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Yokohama vs Kobe

  • Yokohama

    Votes: 14 60.9%
  • Kobe

    Votes: 9 39.1%
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not a cat
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Yokohama is a great place to live, but more an annex and bedtown of Tokyo than a real big city with a strong character. China Town, Motomachi dori are great, though.
I like Kobe more 'cos its setting is unique and beautiful with the harbour and the mountains, the downtown is nice and compact, Osaka, Kyoto, other very unique cities are not far. For me one of the most attractive places to live on earth.
 

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Havent been to either, although will be able to comment in just a few months!!!
Let me say tho, Landmark tower in Yokohama is one of my favourite on the planet.
 

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Yokohama is one of the great cities of the world. Because of its proximity to Tokyo, it gets overshadowed, but it could be the flagship city in almost any other country.
 

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Asian forums Supermod
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They're both very different cities.

I mean, really the only thing they have in common is they're both ports.
They both have similar histories too.
Both were ports
Both were specifically, Treaty Ports. Meaning in the past, foreign trade had to go through here
Both had Chinatowns (due to that internationalization)
Both serve a larger city (Tokyo and Osaka)
Both now have all these new modern developments (mostly for tourism) in its harbor area.

Kobe is obviously smaller and stagnating since the 1995 earthquake.
 

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Kobe is obviously smaller and stagnating since the 1995 earthquake.
[/QUOTE]

Kobe plays a major role as Japan's Biotech research center.

Also the world's fastest supercomputer Fugaku is located in Kobe.
 

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Asian forums Supermod
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Kobe plays a major role as Japan's Biotech research center.

Also the world's fastest supercomputer Fugaku is located in Kobe.
yes and that doesn't mean much overall because Kobe's large growth and status as a major global port never recovered since the 90s. Those centers aren't enough to change that.


and the population of the entire prefecture is stagnating, if not declining

Prefectural GDP has NOT returned to pre-disaster levels. you can compare this with the latest estimates on their prefectural page
 

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Maybe it's because the scale of biotech industry itself is still small compared to auto or IT industries.
But I got the feeling biotech is on the verge of explosive growth, somewhat like dotcoms before year 2000.

A lot of biotech startups are sprouting up in Japan in recent years:

Many startups are actually in Osaka, with the local government actively promoting biotech:

Twin Tower Mansion Bay City Towers Kobe-Shinko Jetty West District (1st Jetty Base) Redevelopment Project-
 

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I agree with Rhyukyu here, Kobe is stagnating. It's a very liveable city, great location, excellent cuisine and nightlife etc. But it's really starting to feel dated compared to Osaka, Tokyo, and indeed Yokohama. It seems like they made a massive effort to rebuild after the earthquake, and then just stopped... feels like Kobe just isn't moving forwards anymore.

That said, I massively prefer Kobe to Yokohama. It's got far more character and is a much more interesting city to visit, imho.
 

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Asian forums Supermod
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I agree with Rhyukyu here, Kobe is stagnating. It's a very liveable city, great location, excellent cuisine and nightlife etc. But it's really starting to feel dated compared to Osaka, Tokyo, and indeed Yokohama. It seems like they made a massive effort to rebuild after the earthquake, and then just stopped... feels like Kobe just isn't moving forwards anymore.

That said, I massively prefer Kobe to Yokohama. It's got far more character and is a much more interesting city to visit, imho.
me too.
I like Yokohama.. but Kobe is really beautiful.
It has that combination of being both next to the coast and the mountains, giving you a great view.
I generally like the people in Hyogo more too, and the cuisine is good.
If i could live there, I would.. in fact they have a few jobs in my area.

that said, the 1995 earthquake was just really really bad timing for the Kansai region as a whole.
Japanese economy was already bursting and beginning to decline
Kobe's status as a port was supplanted by rivals elsewhere, namely Pusan, to which Kobe could never fully recover from.

KIX and Kobe Airport were attempts to revitalize the stagnation.. but it doesn't seem like it was enough (arguably one could say it prevented a further drop and a stagnation was the best outcome).
Kobe Airport especially, added a lot of debt to Hyogo. I personally feel it wasn't needed, although I'm sure people going to Chugoku region and Tokushima appreciate having it.
 

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Firstly I'm not an expert on this topic, so I might be wrong.
But I'm thinking other possibilities.
Your post reminds me of the Kaohsiung port in Taiwan.

