Opened in 1982, this museum is housed in the former Kobe Branch of the Yokohama Specie Bank (now the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ), which was built in 1935. The classical western style building with its rows of Doric columns and thick granite walls was registered as a Cultural Property in 1998.
The basic theme of the museum is “International Culture Exchange – Contact between Eastern and Western Cultures and Their Changes by the Interaction.” The museum has a huge collection of some 40,000 works, which includes archeological and historically important pieces having to do with Kobe, the famed Hajime Ikenaga Collection of artworks foretelling Japan’s knowledge of and contact with Europe, and two of the foremost collections of ancient maps (Nanba and Akioka Collections) in Japan both in terms of quantity and quality. The permanent exhibit focuses on Kobe’s place in the cultural exchanges between Japan and abroad, under six distinctive themes. The museum also puts on special exhibits of renown pieces from Japan and abroad, as well as exhibits featuring works from its own collection.

How to get there: Get off JR at Sannomiya or the Kobe City Subway (Yamate Line), Hankyu or Hanshin Railways at Sannomiya. 10 minutes on foot from there.
Closed: Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday), 9/2, 9/7 - 12