What You’ll Find at Shinkaichi Art Plaza in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Jun 28, 2023

What You’ll Find at Shinkaichi Art Plaza in Kobe

Kobe has long been an important place for pop culture in Japan. Shinkaichi Art Plaza provides a venue to nurture all kinds of art forms, including theater, film-making, music, visual arts, and dance. It’s the perfect place for young artists to display their work, network with others, and rehearse for performances. As for non-artists in the community, they can visit the center to see performances, check out the exhibitions, and meet locals in Kobe who also have a passion for art.

Originally called Kobe Art Village Center, it went through renovations for its 25th anniversary and re-opened in April 2023 under the new name, chosen to reflect the fact it is in the Shinkaichi district. The center also received new branding — designed to make the center more accessible and to reach an audience beyond just artists. The hope was this would make art a big part of Kobe again.


The renovation of the facility converted a theater in the basement into a gallery dedicated to exhibitions from solo artists and groups. There is also a second gallery near the main entrance — this is one of the first things you’ll see when you arrive. Artists are welcome to rent either gallery for two- and three-dimensional artwork. Since the exhibitions are always changing, it’s ideal if you can visit more than once to gain a better sense of Kobe’s art scene.

Kids’ Area

Another new feature in Shinkaichi Art Plaza is the children’s playground. Designed for kids up to elementary school age, it features books, toys, and activities. It’s an ideal place for parents to drop by with their kids to meet other locals.


The auditorium features 200 seats and regularly holds theatrical, musical, and dance performances. There are frequent theater performances by local high school students. Groups that want to practice before putting on a performance can rent the rehearsal room (which has three mirrored walls and a sprung floor, making it ideal for theater and dance) or one of the soundproof studios (which are perfect for musicians).

Lectures and Conferences

The auditorium also holds large lectures on topics related to art and culture. For smaller meetings, there are also two conference rooms — one for up to 20 people, the other for up to 24.


The atelier studio holds regular workshops in screen printing. These workshops take place a few times a month, each time with a maximum of four people. If you’re interested in attending one, you should contact Shinkaichi Art Plaza about the next opportunities or follow the center on social media. The workshops always run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


The café in Shinkaichi Art Plaza is a top choice for refreshments or a light lunch in downtown Kobe. You can use the chance to check out the latest exhibitions or find out about upcoming events.

Shinkaichi Art Plaza is open every day of the week except Tuesdays — it’s also closed the following day if a public holiday falls on a Tuesday — from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission to the galleries is free, but you’ll need to pay to attend the events on Fridays. You’ll find the center at 5-3-14 Shinkaichi, Hyogo Ward.

663highland, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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