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As the capital city of Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe city is also one of the 17 designated cities in the world's second biggest economy, Japan. Kobe city has a population of close to one and a half million people and a total area of around five hundred and fifty square kilometres or two hundred and twelve square miles. Thus the population density is approximately two thousand seven hundred and sixty eight people per square kilometre or seven thousand one hundred and sixty nine people per square mile.
Kobe city became a reality in 1889 on the first of April. It became one of the seventeen designated cities of Japan in 1956 on the first of September. The name �Kobe' is a corruption of the word �kanbe"". �Kanbe"" was an ancient reference to the supporters of a shrine known as Ikuta.
As a port city, Kobe was once one of Japan's busiest seaports and even all over Asia but all this ceased to be the case after the Great Hanshin Earthquake caused massive destruction. Now it is estimated to be the fourth busiest seaport in Japan. When it comes to world rankings of the busiest container ports on the face of the earth Kobe takes a humble position thirty nine.
Getting around Kobe city is easy with various modes of transportation readily available. There are several highways serving the city of Kobe as well as numerous car hire companies. These expressways link Kobe to for instance Osaka, Yamaguchi, Naruto etc. The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge networks Kobe to the island of Awaji.
Regarding the railway network, Kobe is linked to Osaka, Himeji, Sanda and Sannomiya for example. The Osaka International Airport in neighbouring Itami is the ideal point of departure or arrival for international air travellers. For domestic air travel there is the Kobe Airport. Both of these airports have various car hire companies operating from them.