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Since ancient times, the Port of Kobe, under the names "Muko no minato" and "Owadano tomari" has had interaction with ports of the Chinese continent and Korean peninsula. During the Heian era (794-1192), the port had been developed as a base for international trade.
The Port of Kobe was called "Hyogo-no-tsu" (Port of Hyogo) during the Muromachi (1336-1573) and Edo (1603-1868) eras. Particularly during the Edo era, under the policy of national isolation, the Port of Kobe played a significant role as a key center of domestic transportation. Following the opening of Japan to the world in 1868, the port actively expanded and improved its facilities, thus evolving into one of the leading ports of the world.
After the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on January 1995 seriously damaged the port, the Port of Kobe has recovered its facilities.

Port of Kobe at time of its opening

Port of Kobe at time of its opening

1868Opening of Hyogo Port
1892The name "Port of Kobe" adopted
1896Construction of Hyogo Canal commenced (completed 1899)
19071st stage repair work on Shinko piers no.1-4(west) etc. commenced (completed 1922)
19192nd stage repair work on Shinko no.4 (east)-no.6 piers, Naka pier, Hyogo piers commenced (no.1, no.2 piers etc.)(completed 1939).
1923Kobe designated a National Principal Port
1934Eastern home trade zone reclamation work commenced (completed 1940)
1940sea area west of Togagawa river (Nada pier) reclamation work commenced  (completed 1952)
1951Kobe City Government became harbor administrator
Construction of Shinko no.7 pier (west) commenced (completed 1953)
Kobe designated a Specified Major Port
1952Construction of Shinko no.7 pier (east) commenced (completed 1956)
1954Reclamation of Eastern sea no.1 construction area commenced (completed 1960)
Construction of Shinko no.8 pier (west) commenced (completed 1959)
1957Reclamation of Western sea no.1 construction area commenced (completed 1965)
Repair work of unloading area in western area of port (construction of Nagata port) commenced (completed 1961)
1958Kobe City Government became coast administrator
Kobe Port Promotion Association established
Construction of Hyogo no.3 pier commenced (completed 1965)
1959Construction of Maya piers commenced (completed 1967)
1960Reclamation of Eastern sea no.2 construction area commenced (completed 1965)
1961Reclamation of Western sea no.3 construction area commenced (completed 1964)
1962Reclamation of Eastern sea no.3 construction area commenced (completed 1967)
1963Kobe Port Tower completed
1964Reclamation of Western sea no.2 construction area commenced (completed 1965)
1965Reclamation of Eastern sea no.4 construction area commenced (completed 1969)
Construction of Shinko no.8 pier (east) commenced (completed 1967)
Construction of eastern domestic trade wharf commenced (service operation such as cargo unloading etc. commenced in 1970)
1966 Reclamation of Port Island commenced (completed 1981)
1967100th anniversary of the opening of the port
Celebrated sister-port affiliations with Seattle and Rotterdam ports
Entry of first container ship,"Hawaiian Planter"
1970Port Terminal and Kobe Bridge completed
1972Reclamation of Rokko Island commenced (completed 1992)
1975Construction of Rokko Bridge commenced (partially opened to traffic 1980)
1976Suma beach sand-replenishment project commenced (completed 1st term undertaking 1989)
19771st Kobe Port fireworks display on the sea held
1978Suma yacht harbor completed
1979Suma yacht harbor completed (southern harbor)
harbor highway opened to traffic (eastern part of port side bypass between Shinko and Maya)
1980Established friendly relationship with Tianjin port (China)
1981Kobe Port Terminal Corporation established
1983Construction of Meriken Park commenced (completed 1987)
1984Construction of Kobe Maritime Museum commenced (opened 1987)
1985Kobe Port long-term policy established
Improvement and expansion of facilities of Kobe Harborland commenced (completed 1992)
1986Ceremony to mark start of construction work on Akashi Kaikyo bridge (crossing Akashi strait)
Kobe seaside bypass fully opened to traffic
1987Redevelopment of Maya piers commenced (commenced service 1991)
Reclamation of Port Island (2nd stage) project commenced
120th anniversary of the opening of the port
1989Rredevelopment of Hyogo piers commenced (reclamation between pier no. 2 and no. 3 completed 1993)
Established Kobe City Air Terminal co.ltd.
199010th anniversary of Kobe-Tianjin Friendship Port affiliation
1991Kobe City Passenger Ship Invitation Council commenced
1992Kobe Air Cargo Terminal co.ltd. established
Redevelopment of Naka Pier district commenced
Construction of Minatojima tunnel commenced
K-cat and K-act construction commenced
1993Harbor highway fully opened to traffic
K-cat and k-act construction commenced
1994Hanshin expressway no.5 Osaka bay route fully opened to traffic
K-act, kobe marine route (access to Kansai International Airport) opened
Kobe Port Welfare & Facility Maintenance Association established
1995Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake hit the port
Kobe port long-term policy revised
Reclamation of three redevelopment areas commenced (Hyogo, Shinko, Maya)
1996Reclamation of west district of Naka Pier (Kokusan Benten district) completed
1997Reconstruction after the earthquake completed
130th anniversary of the opening of the port
Kobe-Wuhan Port Cooperative Relationship Foundation Agreement concluded
1998Reclamation of Rokko Island South commenced
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge opened
Kobe-Wuhan port technical cooperation Memorandum of Understanding signed
1999Kobe Minatojima Tunnel opened
Construction of Kobe Airport commenced
start of the edi (electronic data interchange) system
Kobe-Nanjing port technical cooperation Memorandum of Understanding signed
2000Sunshine Wharf Kobe opened
2001Nagisa park (at eastern waterfront area) opened
2002Kobe designed as a recycling port
2003Kobe designated as an international port harbor economic special zone
2004bridge girder installation construction
completion of airport island report bridge
Hanshin port (Kobe port/Osaka port) designated as a super core port
2005Suma conveyor belt stopped
2006Kobe Airport opened
2007140th anniversary of the opening of the port
Port of Kobe Shanghai Office opened
Harbors in Osaka Bay integrated into a single harbor (Hanshin Harbor) under the Port Regulation Law
Port Island Shiosai Park Opened