According to the Chinese version of Wikipedia: "Kaohsiung Port ranked the third largest port in the world in terms of container throughput in 1999, with an import and export volume of approximately 7 million TEUs in that year; it was second only to Hong Kong and Singapore" --- from google translation with some modifications due to translation errors.

Also according to the Wikipedia, Kaohsiung is now described as: "It is also the largest port in Taiwan and the 15th largest port in the world".

In other words: Kaohsiung has fallen from 3th place to 15th place in world ranking. Kaohsiung didn't have the devastating earthquake as Kobe did, yet it's now stagnate too, despite the government's statistics says Taiwan's GDP and export have grown nearly every year in that period.

Taiwan has been following Japan's steps since the early 90' by moving manufacturing out, first to Southeast Asia, then to China. Our main exports have shifted from exporting bulky final products to higher valued, less bulky electronic components. Also they might have been shipped via air cargoes rather then by sea.

Maybe that's the reason why Kaohsiung's ranking has fallen.
This is just my opinion.
 

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Asian forums Supermod
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^ I recommend you read this article
it is a very detailed analysis of the traffic loss in Kobe's ports since 1995

basically the ports took 2 years to recover, and the port businesses longer
that is a long time to be down. Kobe's port traffic was already in decline because of changes in the global shipping traffic.
But the disaster was a big hit. The ones that benefitted from this are ports in Nagoya, Yokohama, Kaohsiung and Busan
 

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Sorry I can't login to that site.
What I want to say is that natural disaster like earthquake should not affect the long term trend.
There must have other factors in effect, at least it's the case in Kaohsiung.

In the early 90', the moving out of the manufacturing to the Southeast Asia was still small scale.
Then came the Asian financial crisis, China opened its door to the outside world after the crisis,
and Taiwan started the mass exodus afterward, we moved most of the manufacturing to China.
It was precisely the same time when Kaohsiung port topped, as you can see from the Wikipedia.

And it is not Just the port activity topped-out, the whole Kaohsiung has been stagnant since then, despite the fact that GDP in Taiwan as a whole continue to grow. Many Kaohsiung-er have moved to Taipei for work, as it's harder to find a decent job in Kaohsiung.

In my opinion Kobe's stagnant is destined even without earthquake, because the hollowing out of manufacturing in Japan is even severe than Taiwan.
 

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I am going vor Kobe, too. It has more character itself and it has the mountains in the backyards. Yokohama itself is kind of boring. The only thing about Yokohama I like is its historic charme. I mean if it were 1925 or so Yokohama would have been stunning I think with its harbour and „historic“ seaside flair. But now its is just a bunch of cold skyscrapers at some modern global trade harbour. It does not feel that appealing to me. Of course, Kobe is a modern harbour, too, and has some skyscrapers itself, but with those other pionts mentioned above it feels more „nice“ to me. You also still feel some historic charme with those old foreign stile villas. Also the big red harbour bridge and the red tower are more iconic. And of course: Kobe has the Kobe beef. What does Yokohama have? Also I like the Kobe football stadium more than the Yokohama stadium. ^^

The best about Yokohama is, at least for me, the train to Kamakura. ;P
 

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I will disagree with many of you here. Of course, this is the opinion of a Japanese person now living in the US so I might be different from your idea. There are many good qualities about Kobe. It's a beautiful city and very charming, but it cannot compare to Yokohama.

In my opinion, Yokohama and Kanagawa Prefecture have the highest quality of life in Japan. Yokohama is the second largest city in the country with far more employment opportunities and things to do. Yokohama has more than 1 million more people than Osaka. Kobe is a large city, but it is maybe in the third tier of cities when Yokohama is in the first tier. Yokohama has the largest port in Japan and is a much more important center of manufacturing, ship building and with more corporate headquarters than Osaka and Kobe combined. Plus, because Tokyo is near, there is a feeling of urbanity that you cannot feel in Kobe. Yokohama's Chinatown is much larger and older than Kobe's too. The old foreign area of Yokohama at the Yamate Bluff is also must larger and more intact than that in Kobe because Yokohama was a much more important center for interaction during the late Tokugawa and early Meiji Period. There has never been a time in the last 150 years when Kobe was more important than Yokohama in any area. I also think that Yokohama has much more to offer because it is so close to Tokyo, the Shonan Coast, Kamakura and Fuji-san area tourist areas.

For me, it is like comparing Pittsburgh to Chicago in the US. Both are great cities, but they are nowhere near on the same level. If you like a smaller, less congested city which is closer to Kyoto and Nara then Kobe is much more comfortable though.
 
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