On Saturday, February 9, we took the Kobe PR Ambassadors out on a fun, festive evening to highlight the 3-day weekend. First, we took a walk through “Nankinmachi”, Kobe’s Chinatown and one of the only few Chinatowns in Japan. When Japan ended its 300-year closed border policy in 1868, Kobe became one of the first port cities to be opened for foreign trade, welcoming merchants from all over Europe and Asia. A number of Chinese merchants were allowed to settle in what is now Nankinmachi, and the district is celebrating its 150th anniversary since the first residents immigrated from southern China. Nankinmachi celebrated the Lunar New Year this weekend, so in addition to the usual paper lanterns and food stalls, there were festive decorations, exciting performances, and entertaining people in costume. Our PR Ambassadors wound their way through the large crowds (as to be expected from a festival!), and tried not to get too distracted by the mouthwatering smells of pork buns and sesame seed doughnuts. They watched a lion dance and then had the rare opportunity …
Applications are now open for 2019-2020 Kobe PR Ambassadors! We are looking for 25 non-Japanese people who love living and working/studying in Kobe and want to contribute to promoting the city. If you love living and hanging out in Kobe, posting on social media, and meeting new people, we want to hear from you! Through the Kobe PR Ambassador scheme, PR Ambassadors (PRAs) receive unique opportunities to experience different parts of the city and share those experiences with their loved ones, acquaintances, and online followers. For an idea of what they do, check out the Blog and 2018-2019 sections of this site to see what tours we’ve taken the Kobe PRAs on, and then swing by our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to see what kinds of posts the PR Ambassadors make day-to-day. If this sounds like it’s for you, read the following guidelines on how to join! REQUIREMENTS Applicants to Kobe PRA must meet the following requirements: Non-Japanese foreigner Living, working, or studying in Kobe Active user of social media Passionate about Kobe City BENEFITS Those chosen to join Kobe PRA …
You may have oft heard that Japan has four seasons. Of course many other countries do too, but the sudden (and oh-so-brief) burst of autumn splendor between the sweltering island summer and freezing dry winter is like an oasis of optical bliss. No wonder, then, that we would take our PR Ambassadors to see the fantastic fall foliage in one of the best autumnal sightseeing spots in Kobe: Zuihoji Park in the Arima Onsen hot springs area. Thirteen of our ambassadors took many gorgeous photos of the stunning leaves in Zuihoji Park. They participated in an outdoor tea ceremony, in which they were able to enjoy delightful traditional Japanese snacks and learn the special way of turning the teacup before drinking the matcha green tea. The tea was suuuper bitter (no simple syrup or milk like you’d get at the coffee shop), but the intense sweetness of the confection paired well with it. Our ambassadors also had the chance to take a photo together with geisha and interact with the locals while nibbling on oden …
When you hear “Kobe”, you think of a bustling city with Kobe beef around every corner, right? But Kobe also has a diverse agricultural industry that includes rice, fruits, and vegetables! Eleven of our PR Ambassadors went to Kande Village on October 14, the day of our third official PR Ambassador Tour in 2018. They gained an appreciation of how much work goes into farming by harvesting rice plants with traditional sickles and digging (giant) sweet potatoes out of the ground. And of course they got the chance to appreciate the fresh flavors of food straight from a farm by eating warm, handmade rice balls for lunch…and peeling mikans (mandarin oranges) they picked themselves at the orchard for dessert! *drool* For more information: Visit the Harvest Kobe Urban Agritourism site to learn more about what tasty tours you can go on! And if you know Japanese (or have a helpful Japanese-fluent friend), you can contact Kande Farm Village directly for information about the farms and facilities (including a farm-to-fork lunch buffet) in the area! Picture Gallery
Have you heard of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge? Connecting Awaji Island and Kobe as part of the Honshu-Shikoku Highway, the bridge stretches 3,911 meters and holds the title of longest suspension bridge in the world (and seventh-tallest!). On September 2, the day of the second official PR Ambassador Tour of 2018, twelve of our lovely PR Ambassadors visted this bridge 20 years after its completion. For more information: Visit the Akashi Kaikyo BRIDGE EXHIBITION CENTER (Japanese site) to learn about its history and construction! Make a reservation to go on the Bridge World Tour (Japanese/English site) yourself! Picture Gallery
We enjoyed Mt. Rokko that is national park in May! It was so relaxing weekend with beautiful weather. The guides from Mt. Rokko cable car and tourism company, they gave us great experiences at alpine botanical garden, musical box museum, garden terrace, and so on. It was great, thank you so much!!
April 2018 Appointment Ceremony On April 24 2018, 25 non-Japanese people who live, work or study in Kobe were apointed to their roles as Kobe PR Ambassadors for one year. They received their certificates from Mayor Kizo Hisamoto and were interviewed.
Have you heard of Gagaku? It is a type of music that was originally brought to Japan from the Chinese continent, and is known to be the oldest surviving music in Japan. The Kobe PR Ambassadors were lucky to be invited to a special performance at Ikuta Shrine on Monday 12th March 2018, which included not just music, but dancing too.
Applications are now closed for the 2018-2019 Kobe PR Ambassador scheme! Thank you to all those of you who applied. We had a great response and are now working on screening the applications. Here is how things will play out: Application schedule (Tentative) ・Thursday February 1st 2018, 9:00am until Wednesday February 28th 2018, 5:00pm: Application period ・Early March 2018: Application form screening ・Mid March 2018: Interviews *We will get in contact with applicants who pass the application form screening to arrange an interview. ・Early April 2018: Final selection and notifications ・Late April 2018: Appointment Ceremony *The Appointment Ceremony is planned to take place on a weekday in late April. *Schedule is subject to change As always, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see the latest news!
“Kobe” always calls to mind images of juicy beef, but did you know that you can also go fruit picking in Kobe? On Sunday 11th February, the PR Ambassadors took a trip to Kita Ward’s Ozo-cho, around 30 minutes’ drive north of Sannomiya, to try their hand at picking strawberries on the final tour of 2017-2018.
Announcing the winners of the #MyKobeSeasons Kobe PR Ambassadors photo contest
Discovering the traditional Japanese side of the modern, cosmopolitan city Kobe