Where to invest in Japan's local regions

Kobe city

Port of Kobe

Former foreign settlement along Kaigan-dori Street

Prime Location for Business

Regional News


Investment Promotion Division, Economic and Tourism Bureau

1-12, Goko-Dori 6-Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-0087

Basic information

Population *1

1530 thousand

Labor force *1

694 thousand

Nominal GDP*2


Number of Establishments*3

69,736 establishments

JETRO office
  1. *1

    Population Census 2015, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

  2. *2

    Prefectural Citizens'Economic Accounts 2018, Cabinet Office

  3. *3

    "2016 Economic Sensus", Statstics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Basic information updated on:Jan. 2022

Business Environment

Since the opening of its port to the world in 1868, Kobe has developed as an international port city. Its cosmopolitan living environment (schools, hospitals, etc.) attracts over 40,000 foreign-nationals from 123 countries to the city. Impressed by these features, many overseas and foreign-affiliated companies have located their head offices in the city. Major cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, are easily accessible from Kobe. It is a city blessed with abundant nature, offering a pleasant business environment. Many foreign-affiliated companies in various industries operate from their headquarters in the city, such as shipbuilding, Kobe's signature industry, aerospace and other heavy industries, and the medical industry.


Office Rent Subsidy for Foreign and Foreign-affiliated companies


Up to 1/2 (1/4 from Hyogo prefecture and 1/4 from Kobe city) of rent (excluding common area charges and consumption tax). Up to 1500 yen per square meter per month, and up to 10 million yen per year for companies occupying offices in the city for up to three years (subject to some other requirements)

Reduction of Enterprise Tax (Hyogo Prefecture)

Tax reduction

Refund of 1/2 of the prefectural enterprise tax to companies moving into Kobe City from outside of Hyogo Prefecture for up to 5 years.
(Requirements:For Large Companies: Employing 10 or more people, FOr SMEs: Employing 5 or more people (no need to be a resident in Hyogo Prefecture), and other requirements)

Startup Visa

Startup Visa Available

Industrial cluster information

Medical care, biotechnology

In the second phase of the Port Island project, the city develops a cutting-edge medical research base on the artificial island off the city's coast. It is working with businesses and universities in the Kansai area to create the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster, a city with a high concentration of medical-related companies. Companies, research institutions, and universities in life sciences have accumulated in the area, forming one of Japan's most significant biomedical clusters.

Local companies


Educational/research institutes of the industry

Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation


Living environment

Kobe offers a great living environment. While boasting sufficient urban functions, the city provides spacious housing, a low cost of living, a smooth and short commute, good public safety, and an excellent work-life balance. On the other hand, the city also has a vibrant natural environment (the area of parks per capita is the highest among all the 20 ordinance-designated cities). Bound by the Seto Inland Sea in the south and the Rokko mountains in the north, the city offers easy access to seasonal leisure activities such as mountain climbing and skiing in Mt. Rokko and beaches in Suma and Maiko. There are also shrines, temples, and hot springs throughout the city to enjoy traditional Japanese culture.

International schools

Logistics and infrastructures

Kobe undoubtedly offers ideal convenience as a business base. Major cities nationwide - including Tokyo, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima - can be reached in one to three hours. The opening of Kobe Airport offers three-way access (air, sea, and ground) to the city. A new transport system connecting the airport with the city center in 18 minutes and extensive railway and roadway networks makes travel convenient. Regarding logistics, a world-class container seaport, distribution hubs, and depot are located adjacent to the airport, enabling smooth and speedy connections between air, marine, and land transport.

The Port Liner, a new transport system that runs right up to the passenger terminal, provides direct access to Sannomiya in approximately 18 minutes, helping to speed up business.

Map of Kobe city


Advice on the matters related to entering into the Japanese market.
Consultation on the matters related to establishing a Japanese base, Provision of facilities including an incubation office.

Success Stories in Kobe city

Business Expanding

Contact Us

Investing in Japan

We will do our very best to support your business expansion into and within Japan. Please feel free to contact us via the form below for any inquiries.

Inquiry Form

JETRO Worldwide

Our network covers over 50 countries worldwide. You can contact us at one of our local offices near you for consultation.

Worldwide Offices