on the JR Kobe Line. The museum is located on the waterfront and I highly recommend you leave some time to go for a stroll – not only will you see dozens of fishermen but you’ll also find an extensive landscaping scheme built as part of the museum project.