Do you know that this mosque is the oldest one in Japan? It’s not Tokyo, it’s Kobe, a city means “Gate of God”. What history Kobe Mosque offers and what it currently has? How to go there if you want to pay a visit? Read this post to find out.
Being built more than 85 years ago, Kobe Muslim Mosque has stories to tell. Its Turkish architecture was actually designed by a Czech named Jan Josef Svagr. He was an architect for many religious buildings in Japan, but Kobe Mosque is the only Muslim building he designed (source).
We can say that this mosque is a miracle because it has survived two mega incidents. The first one is air rads during World War II. Many cities in Japan were destroyed back then. However, Kobe mosque only had cracks on its outer wall while its surrounded areas were knocked down. The second miracle happened in 1995 during the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Hyogo Perfecture, including Kobe City, was strike by a 6-7 magnitude earthquake and lost more than 6,400 residents. But again, when all the buildings were demolished by the quake, Kobe Mosque stood still. This reminds us of Baiturrahman Masjid in Aceh during Tsunami 2004.
Turkish design applies to both the exterior and interior of the mosque. However, we found the interior is rather minimalist yet warm and cozy compared to other Turkish-style Mosques. As usual, prayer area for ladies is on the 2nd floor. The area is spacious covered by thick and super clean red carpets.
Located in the heart of Kobe City, this mosque is very easy to be accessed. Tourists may come from Sannomiya Station, which is the main station in Kobe. Go to Yamate exit and turn left in the second junction. The mosque stands on your right side. Across the mosque, there is a groceries selling halal food and ingredients. We only found one restaurant with halal logo near the mosque and, unfortunately, we didn’t try it because we were not hungry yet at that time (and we need to save our money too LOL).
What: Kobe Muslim Mosque
Where: 2-chōme-2-25-14 Nakayamatedōri, Chūō-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0004 [map]
How to go: 11-minute walk from Sannomiya Station
How much: free, just pay for the train fare